Minnesota Wild 3-2 Anaheim Ducks
The Wild now find themselves one point out of 7th place in the West after defeating the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 Sunday night on the back of Stephane Veilleux's first two-goal game since February 14, 2008 against Vancouver. Niklas Backstrom made a nice rebound after looking less than mediocre since signing his big new contract.
It's always nice beating Anaheim, but when the Wild have looked so bad on this road trip, it's a huge win, especially when Stephane Veilleux is the go-to guy!
The Wild did a great job in transition, but gave up way too many shots and WAY too many quality chances. The Ducks were owning the low slot, running into and over Backstrom all night long, without punishment by the refs or by the Wild defensive corps. If I'm Nik, I'm throwing a fit in the room.
The issue came to a head at the end of the game when the Ducks were allowed to take poke after poke at Backstrom when he had the puck covered before Scott Niedermayer finally buried it. Something has to be done to get the defensemen to pull their heads out and clear the crease.
Here's hoping San Jose doesn't look for retribution on Tuesday.
Hockey Wilderness Three Stars
Stephane Veilleux (2 G)
- Andrew Brunette (1 G)
- Niklas Backstrom (38 shots, 36 saves)
Questions to Answer
- Can the Wild show some kind of consistency? Clearly not. But, this game was similar to the second and third periods against San Jose.
- What the hell happened to Niklas Backstrom? He rebounded nicely tonight, but that late goal was a joke. Not his fault. The defense needs to clean the crease. The Ducks were all over Backstrom all night long.
- Can the Wild stop Corey Perry? They changed the goal from Perry to Niedermayer, so Perry only has an assist.
- Who do we hate now that Moen, Pahlsson, Kunitz, Bertuzzi and May are no longer Ducks? Is it Pronger and only Pronger? It's certainly Pronger, but I think it's only Pronger.
- Is the window closed for the Ducks? Is it time for Pronger, Selanne and the Niedermayers to move on? The window is closed. This team is too old and needs to rebuild. Though, at least they reached the promised land.
The Game In Pictures