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Minnesota Wild vs. Buffalo Sabres: The Morning After

Ick. Gross. Nasty. Last night's loss left a horrible taste in my mouth, and it was the flavor of Buffaslug and bile.


This goal was the tying goal, 46 seconds following the one that made is 3-2. At this point, I think I threw a napkin at the TV and shouted an expletive toward one Brent Burns. After all, he was in the middle of everything last night.

The Wild appeared to be on cruise control as the game entered the final minutes with the home club enjoying a 3-1 lead. After Brent Burns was able to force Sabres netminder Ryan Miller into shoving a clearing attempt into his own net four minutes into the third period, a 5-0-0 record seemed like a foregone conclusion for Minnesota and its sellout crowd of 18,568.

Luckily Burns understands my frustration and doesn't hide from his faults.

"Problem was I assisted on a couple of theirs, too," Burns said. "[Sekera's] pass went off my stick right to Vanek, and he's one of the best goal scorers in the league, so he's not going to miss," Burns said. "I shouldn't have ran around the net," Burns said. "That's what happens when you get a little excited."

Now, does this mean it's Burns' fault the Wild lost? Of course not, but he certainly didn't help things last night, fluky though those plays may have been. Oh, and Miettinen was terrible also. -3 and lost all night long. Koivu, Boogaard, Clutterbuck and Pouliot impressed last night, but they're about it. Not a good game. Things haven't seemed to improved much since Tampa. But Pouliot looks like he's learning to move on, and I have to agree with him.

"We got a bad break, and it just trickled in pretty much. I mean we have to come back on Saturday for a big win." -- Benoit Pouliot regarding Buffalo’s winning goal in overtime

What I don't understand is this:

The Wild missed a chance to move to 5-0-0, but they did get a point, and Lemaire is happy that his team is where it is despite a slew of early season injuries.

"Oh yes, definitely," he said when asked if he was happy with his team’s record. "I really like the way we played. It’s very positive. I liked pretty much every player tonight."

WHAT? You liked all the players? And they collapsed with 5 left? Seriously? I guess that's why I'm a fan and you're making the big bucks, huh?

Okay, let's Answer the Questions:

  1. Will Thomas Vanek stay on his hot streak? Yes.
  2. Can Backstrom survive the Buffalo onslaught? No. He was not sharp.
  3. When will this team finally get healthy? Well, no further injuries last night, so that's a positive.
  4. Will tonight be the night the PK finally gives one up? Nope, but the even strength defense wasn't good.
  5. Can the PP bounce back? 1/3. We'll take that.
  6. Will Jacques have a heart attack while yelling at the kids? No, but he should have had one yelling at Antti and Burns.

What did the press have to say?


So you want to be a sportswriter? For those Eagan High journalism students who emailed and called me this week for your papers, one of your questions was how I handle stressful deadlines. The answer of course is cool, calm and collected.

Exhibit A was tonight. Talk about rewriting a story on deadline. A winning game story turned into a losing game story in about eight minutes of real time tonight. And I think I only let one expletive fly — a Russo record.

From The Buffalo News

During a game full of offensive displays, it was the Sabres' defensemen who shined brightest when it mattered. Nathan Paetsch, Andrej Sekera and Henrik Tallinder set up the final three goals in a span of 4:44 as coach Lindy Ruff called on his blue-liners to take chances with a loss looking inevitable.

"Tonight was looking a little bit dim there for a while," Ruff said, "but when you start gambling and start pinching, you're going to give up opportunities but you're going to create some. Our defense did a good job."

Click to continue to the game in pictures and video highlights.


Pouliot scores on Boogaard's rebound


Fantastic save by Miller


Schultz was in Vanek's pocket much of the night


But in the end, it didn't matter



Jacques Presser

Game Highlights