The first period was pretty horrific. The Wild looked like they were gassed, playing against a very fresh and ready to go team in the Stars. Passes weren't crisp, there was no speed, and to say that communication was no-existent is being polite. Ray Whitney was left wide open and made an extremely easy goal. That was followed shortly by Thomas Vincour. Devin Setoguchi managed to score a goal to keep the game from getting too out of control.
The second period started off somewhat better. Brodin had some excellent puck protection and evaded three guys to keep the puck in the zone. Towards the end of the period the Wild woke up and came back with vengeance. The last seven minutes were mostly played in the Dallas zone, but when play came back to the defensive zone Matt Hackett stood tall and made some spectacular saves when the team couldn't clear the puck. Jared Spurgeon got a sweet PPG that was a complete team effort from Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, Mikko Koivu and Kyle Brodziak.
Erik Cole scored to start off the 3rd period, while the Wild were standing around looking for the puck. For some reason, both Koivu and Suter got penalties at the same time, setting up a 5-on-3 penalty kill that turned into Jamie Benn goal. The refs in this game seemed to really have something against the Wild, there were a ton of calls that were extremely questionable. A bad slashing call on Parise led to the Stars 5th goal. Mike Rupp and Zenon Konopka tag teamed Reilly Smith and tried to drive him into the bench, which led to a 5 on 5 fight in front of the Wild bench. Jaromir Jagr took a few punches at Rupp, which was probably the dumbest thing I've ever seen. The bad blood continued thorugh the rest of the game, with cheap shots from both sides and penalties every few seconds. There were 50 minutes of penalties given out in the last half of the 3rd period. Torrey Mitchell scored off of a pass from Dany Heatley and Cal Clutterbuck with a minute left in the game, but it was too little too late.
The Wild are at it again tomorrow, and if they are the team that has been playing so well the last month, this game will get put behind them and tomorrow will be a new chance at a new streak.
1.)The Wild had a huge win in Dallas on Monday (SEVEN GOALS!!!). Can the Wild do it again tonight? Not even close.
2.) The blue line has taken some heat the last few games. DO they tighten up and protect Hackett tonight? There are exactly two people on the blue line that deserve to keep their jobs after this game. Scoring a goal doesn't matter if your job is to keep the puck away from the Wild goalie and out of the net. Scoring is secondary for a defender.
3.) Matt Hackett starts in goal for his first Wild game of the season. Disaster or phenomenal? A disaster that is not his fault
4.) Do the forward lines still look great? First and second lines looked pretty good. 3rd and 4th lines were alright.
5.) Letang is back on IR. Does Suter pass him in points tonight? No points in 2 consecutive games against Dallas for Suter. Not going to pass Letang that way. Luckily the Wild don't play them anymore in this years regular season