St. Louis Blues 2-1 Minnesota Wild
For the second consecutive game, the Wild dominated play in the first period only to let a backup goalie and the opposition off the hook, ending the first scoreless. They once again got the first goal of the game, only to give it right back in an emotional let down. Not until late in the third period did they again show signs of life, after being down 2-1 and wasting 5 power play opportunities.
To say the offense is struggling would be putting it lightly. They went almost three whole games without a forward other than Mikko Koivu scoring until Stephane Veilleux opened the scoring in the second period. Of course, for the fourth straight game, the Wild gave that goal back within two minutes. Clearly this is coaching. They need to harp on these guys to keep the energy up after scoring, they're obviously laying back and relaxing after finding the back of the net. In my opinion, every game Marian Gaborik is out and the Wild have trouble scoring, only adds credence to his value to this franchise. He's still the goto guy, and when you only have a couple offensive options, and they're spread across three lines, it's pretty easy to mark them out of the game. That is clearly happening to the Wild right now. It might be time to move Burns back to the blue line and put the AMA line back together against the Caps. At this point, what can it hurt?
Hockey Wilderness Three Stars
- Brad Boyes (2 G)
- Chris Mason (32 shots/31 saves)
- Erik Brewer (1 A and 26:30 TOI)
Questions to Answer
- Anyone other than MIkko Koivu feel like playing offense?? Umm, Stephane Veilleux had a goal on 2 shots. 5 shots for Nolan and Zidlicky, 3 shots a piece for Bergeron, Brunette and Koivu. Johnsson and Burns each had 2. For having 32 shots on goal, they rarely looked like they were buzzing.
- Will Owen Nolan and/or Andrew Brunette come out to play? Well, they had shots, and had a few flashes of competence, but I'm still not impressed with their play.
- Is it time to give Backstrom the night off? He gave up 2, and neither was a "bad" goal. He's now off until Monday against the Caps, so it's time to keep him around.
- Should Burns really stay up front? The defense looked ok again, with He Who Must Not Be Named, Zidlicky, Johnsson and Schultz playing great in their own zone, but the transition game seems to be faltering, and the point play (except on the PP) is lacking. If Lemaire has such little confidence in Gillies and Weller, maybe they shouldn't have been up with the team. There's only one forward out right now, and Burns should be back on the blue-line to get Reitz out of the game. He's useless.
- How on earth will the Blues even field a complete team? With 7 guys out injured, the Blues have been hit by the injury bug worse than anyone in the NHL. The Wild absolutely should not be looking this bad against a mediocre team, especially when they're this depleated.
- The Wild have an NHL-low 28 goals in the 15 games since a 6-2 win over Florida on Oct. 16.
- Backup goalie Chris Mason was 0-5 with a 3.13 goals-against average coming into the night.
- Gaborik missed his 16th straight game with a lower body injury
- Stephane Veilleux opened the scoring in the second period with the first goal by a Wild player other than Mikko Koivu in a span of 170 minutes, 6 seconds of play. That’s nearly three full games.
- The Wild were 11-2-1 in their previous 14 games against the Blues.
- In each of the last four games, the Wild has allowed a goal within two minutes of scoring.
- The Wild has lost back-to-back home games in regulation for the first time since Nov. 21-23, 2007.
What the team is saying
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