Minnesota Wild vs. Winnipeg Jets: Game Recap

Minnesota Wild 3 - 4 Winnipeg Jets (SO)

For the enemy perspective, go see Arctic Ice Hockey

Let it be known right now that I don't like the Jets or their fans. At all. Now that that's out of the way, let's get started.

The game started with an oopsie as Mikko Koivu was penalized on the very first shift, but a very nice penalty kill seemed to give some early momentum to the home team which, contrary to what it may have looked like in the arena, was the Wild. A few back and forth shifts later, Alex Burmistrov blows a tire, which sent the Wild on a 3-on-1, Koivu beat the defender and made a beautiful pass to suddenly-hot Devin Setoguchi for the easy tap-in. The rest of the period was decent, a few scrums between two teams still learning to hate each other, but nothing major. Blake Wheeler, almost two minutes into a shift, completely flew past his defender at one point, went around the net and one-upped Koivu's beauty of a pass with one of his own, which Evander Kane finished with a tap-in as well. End of period, backdoor goals. Gotta love 'em, right? At least the Wild dominated on faceoffs...so they have that going for them. 1-1 after 20.

The second period started quite woefully. Early on, the action was in the Wild's end of the ice and Kane put a dagger into Niklas Backstrom's heart as he left his net to poke the puck, but misjudged Kane's speed, who simply poked it into a gaping net. A rare unforced error for Backstrom. That's not the way to start a period. After a full 10 minutes of total domination by the Jets, the Wild had their fun. Devin Setoguchi scored his second of the night on a powerplay drawn by Matt Kassian, who got whacked in the face by the stick by Tim Stapleton. Just a horrible decision on Stapleton's part, he tried to sneak that slash in without the refs seeing. Despite dominating cleanly for the last 7 minutes of the period, the Wild only mustered 3 shots to bring the two-period total to 9 for the second consecutive game. Weird.

The third period started with a bang as Mikko Koivu buried his own rebound after receiving a beautiful feed from Jared Spurgeon. Devin Setoguchi also picked up an assist to make it a 3-point night. 2 minutes later, however, Dustin Byfuglien shoots it at the boards, the puck comes back in front of the net, Nick Schultz swings and misses, Burmistrov picks it up and scores, fixing his first period gaffe and it was tied at three. The Wild became a team possessed after that. Darroll Powe and Tanner Glass mixing it up must've helped. The Wild were truly flying, directing 14 shots at Chris Mason, who absolutely saved this game for the Jets. Seriously, Mason stopped some ridiculous, golden opportunities against the Wild. The Jets had no business being in this game. Matt Cullen showed some snake-bite, Nick Johnson almost tipped in a beauty, lots of great shots caused by the players actually SHOOTING THE PUCK... Really, the Jets should not have survived long enough to make to the Overtime.

The OT was pretty much all Wild once again, except for one dangerous rush that was stopped by Backstrom. The shootout was needed, and in yet another display of the shootout's stupidity, the lesser team won. First off, Cullen shot the puck directly on Mason, then Blake Wheeler barely beat Backstrom, who almost got his skate on the puck. Mikko Koivu tried his patented move, but Mason saw it coming and made a pretty save. Backstrom poke-checked the puck away from Kyle Wellwood and Erik Christensen showed why he was acquired by saving the Wild's bacon in the third round with a strong wrist shot. Backstrom made the save against Bryan Little, giving Dany Heatley a chance to put the pressure on the Jets, but what he did with that chance was deplorable. Heater skated towards Mason at a snail's pace and shot the puck directly onto the pad of Mason, who did not even need to move. Evander Kane sealed the game with his first career shootout goal, Jets steal the extra point from the Wild.

You can't say the Wild didn't try this time. They deserved the win, but an unforced error by Backstrom, a swing-and-a-miss by Schultz and some very poor shootout attempts will end up haunting the Wild. The Jets got lucky, pure and simple. No one can convince me they weren't. At least we saw flashes of the Wild of November, so if they can build off this game instead of dwell on it wistfully, the Wild can be reborn. For now though, they're 0-4-2 in their last 6. Time's running out.

Quick facts:

Via Russo: ''In 3 of 4 games in homestand, Wild's given up goal w 42 secs, 56 secs and now 1:13 left in 1st''. Bad.

After we all hated on Setoguchi, he went on to score 4 goals and two assists since Koivu's return 4 games ago. Kaptain has 4 points in the same stretch.

Tonight was the second consecutive game in which the Wild had only 9 shots after two periods.

The Wild, when scoring 0 goals, are 0-2-0, they're 3-11-2 when scoring 1 goal, 5-9-4 when scoring 2 goals and 17-1-3 when scoring 3 or more.

The Wild's first line have accounted for EVERY SINGLE WILD GOAL in the last 4 games. Wake the hell up, everybody else.

Erik Christensen is now tied for 8th all-time in shootout goals with 25.

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The Bennett's Chop & Railhouse Stars of the Game:

  1. Evander Kane (2G, 1A, Game-winner on the shootout, 7 SOG)
  2. Devin Setoguchi (2G, 1A, played like he cared.)
  3. Mikko Koivu (G, A, all-around beast.)

Honorable mention: Chris Mason (Allowed 3 goals, but saved the game for the Jets.)

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/.

Five Questions:

  1. With Zidlicky out, does Lundin get a shot to prove his worth? Didn't notice him much, but for a player like Lundin, that's a good thing.
  2. The Wild have lost to the best, and the worst. Can they avoid losing to the mediocre? They should've, but didn't. Story of the season, really.
  3. Can the Wild score more than one goal? What's that weird number next to MIN on the scoreboard?
  4. Is this the game someone steps up for the Wild? Setoguchi. Blazing hot right now.
  5. What happens when two teams no one cares about play a game? It turns out being pretty exciting.
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