The Wild dropped to the St. Louis Blues, their third loss in a row.
For enemy perspective, please visit St. Louis Game Time.
Excuses and blame. There is going to be plenty to go around with the Wild after this one. Ryan Suter's game is softer than a baby's butt, Tom Gilbert still doesn't seem to understand the system, Niklas Backstrom made rookie mistakes, and no one skating on lines two through four seems to know where the net is.
The truth is, it is likely still too early for blame games. The problem with that is? Fans don't care. One guy making $7.5 million a year is tearing it up like he's 23, and the other is choking on a peanut. Suter needs to know that Wild fans want their d-men to one of three things: contribute to the offense, play defense, or hit people. He is currently doing none of those things. Watching it all unfold is painful and difficult to watch, and yet here we are. What do you change?
The Wild were terrible in the first period. Horrid. Disgusting. Go to thesaurus.com and enter "bad." Pick a word. Insert it here. The Wild missed their chances, and the Blues played just well enough to get their legs under them and get rolling. The Wild were lucky to escape the period only down one. Penalty trouble was evident, and it wouldn't get any better.
The second would see the Wild find their game, and then forget it again. Mikko Koivu would remember he can shoot the puck without being penalized, Zach Parise continued his rampage through the NHL, and the Wild looked to be ready to take control of the game. That was, of course, before the Blues woke up from their Wild-like second period nap.
In the third, the Blues put their foot on the Wild's throat, pulled ahead after the Wild bought several all expenses paid trips to the penalty box. A truly magnificent display of athletic ability from Dany Heatley, waiting just long enough to knock the puck out the air for it to be legal, would earn the Wild a point. A point that is debatable on it's merits, but a point that counts none the less.
The Wild would fold like a cheap card table in overtime, which is probably for the best, since the shootout would just have made them more tired, and not been a great time for Backstrom.
The Wild head home now for a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday.
Ryan Suter was on the ice for three of five goals against, and all four of the Wild's.
Three Stars of the Game
1. Zach Parise (2G, 1A)
2. Vladimir Svobotka (1G, GWG)
3. St. Louis Blue Defense (16 Shots against)
- Still waiting for the light switch moment from Ryan Suter. Is that tonight? He showed flashes, but is going to be hearing about this one.
- Zach Parise has points in every game so far. Does that continue? And how.
- Do the tweaks to the lines make a difference? Not really, no.
- Backstrom back in net. Does the team rally around him? Nope. Left him out to dry several times. The inability to clear the front of the net is maddening.
- The Wild need a hero. Who's it going to be? Parise is the only one with the qualifications.