I was going to start this recap by asking if a Jacques Lemaire coached team scores four goals in a game, can it still be boring. Then, the Wild decided to score a late goal and make it interesting. To cap off the death of my all too stupid joke, Jamie Langenbrunner scored an empty netter to finish off his hat trick.
Forgetting my lame attempt at humor, the game was actually a fairly interesting one. The Wild played a solid game. From what I saw, there were no major, glaring mistakes by the home team. However, they were playing the second best team in the NHL right now, and the best in the Eastern Conference. This is the type of game the Wild had to play against the Devils, and as should be expected, it was not enough.
The Devils are just flat out too good. Sometimes, as painful as it is, you have to admit the other guys are better. And they are. Much, much better.
There really is not a lot to be said about this game. Not very many highlights for the Wild. Jacques Lemaire had his tribute and then reminded the fans in Saint Paul why he will be remembered forever as one of the best coaches in NHL history. As much as he makes me want to hate him, I still have respect for his abilities.
Goals for the Wild come from Belanger, Koivu, and Brunette. Who would have guessed?
One final note... to Wilderness reader darksaga... you are no longer allowed to call a player old if they play the Wild the next day. Sorry. I hate to censor you, but Langenbrunner certainly decided he doesn't like you much. (I kid of course, but man, you called out the wrong guy.)
Hockey Wilderness Three Stars:
1. Jamie Langenbrunner - no brainer. A hat trick earns you top billing.
2. Patrick Elias - 3 assists (Is there anyway to blame Risebrough for Elias not being a member of the Wild? Please?)
3. Can I give it to darksaga? No? OK then, Martin Brodeur - 29 saves, solid in the crease all night (OK, last joke about that, I swear. No hard feelings, I hope. Meant all in fun...)
Questions to answer:
1. Is this Devils team the "What could have been" if Jacques Lemaire would have had a decent general manager in Minnesota? Hard to argue against this. Lemaire was handed a team full of offensive talent, and they have proven to be formidable with the defensive teachings of the NHL's zen master.
2. The Devils are loaded with talent. Do the Wild concentrate on shutting down the likes of , Parise, Langenbrunner, Rolston, Oduya and Andy Greene or will they go for a run and gun approach? Well, let's see. They tried the run and gun, and they tried to shut down the Devils. Neither option worked.
3. Will the Devils Olympians be looking to make a statement? Between Langenbrunner and Elias three goals and three assists. I would say... yes.
4. With one game under his belt, will Petr Sykora see his TOI improve and get into the flow of the offense? 9:07 TOI, lowest on the roster. Zero SOG, and a -1 rating. No to both questions.
5. Mikko Koivu has points in five straight games. Can he make it six? Indeed. Was there ever any doubt?