Ugly, ugly, ugly. This whole game was even worse than the last 5 minutes against Buffalo. They came out flat, gave up a goal 13 seconds in (faster than any other game in franchise history), came back a bit on the Bergeron goal, but soon vanished in a flurry of poor play in the defensive zone. Call me crazy, but I think that Jacques will be most unhappy tonight. The team needs to watch the game on the flight back tonight in order to see what not to do against a MUCH better team in the Canadiens tomorrow night. Play like that against Montreal, and they will roll you out of the arena.
That pretty much sums it up folks. The Wild were bent over all night and the Stars took it to them. Utter disappointment. Well, let's get to it.
Questions to Answer
- Can we relax while watching the third? Yes, but for an entirely different reason.
- Will AMA run wild over the weak Dallas D? Nope. Roles entirely reversed tonight. AMA was stifled aside from a few shifts, though they did make it count on the PP.
- Will tonight be the night the PK finally gives one up? Yes. Crap.
- Will Mike Modano continue to play like an all-star? Yeah, he was excellent tonight. Exactly what you want from an aging superstar.
- Does Norm Green still suck? Always and forever. Norm.Green.Sucks.
Hockey Wilderness Three Stars
- Brad Richards (1 goal, 1 assist, +2)
- Sean Avery (2 assists, +2)
- Josh Harding (20 shots, 19 saves)
- Minnesota RW Marian Gaborik missed his sixth straight game with an unspecified lower body injury
- Minnesota RW Antti Miettinen, who signed with the Wild as a free agent after playing in Dallas last season, had an assist in his first game against his former team.
- Dallas goalie Tobias Stephan made 19 saves to earn his first NHL win.
- The Wild went 2-for-4 on the power play, maintaining their solid PP numbers.
What the team is saying
“They’re one of the hardest teams to check down low. They’re always moving,” center Eric Belanger said of the Stars. “I don’t know if the corners are a little wider or what, but there’s something here that makes it tougher.”
"A lot of the guys on our team that have been here for a while, we should know that we've got to be ready against them," defenseman Nick Schultz said. "They always come like that against us at home, and we haven't had great success here. We need to change that and put it behind us, but it definitely didn't happen tonight."
"We gave them two gifts right from the start," coach Jacques Lemaire said. "We started to play a little tighter, frustrated. When you play frustrated, the puck bounces."
"We chased the whole game," defenseman Kim Johnsson said. "They're very good with the small plays, especially from the corners to the high slot. They do that a lot, and we have to do a better job recognizing that."
"Nobody said we were going to win 82 games," Belanger said. "We just have to learn from it and move on. We've got a good team coming into our building [tonight], and we have to make sure we don't make the same mistakes."
What others are saying
The Wild (6-1-1) was so overmatched, every Stars shot seemed to be a scoring chance, which is not surprising actually.
“I think it’s more of a coincidence, but I get a little extra jump in my step when we play them. It feels a little better when we win, too" said Virginia native Matt Niskanen on playing his hometown squad.
"The guys played great and made it quite easy for me," said rookie goaltender Tobias Stephan, who faced only 21 shots.
The game in pictures