CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 01: Josh Harding #37 of the Minnesota Wild stops a shot by Andrew Shaw #65 of the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on April 1, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Wild defeated the Blackhawks 5-4 in a shootout. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
For the Hawks perspective, visit Second City Hockey
So the #diveforfive is perilous. After a win in Chicago, the Wild find themselves in draft position #7, which set off a bit of a Twitter battle between the fans who want to see wins and those who want to see a high draft choice. Comments about recruiting free agents by showing heart and dedication versus a rebuilding process with a top pick instead of a mid-rounder as has been the norm in St. Paul. Frankly, neither side is right or wrong.
Yes, we understand that players don't want to tank. They have pride. Folks are paying good money to see teams put forth an effort worthy of their hard-earned dollars. I get that, really I do. But the status quo hasn't worked around here. True rebuilding efforts come through the draft. Chicago and Pittsburgh have gone to the bottom, only to see themselves rise like the phoenix (no, not Phoenix) while the Wild have seen A.J. Thelen, James Sheppard and Colton Gillies. Sure, it's all about getting the right guys, scouting well, etc. But the chances of getting Valterri Filppula, Pavel Datsyuk or Henrik Zetterberg in the late rounds are rare. It's the guys picked at the top of the first round who jump start a franchise. Yes, it'll be nice once Mikael Granlund, Charlie Coyle, Zack Phillips, et al come into the fold, but this team still needs top-flight help in order to move forward.
We've seen enough from the train of guys from Houston to see that they aren't enough to jump start this franchise into a Cup contender.
Oh, there was a game, right:
Wild beat Blackhawks 5-4 in shootout for third win in row - TwinCities.com: The Wild might not be postseason-bound, but they still turned in a playoff-style performance Sunday, April 1. After giving up a tying goal late in regulation, the Wild upended the playoff-bound Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 in a United Center shootout.
First-rate effort from Wild's first line | StarTribune.com: Josh Harding had a horrendous view of the Wild's first line Sunday night. That's because Devin Setoguchi, Mikko Koivu and Dany Heatley barely spent any time in the defensive zone during a 5-4 shootout victory over the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center.
Wild vs. Blackhawks - 04/01/2012 - Minnesota Wild - Recap: Devin Setoguchi and Erik Christensen scored in a shootout to help the Wild beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 on Sunday night for their third straight victory.
The Bennett's Chop & Railhouse of the Game:
- Devin Setoguchi (1 G, 2 A)
- Dany Heatley (1 G, 1 A)
- Mikko Koivu (2 A)
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/.
- The Jason Zucker - Erik Christensen - Nick Johnson line was excellent last night. Will that continue tonight? No.
Will Andrew Brunette show the Wild why he still belongs in the NHL? Scratched.
- How many people will long for Nick Leddy? I saw very little Leddy discussion, which is nice.
- Where are Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi? Yeo called it the best game in a Wild sweater for Setoguchi, and Heatley was in the mix too.
- Do the Wild fall out of the bottom five tonight? And how.