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We'll keep this short tonight. Long day for Wild fans who stayed up for this one. 9:30 PM start, midnight finish, and all of that to watch their favorite team get worked pretty well by the Sharks.
It would be difficult to say the Wild played well, but they certainly have played worse. Save for the very Martin Skoula-esque play that led to the first goal, the Wild played a decent enough game, they just flat out got out played. The Sharks are a very, very good hockey team, so if any of you enjoy moral victories, maybe coming out having not lost 8-1 is a moral victory.
I'm not much for moral victories. The Wild did look flat for large stretches of the game, almost as though they could sense the system not working and simply giving up. The passes were not sharp, and the Wild fell back into making the stupid little mistakes that cost them so dear.
As mentioned above, we won't go into too much depth. The Wild got out played. We'll see how the coach and the players feel about it, but to me, being beat by the Sharks certainly isn't anything to be ashamed of. Ugly second period, but we're used to those in Minnesota, right? Right.
If I were a betting man, I'd put my money on seeing Josh Harding on Saturday. Backstrom was kind of soft tonight, giving up some big rebounds and seeming a bit out of sorts. Maybe we've just become too accustomed to epic play.
Another day off, maybe some rest, maybe some time to think about things a bit. We'll talk more tomorrow.
The Bennett's Chop & Railhouseof the Game:
1. Patrick Marleau (2 PPG)
2. Antti Niemi (21 saves, looked solid all night)
3. Kyle Brodziak (1G, killed the shutout)
Remember, when you begin and end your night at Bennett's, you're the star! Easy parking, drink and food specials and a free shuttle to and from the Xcel Energy Center. Check them out at http://bennettschopandrailhouse.com/.
- How do the former Wild stack up tonight? Burns had the assist, but Havlat was pretty much a non-factor. Expected a bit more.
- Do the former Sharks bring the heat? Nope. Pretty quiet.
- Can Backstrom hold on to his stretch of starting? I'm going to doubt it.
- Playing against one of the best in the league. Can the Wild steal one? No. Not even close.
- Is Nick Schultz a new man with his new hair cut? Schultz is Schultz. Calm, quiet, played well.