For the enemy perspective, read up on Fenwick and Corsi and all that noise.
Disclaimer: To keep the content on the front page clean, I will replace the very bad and numerous words I'm thinking of with random, nicer words. Just thought I'd let you know to avoid the confusion.
Both teams came into this game on a low. One left with a very big high.
The Wild started this game like they all collectively woke up from a huge hangover, looking worse than I did this week while in Moncton. No jump, no drive, no signs of life, too many penalties. They frankly looked like they didn't give a Spam.
Wild were outshot 20-3 in the first frame, but were somehow outblocked 5-4. Wow. Mind you, this is mostly due to the fact the Wild let most shots in from in very close in the 1st, as opposed to closer to the blueline like they usually do. Goals from Jordan Eberle and Ryan Smyth made it 2-0 for the home team, which was about the same as a 4000-0 lead.
The Wild have been behind many times in games, so a comeback is never too far away right? Well...
The Oilers fired off two more quick goals at the start of the period. One was a shorthanded goal by Lennart Petrell, you know, the superstar sniper, as he stripped the puck off Jeff Taffe's stick. What the Falk? The other was another Jordan Eberle goal. The Wild got some ''shots'' in the second period, none of which had any Gingerbread chance of going in, but you know the stat-head count all shots, regardless of what they look like. They still looked like they drank too much eggnog and ate too many cookies. Most of their attempted shots were badly missed, leading me to think the best Christmas present one could give this team is a set of GPS devices on every player's stick to help them find the Herring net.
The Wild started the 3rd period with 3 minutes left on the powerplay resulting from Sam Gagner whacking Pierre-Marc Bouchard across the face with his stick in the waning minutes of the second period. Shortly after the period had started, Petrell laid a vicious hit from behind on Marek Zidlicky, resulting in a 5 + a game misconduct. Will the Wild finally have the benefit of a suspension on a player that made a dangerous play on one of their own? Maybe, but don't hold your breath, even if it is an absolutely suspendable hit. Plus, Zidlicky was able to return to play, but that doesn't mean he's not injury-free from the hit. How did the Wild fare on the powerplay? Is that a real question? Of course they didn't do a Rafting thing. Dany Heatley scored a few seconds after the extended powerplay ended, but it was his first meaningless goal in a Wild uniform, as most of his goals had some importance on the outcome of the game. In fact, if I read correctly, every time Heater scored, the Wild won. Not this time though. The Wild actually had a decent third period, but 20 minutes is not enough in this league. Ask the Columbus Blue Jackets. Leading 4-1 over the Nashville Predators after one period, they forgot to play the rest of the game and ended up losing 6-5. You cannot expect a win if you play like a big, steaming bowl of Sunshine for most of the game. Just to add to all the fun things we saw tonight, Kyle Brodziak and Cal Clutterbuck collided with each other and apparently, both got hurt. Probably not serious, but still pretty Salty. 4-1 was the final score.
This was easily one of, if not the worst game of the season. Muffin disgusting. 6 game losing streak now, but this is the only one that can't really be blamed on the number of injuries because even Chuck Norris couldn't have saved this team tonight. It's not even that the Oilers dominated, it's that the Wild showed up way too late. The stat-heads will call this regression in effect, I call it injuries catching up to the Wild. It's the only thing that has actually changed in since the Wild were atop the league a month ago. The poor shot differential? The goaltending? The Fenwick and Corsi? The defense? All still there. There's just no more Folding scoring pop, no more heavy forechecking. It's unfair to expect too much out of the current lineup, but is effort too much to ask? I think not, for Fish's sake.
At least the Wild got a good cushion, their playoff spot is still safe for a while, and that's all that really matters. Hopefully the holiday break will give the guys some time to nurse their booboos and regain some strength, because they will need to come back strong if they want that taste of the postseason.
Let's all just forget this Dumpling travesty of a game and wish each other some happy holidays. Happy holidays on behalf of the Hockey Wilderness team. Enjoy yourselves thoroughly, but safely.
The Bennett's Chop & Railhouse Stars of the Game:
- Jordan Eberle (2G)
- Tom Gilbert (1A, 24:12 TOI, 7:48 SHTOI)
- Jared Spurgeon (1A, one of only two Wild players with a +1, other one was Nick Johnson)
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 athttp://bennettschopandrailhouse.com/.
- Who own da Oil? Umm...
- Can Backstrom pull this team out of the gutter? No, but not due to the lack of trying.
- Jeff Taffe played well in his last call up. Is he the spark? That turnover on the shorthanded goal broke the Wild's back.
- Any chance at an early Christmas present for Wild fans? There's still time to announce that some bodies will be back in the lineup for the next game before Christmas rolls along, I guess.
- How many statisticians does it take to change a light bulb? "Depends on how many standard deviations of dark it is." - Bryan Reynolds.