Minnesota Wild 0-4 Chicago Blackhawks
Well, tonight's performance by the Wild looked like a team packing it in at the end of a long, frustrating season. There wasn't a lot of spark in the guys tonight. Niklas Backstrom wasn't given a huge amount of support, the offense was non-existent (six shots on goal in the first two periods until the 1:30 2-man advantage), Andrew Brunette was a -3, the power play was anemic, even with a 1:30 5 on 3. I could go on, but I don't feel like beating a dead horse.
In fact, as Buddha told me over Twitter while I was complaining about having the energy to write this recap, considering the amount of energy the Wild displayed:
That should be the game recap. "In honor of the solid effort the Wild gave tonight, I offer this recap: "A hockey game was played in Saint Paul."
While I am not going overboard by saying it was a disappointing evening, I'm not ready to shortchange you wonderful readers, so ...
The bright spots tonight:
- Brent Burns had 26:04 TOI, 4 SOG and was even on the +/- (though he should've been running the 5 on 3)
- Guillaume Latendresse and Kyle Brodziak were also even on the night in 17:10 and 18:51 TOI respectively
- The Wild did get four shots on goal during their 90 second two-man advantage
- They broke Patrick Sharp's five game scoring streak
- Nobody got hurt
- I got a haircut
Aside from that, I really don't know what else positive can be taken away from tonight, so I leave you with Todd Richards:
"It is a refusal to shoot the puck, we talk about that every meeting. We talk about it in between periods. You have to give some credit to the defending team. Some teams do a great job of denying certain shots but there are opportunities where we're just refusing to shoot."
At least he sees it. This team just passes and passes and passes. They aren't good enough to make the pretty play. They don't have the snipers for it. They need to play ugly, put the puck on net and crash for the rebounds. Unfortunately it's way too late for this season, but lets hope Fletcher and Richards get the guys they need to either make the pretty play or crash the net. Right now they're still mired in-between.
Hockey Wilderness Threeof the Game:
- Tomas Kopecky (2 G)
- Antti Niemi (21 saves)
- Ben Eager (1 G, 2 A)
Five Questions to Answer:
- Will the Wild look to play spoiler, or just stay healthy? Umm, frankly, I'm not sure what tonight was.
- Can Owen Nolan keep his scoring streak alive and overtake Peter Forsberg in all-time scoring tonight? Afraid not. Maybe against his old team when the Wild play the Sharks on Friday.
- Will the slumping Blackhawks get hot against the Wild? Yes they did.
- He's been a killer against Minnesota all season. Can the Wild stop Marian Hossa tonight? Another game against the Wild, another point for Hossa.
- Will the crowd be into the game tonight, considering the season is all but done? Well, it was announced at 18,933 and the Blackhawks fans certainly were vocal.