Tonight's game was like a bout of food poisoning that just wouldn't go away no matter what you did. There was a lot of bad, and not really much good in the 5-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Lets get the good out of the way first. Mikael Granlund, Jason Pominville and Nino Niederreiter had a fantastic game. Granlund and Pomiville have amazing chemistry and should never playing apart again. Knightrider have a few beautiful shots that could have easily gone in with minor adjustments.
That pretty much ends the good stuff for the Wild this game. Although the road whites looked pretty awesome in person too I guess.
Mathew Dumba had his worst game yet. He was on the ice for 4 of the 5 Chicago goals, and knocked Backstrom down and out of position on one of the goals.
I still don't think that Dumba goes back to Red Deer, for a number of reasons. One, I don't think that the Wild trust any of the defenders in IA to be helpful up here. Two, there isn't anything he can learn in Red Deer anymore. The quality of competition is well below Dumba's playing level, and honestly that is most likely going to lead to him pick up bad habits because he can get away with it.
Best case scenario would be that he could spend a season in IA. But since that can't happen, I think he stays here. We'll see what Yeo has to say later tonight. Tonight's game was the last game Dumba could play before his ELC is in effect.
The defense this game was horrible, and the blue line is clearly missing Jonas Brodin and Keith Ballard. There were Hawks players in the paint nearly every time that they were in the Wild's zone, and the physicality of clearing the crease just wasn't happening tonight for some reason.
Brandon Saad scored 2 goals, but this game was pretty much lost before the first period was over. You could see the writing on the wall from the beginning. The Wild have 3 days of practice before facing the Montreal Canadiens Friday night.