Minnesota Wild 2 - 4 Colorado Avalanche
For Colorado perspective, please visit Mile High Hockey.
The story of this game will, once again, not be the game. Unfortunately, the Department of Player "Safety" has failed to act in the best interests of the safety of the players and created yet another environment where a player was shoved face first in to the boards from behind. You can find the video in the story previous to this one. Go check it out and tell us what reason Brendan Shanahan will give for not issuing a suspension.
In the game preview, we predicted a slow first period. Boy, were we wrong. The game was up and down, fast paced, and both sides got some good chances. The major penalty against Cody McCleod on Jared Spurgeon led to a power play goal for the Wild, and a 1-0 lead after one.
In the second period, the penalties kept flying, with each team marching to the penalty box. Not sure how the stat folks are going to get any usable information out of this. You know, since only the game played at even strength and tied matters. Both teams found the back of the net, with some pretty goals, too. The Avs scored on the power play while the Wild defenders watched the puck rather than tracking their guys and Ryan O`Reilly had the easiest goal of his career.
The Wild would pull back ahead on a viscous slapper from Cal Clutterbuck just feet from the net on a beautiful pass from Mikko Koivu. That warm fuzzy feeling wouldn't last long, though as Mike Lundin would cough up the puck to Gabriel Landeskog just a foot from the net, giving Niklas Backstrom zero chance to recover in time.
The third period was a picture book of everything the Wild have done wrong this season, amplified and played on repeat for 20 minutes. Too many penalties, too much standing around and watching, too much quit. The Jan Hejda goal was pure "I don't give a damn" from everyone on the ice in a red sweater. A tie game, less than half a period to play, and five guys just standing around watching. The goal from Galiardi wasn't much better. Two defenders standing smack in front of Backstrom, giving him zero chance to see the puck.
We would bring up that Jared Spurgeon being healthy and on the ice likely would have helped the situation, but bringing up injuries as a reason for things happening on the ice seems to be taboo to our regressionist friends, so we'll just pretend the Wild only iced five defensemen. The injury certainly cannot be an excuse. The team laid an egg after going down 3-2. Whatever stat it is that measures the quitting of a team was off the charts tonight.
Let the idiotic comments about regression continue.
The Bennett's Chop & Railhouse Stars of the Game:
- Ryan O`Reilly (1G, 1A, 4SOG)
- T.J. Galiardy (1G, 1A)
- Dany Heatley (2A)
Remember, when you begin and end your night at Bennett's, you're the star! Easy parking, drink and food specials and a free shuttle to and from the Xcel Energy Center. Check them out at http://bennettschopandrailhouse.com/.
- Is Koivu the spark the Wild needed? Koivu played well. The rest of the guys... not at all.
- Can the slide stop at six? Nope. Seven and counting.
- Does Gillies respond to his benching? Invisible tonight.
- Will the third line bring the heat? Unimpressive. So... no?
- How does Palmer look on a skilled line? He looked good. Though, he didn't get many looks.