Minnesota Wild Bloomington Jefferson Jaguars 2 - 5 Calgary Flames
For Calgary perspective, please visit Matchsticks and Gasoline
Without the tribute to the late Derek Boogaard tonight, this game would have been entirely forgettable. The Wild failed to show up at all for this one, and made themselves look extremely soft in one of the biggest games of the year for their fans. They showed zero heart and zero drive after the first 8 minutes of the game passed.
The only real excitement for Wild fans was the first nine minutes, in which five goals were scored between the two sides. Cal Clutterbuck opened the scoring at the 1:57 mark, as he got behind the Flames D and deked Miikka Kiprusoff out of his shorts.
The Flames answered back less than three minutes later, and added the go ahead goal about two and a half minutes later. Both goals from the Flames were soft, and an on-his-game Niklas Backstrom would have had them both. When Nick Johnson scored just over a minute later, it was clear this was going to be a long night for the goaltenders. The Flames goal at the 8:45 mark in the first proved it was not to be a long night for Backstrom.
With Josh Harding in net, the Wild's offense disappeared. They reverted to dump and chase hockey, with little chase. The end of the first and all of the second were completely forgettable from both ends of the ice. Two very sloppy games from two teams who looked completely disinterested in playing the game they were in. If Wild fans were hoping for the Wild to answer after regrouping in the intermission, it wasn't going to happen.
The third period would prove to be too much for the Wild as the defensive break downs, sloppy passing and poor decision making with the puck would lead to two more goals for the Flames, and completely kill any chance at a comeback. Not that there was much of a chance of that happening anyway, but you have to think the fans would have enjoyed at tleast seeing their team try a bit. Instead, the final 10 minutes were spent watching a team that had already given up and gone home.
I had planned to give you a friendly chastising for not showing up tonight, but the Wild didn't either, so I really don't have much ground to go on.
Completely forgettable evening. Sad, really. Head to Bennett's have drown your sorrows.
The Bennett's Chop & Railhouse Stars of the Game:
- Mark Gioradano (1G, 3SOG, absolute headache all night)
- Jarome Iginla (1G, +3, 4 SOG)
- Miikka Kiprusoff (Only 19 saves, but give him credit for locking down after a poor start.)
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/.
- Any score settling tonight, or just business as usual? Meh. If the Wild had shown any heart at all, it would have been welcome.
- The Wild made the Flames look silly in the last meeting. Can they do so again? This time, the Wild look truly silly.
- Backstrom is back tonight. Any signs of rust? Big time. Needs to get out of his head.
- How do Falk and Prosser respond from their tough games? Time for Lundin to play. Pick one. Get them off the ice.
- Over under on whiny idiot homer references is set at 15. What you got? Only the one. However, it only took nine minutes for our friends at M&G to jump on the regression bandwagon. Because, as we all know, Niklas Backstrom's mean is 3 goals against in nine minutes.