Minnesota Wild vs. Phoenix Coyotes: Game Recap

The Wild officially checked out, leaving Mr. Whitney all by his lonesome.

Minnesota Wild 1 - 4 Phoenix Coyotes

For the Desert Dog perspective, strap an ACME Rocket to your back and shoot on over to Five for Howling.

SWEET RELEASE!!!!!! After so much promise to start the season, the Wild proceeded to spiral out of control down the Western Conference standings. With the closure of the 2011-2012 regular season, the Wild have become the first team in a long while to lead the NHL in December to miss the playoffs entirely. So there's always that to hang your hat on...

The 1st was all Phoenix, and I do mean ALL Phoenix. The Wild mustered a whopping 4 shots on net in the 1st period, while the Coyotes cashed in for two goals on 11 shots. The Wild have gotten into a late habit of falling behind and somehow working their way back into games late, so for those of you looking for more wins, do not despair. This is just the recent recipe the Wild have followed for success.

Just like clockwork, the 2nd period started and the fans were treated to a totally different Wild team. The guys in green had the jump, were making the little plays, and using some hard work (Sorry Tom) to inch their way back into game #82. The 4th line for the Wild had a great shift, wearing down the Coyotes, and that work paved the way for a Heatley goal, putting him at 24. The Wild had the momentum and the latest goal, and the spirits rose for everyone watching. It was short lived, though, as the Coyotes needed a whole 31 seconds to get their 2-goal lead back.

A quick Vrbata goal in the 3rd basically put this game out of reach. A 4-1 lead meant both teams were basically on cruise control. It seemed like this one would be an uneventful end until Rostislav Klesla gave Heatley a questionable shot in the back. The hit sparked a very late scrum that saw Koivu and Heatley tangling with Derek Morris and Klesla. Not smart for Klesla to deliver a hit like that with his team on the verge of winning their first Division Title in franchise history.

Anywho, that's a wrap on the 2011-2012 season for the Minnesota Wild. The Coyotes win the Pacific Division and get the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1st round of the the playoffs. The Wild get a head start on their golf game and a full summer to try and figure out how the wheels fell off so fast.

For the fans, another season without playoff hockey leaves an empty and hollow feeling inside. The only thing to look forward to at this point is Free Agency, where Chuck Fletcher will be doing his very best to land Zach Parise, the one man who could truly inject the fanbase with some excitement. Ryan Suter will also be on the radar for fans to track. This could be an offseason full of fireworks, or it could be a quiet summer while the Wild brass continue to wait for the prospects.

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

  1. Taylor Pyatt (2G, +2, 4 shots)
  2. Mike Smith (23 saves, 1A, 5 straight wins)
  3. Michal Rozsival (2A, +3, 25 shifts)

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/.

Five Questions:

  1. The Dive for Top Five ends today. What is the result? The Wild did their part, but not all of the league wanted to cooperate. Wild are in the 7th position.
  2. Can the Wild play spoiler for a second year in a row? Not this time. Phoenix wins their 1st ever Division Title, and that does include their stint as Winnipeg.
  3. How does Genoway look in his first NHL action? Some obvious rookie mistakes in his own zone, but the offensive flair is evident.
  4. Top line has looked good lately. Does that continue? One good shift resulting in a Heatley goal, but most of the hard work was done by the grinders.
  5. Not Nick Schultz has been much improved recently. Does he end strong? Not a bad game by #77.
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