Get the enemy perspective at St. Louis Game Time.
Coming off a emotional and complete beat down of arch rival Vancouver, the Wild played what could only be described as a yawn-fest in Saint Louis.
After one, the Wild were being out shot 18-4. After two, that number became 28-9. The final number being 37-19. The only good news in these stats is that with Josh Harding getting the start, it improved his GAA and Save % and showcased him a bit to what we all hope is an eventual trade partner.
It was not only a let down on the scoreboard, but also in physical play. After a 66 PIM game last night, the Wild and Blues mustered just 6 PIMs through the second period. During the second intermission, FSN reported that the Wild (specifically Derek Boogaard) got riled up about increasing the level of physical play, and how they needed to support Josh Harding more.
26 seconds into the period, Warroad's TJ Oshie put a nice wrist shot off Kim Johnsson's stick and in under the cross bar to make it 1-0 Blues.
Around the twelve minute mark, Oshie put a slew foot on Andrew Ebbett, and took Ebbett extremely hard into the boards. Ebbett left the game with an "upper body injury," looking like a head or neck injury. In the ensuing scrum, Boogaard threw a gloved handed punch into David Backes' face, earning him a two minute roughing and James Sheppard was assessed a 10 minute misconduct penalty.Oshie was assessed only a two minute minor for tripping.
During the 4-on-4, Lats made a solid wrap around attempt, with a rebound kicking out to Eric Belanger, but Chris Mason came up with a huge save to retain the 1-0 lead. The Wild would continue to put pressure on after that, but Mason continued to come up with big saves. Chance after chance, and the Wild just could not convert.
At the 1:40, the Wild had a goal waived off as the net came off the moorings just before Kyle Bordziak buried a shot high. This sequence of events would perfectly sum up the entire night for the Wild. Always right there, but just a millimeter away from finishing.
Harding was pulled with just over a minute remaining and the Wild had several chances to bury a tying goal late. The puck scooted through the crease at least three times, bouncing pucks jumped Wild players' sticks, and centering passes went to empty ice.
In the end, the Wild showed up for twenty minutes, and again, it proved to not be enough.
Hockey Wilderness Three Stars:
1. Chris Mason (SO, 19 saves)
2. Josh Harding ( 1GA, 36 saves)
3.TJ Oshie (Hard to give it to the guy with the dirty slew foot, but hey, GWG in a 1-0 game)
Five Questions to Answer:
1. Can the Wild extend the winning streak to 5? Not this time, folks.
2. Will we see the Josh Harding from the Chicago game? Harding was stellar. It was the team in front of him that couldn't get it done tonight.
3. Do we see a let-down from the emotional high in the win over Vancouver? Major let down. In every aspect of the game.
4. The Blues seem to finally be entirely healthy. How will having Tkachuk, MacDonald and Kariya all in the lineup (supposedly) affect the team? Will they get an emotional lift? They looked almost as flat as the Wild, but they had just enough more.
5. Any chance John Scott can turn someone else into Bambi? Again, not tonight. No real chances to give someone a workout.