Minnesota Wild 8-4 Nashville Predators
Where was this team all season?
3/5 on the power play. 35 shots on goal. Six players with multiple points.
However, there was one turning point. Dan Fritsche has been aggressive and played hard all season, but couldn't buy a break. Tonight he got his break and it fired up the crowd and the team. From that point on, the game was in hand.
Andrew Brunette, Kim Johnsson, Mikko Koivu, Cal Clutterbuck, Marek Zidlicky and Marc-Andre Bergeron also scored for the Wild tonight, which saw its highest offensive output on the last home game of the season, and what might end up being the last meaningful game the Wild play in the 2008-2009 campaign.
The Wild played tough, they played physical, they skated hard and once Fritsche scored they acted like their lives depended upon this game. Where the hell has this been? Tonight's game actually makes me more angry at this season.
If this game, the Calgary game and the Dallas game are the types of games they were capable of playing all season, then why the hell are they this far out? Is it because of one man? Is he all that important? If so, the shame on Doug Risebrough for putting the team in the situation where one player's injury can turn a season into a failure. That's what this year is. It's a failure. Not making the playoffs is a failure. There is no "good effort" there is no "nice try". These are professionals. They get paid to succeed, and if they do not, then it is a failure. This franchise deserves better.
I hope everyone enjoyed watching Marian Gaborik in red at the X for the past few weeks. If Doug Risebrough stays it may be the last time someone of his talent laces them up for the Wild, and this may be the beginning off a nasty downward slide.
Hockey Wilderness Three Stars
- Dan Fritsche (1 G, 1 A)
- Marc-Andre Bergeron (2 G)
- Marian Gaborik (2 A)
Questions to Answer
- Will Gaborik continue his hot play? Two assists, numerous scoring chances, but no goals, to lose his five-game streak.
- Does James Sheppard continue his excellent play? Sheppard had a great game tonight. Drove hard to the net, set up scoring chances and had two assists.
- Can Koivu get the monkey off his back? Finally! Great aggressive play too. Just what we would have liked to see ALL SEASON LONG!
- Will the Wild put the nail in the coffin of the Nashville Predators? Indeed they did. A few times.
- Is tonight the last chance we have to see Marian Gaborik in a Wild sweater? Likely. As @OctaneBoy said on Twitter, "Gaborik was last one off the ice after a slow, deliberate lap around the rink waving at fans. Interpret as you like."
- Niklas Backstrom made his team-record 20th straight start in goal for the Wild.
- Marian Gaborik has eight goals and 15 points in nine games and has scored in five straight since returning.
- Check out the recap by On the Forecheck
- The Wild won their first back to back games since February 21 and 22 against the Blackhawks and Red Wings.
- Dan Fritsche left the rink after taking an elbow to the head by Jordin Tootoo. It was said he had an upper-body injury.