For San Jose perspective, please visit Fear the Fin
The first period of this game is not one the Wild are going to want to remember. Pick your theme. Benny Hill or Three Stooges, it was all of that and more. Two goals by the Sharks, one just seconds into the game, the other as Dan Boyle blew past Ryan Suter as though Suter was the love child of Filip Kuba and Martin Skoula. Clayton Stoner looked lost, took bad penalties, and his night was just beginning.
Suter and Jonas Brodin ran into each other behind the Wild net, giving the Sharks another chance, several trun overs led to more chances for the Sharks, and the Wild were lucky to escape only down two.
As would make sense, the second period did not start much better. Sharks were still dominating the game, but Charlie Coyle would be put back on the top line, and would score to pull within one. Just 25 seconds later, Dany Heatley would tie the game on a basic shot from the top of the circles through a screen.
Amazing what can happen when you shoot the puck.
Of course, the Wild would go right back into being the Wild, as at least four Wild players would try to clear the puck, yet somehow Jared Spurgeon would pass the puck directly to the Sharks, and once again Stoner would be criminally out of position, just a shift or two after falling down untouched.
Torrey Mitchell also took it upon himself to run into Boyle's elbow as Boyle was facing the other way. Note to Mitchell: It's about as effective as the old head butt to the fist. Don't do that.
Nothing good would come from the third period, as the Wild did stop playing like complete garbage for the first seven minutes or so, only to once again allow the game they were playing to come flying back out. After Cal Clutterbuck took a hooking call, Patrick Marleau got into it with Justin Falk, had a delayed penalty coming against him that would have negated the power play, and Falk decided to take it further. Falk would get the minor, Sharks would keep the power play and score again.
The only thing missing was a Stoner gaffe to top it all off.
The Wild truly did not deserve this game, and played like a team that didn't just get a huge vote of confidence from their GM. You have to think Chuck Fletcher might be having some buyer's remorse after watching this performance.
Three Stars of the Game
3. Poor hockey
1.) Does the new look of the team energize the wild to victory tonight? Good one.
2.) Does Backstrom have a good game or a....meh game ? Tough to tell. If his defense decided to play for a minute or two, we could maybe get a better look.
3.) The lines are all messed up tonight (as opposed to the regular chemistry lines. Does it work? Not even a little.
4.) Who gets to be the hero tonight? Let's go with... Chuck Fletcher.
5.) Who's excited to read about my interview with Kuemper tomorrow?! Sorry... who?