Well, that got interesting at the end. Kinda makes you wonder what would've happened had they not had a couple massive mental mistakes, like a turnover at the blue line and giving up another shorty.
The Wild fought off a horrible second period marked by bad power play chances, poor goaltending, sloppy defensive mistakes and a seemingly apathetic effort by bouncing back in the third with goals from Owen Nolan and Martin Havlat, but it wasn't enough as Matt Hendricks' shorthanded marker in the second period gave the Avalanche a 4-1 lead and it was just too much for the Wild.
This game was going to be a bit of a test for the club. There was enough time since the fire on Friday to get more comfortable with replacement gear, they were back in the friendly confines of the Xcel Energy Center and in front of the Team of 18,000 and were playing a team they had beaten once in regulation in the past 15 games.
Even so, the hole in the second period was too big to overcome, though the Wild gave a valiant effort in the third, outshooting the Avalanche 13-4 and putting together possibly their best period of the season.
Let's hope Backstrom and the defense pick it up against the Oilers on the 23rd.
Please read the game recap over at Mile High Hockey
Hockey Wilderness Three
Questions to Answer
- Will Niklas Backstrom look more confident in game two of "Operation break-in the new gear"? Well, as I learned, it's not new equipment, but he just doesn't look comfortable out there. Maybe Josh Harding needs to come in and give Backstrom a spell.
- How will Owen Nolan look in his first game back with the club? Great to see Nolan get a goal. This team needs to to play well and provide leadership on the ice.
- Can Martin Havlat continue to build his game? Another game, another goal. Havlat's on a roll. Looks like he finally has his feet underneath him.
- Does Jon DiSalvatore get to keep the frequent flier miles he accumulated today since he didn't get to actually play? I'm still not sure he even got on the plane!
- Why do the Wild hate me? I get an HDTV and none of the games have been in HD!!! Seriously, this is uncool. I'm having shoulder surgery tomorrow, and if the rest of the games this week aren't in HD, there's going to be hell to pay!