Calgary Flames 2-1 Minnesota Wild
Scoreless after the first again, for the 11th straight game.The Wild had a decent first 10 minutes, but then were so out played in the next 10 that the shots went from 7-3 Wild to 14-8 Flames by the first intermission. The second and third periods were even in shots 7-6 and 9-9, as well as 1-1 on the scoresheet (thanks to Stephane Veilleux's pretty rebound in the waning seconds of the second), but in the end, that first period was the difference in the game. Yes, Eric Nystrom took a puck off a bad bounce over Brent Burns' stick and went in shorthanded to score the game winner in the third, but had the Wild showed up for the last half of the first period, it wouldn't have mattered.
Something has to be done. This team is 3-9-1 in December. It's at the point where the Wild are so bad right now that people are telling me to promote a "Stop the Streak" campaign to end the consecutive sellout streak at the X. I mean, seriously, a team can't fill a roster on a 1-game road trip because the captain has to go home to attend to family matters? This team really only sent 6 defensemen on a 1-game road trip? What the hell are they thinking? Was this a Craig Leipold enacted travel ban? I notice that wild.com doesn't have a recap posted either, just the game summary put out by the NHL. What the hell is going on inside the X?
Now, I have no idea what's brewing on the trade front, nor have they released any information on why Gaborik hasn't played in the last two games, other than the glass groin (and it might be true, check out my recap from the Hurricanes game where I pointed out his hesitation to drive with the puck) but it reeks of something brewing. Maybe the Gaborik/Johnsson for Kovalchuk/Armstrong has some legs, but even so, you can't just give these games away. The Northwest Division is way too close for that. One point is all it takes to go from a 3-seed to an 6, 7 or 8-seed.
Anyway, I'm not happy, nor is the Team of 18,000. And frankly, we shouldn't be. This is not a small market team. This is not a team that can afford to miss the playoffs. We're getting restless here Doug, Jacques and Craig. Do something. Say something. We're waiting!
Hockey Wilderness Three Stars
- Miikka Kiprusoff (24 shots, 23 saves)
- Josh Harding (29 shots, 27 saves)
Stephane Veilleux (1 G)
Questions to Answer
- Will the defense be run ragged tonight with only 5 guys? Defensemen TOI: B. Burns 29:11, E. Reitz 8:36, N. Schultz 25:40, M. Skoula 26:15, M. Zidlicky 24:28. With Reitz only getting 8:36, it's no wonder things got a little sloppy as the rest of the 4 d-men went well over their typical TOI.
- Can they bounce back from a horrible performance against Chicago? Defensively? Yes. Offensively? They simply have no finishers. Yeah, Kipper looked good, but too often they misplayed the puck in the offensive zone on scoring chances which led to the measly 1 goal.
- Is this team in disarray? DR seems to think not, but many in the team of 18,000 disagree. I don't see how you can't call this a team in disarray. 11 straight games where they give up the first goal. The lowest goal total in the Western Conference. 3-9-1 in December. The inability to perform doesn't stop on the ice though, how many teams fail to field a full roster without suffering an injury on the ice? Seriously?
- The Wild shut down Iginla last time, will he rebound? He had a couple decent chances, but once again it was Bertuzzi and Langkow, not Iginla, who did in the Wild.
- Over/Under on Burns' TOI - 29:36. Man, I'm good. It went under, but only by 25 seconds.
- The Flames are 5-0-3 in their last eight.
- Marian Gaborik missed his 29th game.
- Stephane Veilleux has a three-game point streak.