Minnesota Wild 4-0 St. Louis Blues
The Wild absolutely needed a game like this. They needed to come out, dominate another team, get their defensive game back on track, check tightly, break up passes, forecheck with authority, use counter-attacks and use their fantastic special teams (Wild power play (27.1%) and penalty kill (89.1%) are both 2nd in the NHL) to get ahead, get the win and get the team back on track.
Tonight's game was never in doubt. The ice was tilted toward the Blues all night long. Everyone did their job and Lemaire should be very happy. I have nothing else to say.
Hockey Wilderness Three Stars
- Marek Zidlicky (1 G, 1 A)
- Marc-Andre Bergeron (2 A)
- Niklas Backstrom (22 shots/22 saves)
Questions to Answer
- Can Nolan and Koivu keep their streaks in tact? Koivu yes, Nolan tried his best, but couldn't get one home.
- Will the Wild get back to playing a strong forechecking, backchecking and defensive game? Absofreakinglutely. This was Wild hockey, beginning to end. Very impressive tonight.
- Can Backstrom shake off whatever has been affecting him in his last six starts? He was in position, made the two outstanding saves he needed to make and the ones that he made look easy.
- Will being scratched twice get Clutterbuck in the mood to provide energy? Cal made the most of his 9:16 tonight, played with energy, but didn't get any chances in the zone with the puck.
- Can tonight be the night that Boogaard's strong play in the offensive zone pays off? Unfortunately not. Boogaard only had 3:25 tonight, but did force a couple turnovers, he and Clutterbuck did a great job of doing their jobs tonight. Pouliot was on the ice for 11:58, and looked really good out there. These three guys work really hard, and it provides a boost for the other guys.
- Erik Belanger's goal was his 100th career goal
- Andrew Brunette's goal was the 200th of his career
- Mikko Koivu has 10 points (4-6=10) during his current six-game point streak.
- St. Louis was shut out for the third time this season. The Blues have lost three of their last four games.
- Minnesota's 37 shots were a season high.
- The Wild have 10 power-play goals in their last three games.
The Game In Pictures
Jacques Lemaire Press Conference