Minnesota Wild 2 - 60000000000000 Montreal Canadiens
For the enemy perspective, please visit Eyes On The Prize.
It's official: My friends are bad luck. The one game the Wild defeated the Habs in the last few years was the one game I didn't watch with my buddies. For some reason, they bring the worse in the Wild against the Habs. Whether it's the 8-1 shellacking they took three years ago, the beautiful Setoguchi flop in the shootout two seasons ago, or the pile of excrement that was tonight's game, my friends have cursed me.
The first period was rather sloppy for both teams. Lots of detached little plays, missed passes and a bit of animosity, notably between Matt Cooke and Francis Bouillon, and then between Matt Cooke and P.K. Subban. The Habs had the better chances however, and the highlights of the period (and the game, for us anyway) was an eyeball-exploding glove save by Josh Harding that would have been a goal if the puck had traveled an extra nanometer towards the net.
The second period was a hot mess. An absoluty putrid twenty minutes of hockey. A struggling Max Pacioretty managed to multiply his goal output by 2.5 times with a natural hat trick in about 8 minutes, chasing Harding out of the game for what I believe to be the first time this season. In fact, the Montreal Canadiens are the only team to score more than two goals against Josh Harding, and they did it twice. Heck, Max Pacioretty has scored more goals on Harding in one game than any other team has. Darcy Kuemper didn't fare much better in relief of Harding, allowing a goal to Michael Bournival for good measure just before the end of the period, because why score 3 when you can score 4, right?.
The third period, well, more of the same. Daniel Briere beat Kuemper to make it 5-0, Nino Niederreiter saved the Wild from being shutout for the first time this season with a nice second-effort goal on his back, Alex Galchenyuk scored a powerplay goal after being snake-bitten for most of the time and Dany Heatley, who chose to score NOW of all times, made it 6-2 with about 1 second to go, which would prove to be an insufficient amount of time to mount a late-game comeback. The Wild did look better in the third period, but that's not saying much. They were still fighting the puck, building absolutely nothing in the offensive zone and wasting pucks by losing battles after dump-ins when they even bothered to battle. So yeah, 6-2 is your final score in what was by far the worst game of the Wild's season.
In short, this game was manure. Terrible passing, erratic positioning on defense, over-passing in the offensive zone, letting the mother flippin' Habs whip their asses AGAIN... How is it that the Canadiens, who have the dubious honor of handing the Wild their worst defeat in history, can seemingly become juggernauts at will against Minnesota? Why them? Why not any other team but them? Why not the Oilers? It would suck, but at least my friends wouldn't have this much ammo against me. They still routinely remind me of that awful game three seasons ago with a simple "8-1". The Wild need to shrug this one off and crawl out of whichever crevasse they managed to stick themselves in. Mike Yeo should be throwing chairs and tables right now.
The 4-game winning streak has been snapped, they've allowed a hat-trick for the first time since April 2011 and their second to the Habs in the last three years, they've suffered their first regulation loss in November and they're back in action tomorrow night against the more-than-beatable Ottawa Senators. That's all I have to say.