New Jersey Devils 4-0 Minnesota Wild
Once again the Wild proved to everybody that they are offensively inept. Sure, they have playmakers, but the powers that be have decided that one finisher is all they need, and without Gaborik on the ice game in and game out, they are no match for the better teams in the NHL on a regular basis. Sure, they can fight their way to a few wins against the best. They can tighten the D and ride a good performance by Backstrom to a W, but aside from that, they can't do much more. They are at the bottom of the league in goals scored, and once Backstrom is beaten, all bets are off.
The first period was a feeling out process, where neither team had many shots on goal (4 and 6) and fewer scoring chances. However, after Patrik Elias scored at 1:24 into the second frame the Wild turned up the heat, amassing 16 shots but couldn't solve Brodeur, and once Brian Gionta tipped Zach Parise's shot and 1:03 later Johnny Oduya rifled one past Backstrom, his night was over, as was that of the Wild.
Harding came in, gave up one goal in the third amidst a flurry of shots by both teams, but it didn't matter as the game was all but over. It's time to showcase him to move him before the draft. Start him the next four or five games.
Time to head home for Sunday's 2:00 matchup with the Edmonton Oilers.
Hockey Wilderness Three Stars
- Martin Brodeur (35 shots, 35 saves)
- Patrick Elias (2 G)
- Zach Parise (2 A)
Questions to Answer
- Can the Wild get a W against another top-flight team? No.
- Does Brian Rolston get on the scoresheet against his old team? No, they kept him in check.
- Will the US-laden Devils show how good Americans can be? Old, young, American, international. The Devils have it all. WIth Brodeur back in top form, they are going to be the team to watch out of the East.
- Will Brodeur have a let-down after breaking the record? No, if anything he's even better.
- If the Wild play a game without it being on TV, did it really happen? I wish it didn't.
- The Wild went 0/4 on the power play in the second period and 0/7 overall.
- Niklas Backstrom has been pulled four times since signing his big deal.
Brodeur is 9-1 with three shutouts since returning Feb. 26 after missing 50 games following biceps surgery.
The Game In Pictures