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Minnesota Wild vs. Montreal Canadiens: Game Recap

Minnesota Wild 1 - 398473876 Montreal Canadiens

Real score: Minnesota Wild 1 - 8 Montreal Canadiens


For the enemy perspective, please visit Habs Eyes On The Prize


I could recap this game in about 4 words, but I'm not allowed to write those words legally in an official recap.

Everyone knows how important this game was to me right? Well, in my 7 years as a Wild fan, I've never felt less proud to be one. Tonight was an absolute embarassment of a game that pretty much killed what little hope the Wild had to make the playoffs. We all knew this would be a tough team to beat, but did anyone expect the worst loss in team history? I sure as hell didn't. This was an absolute nightmare of a game for me, and you all know why.

The game started off horribly as Benoit Pouliot, of all people, made Greg Zanon look like a damn traffic cone and zipped a pass to Ryan White to get him his first career goal. White is pretty much the Wild equivalent to Brad Staubitz, but a bit more talented. Then, Cal Clutterbuck inexplicably fumbled the puck in the defensive zone and coughed it up to Andrei Kostitsyn for an easy top corner goal. Clayton Stoner threw two big hits for the only Wild highlights of the first period, along with a fight with Ryan White that was ended much too soon by the officials. The first period ended 2-0, which wasn't so bad, 2-0 can be surmounted right? Wrong.

The second period gave way to a pure massacre with 4 Canadiens goals. It was the P.K. Subban show at that point as he scored a first goal by dancing around freely in the Wild's zone and banking the puck off Greg Zanon's skate and in the net. Then, Sean Avery's best friend James Wisniewski scored on a two-on-one rush, Travis Moen scored in a defensive mess and P.K. Subban added a wicked slapshot goal to make it 6-0 for the Habs. As you can guess, the friends I was watching this game with were having TONS of fun at my expense.

The third period was more of the same as P.K. Subban topped off his hat trick with yet another early period goal and Tom Pyatt added an 8th goal on a strong wrist shot past Niklas Backstrom, who had replaced Jose Theodore after he allowed 5 goals against his former team. Jose Theodore has always posted horrible numbers against the Canadiens and tonight was no exception, even though he couldn't really be blamed for any of those goals, as they mostly resulted from horrendous defense. Mikko Koivu was awarded a penalty shot between the two Habs goals in the third period as a result of a Habs defender closing his hand on the puck in the crease and Kaptain K made no mistake, burying a nice backhander past Alex Auld, filling in for Carey Price (thank the Lord) to ruin his shutout bid. That made absolutely no difference in the outcome or the Wild's play, because they played a terrible all-around game, even though the shots were nearly dead even at 32-31 in favor of the Habs.

The only things we really had to cheer about was Stoner and his two huge hits and his fight with Ryan White and Mikko Koivu's penalty shot. Although, it's pretty sad we actually needed no one else to be on the ice but Koivu and Auld to actually get a goal.

The things that made this game unbearable for me were:

- The 8-1 score

- The fact it was against the Habs

- The fact that the two Habs I hate the most, P.K. Subban and Benoit Pouliot, each had 3 points

- The 3rd most hated Hab in my list, Michael Cammalleri, had 2 assists (but thankfully, no goals. I just hate his expression when he scores goals, he's so smug.)

- The fact I had to watch the ENTIRE THING to make this recap and re-watch EVERY. SINGLE. GOAL to do it more accurately 

- The fact that there were WAY TOO MANY Habs fans in the stands at the X.

 - And finally, the fact the Wild played the worst possible game a playoff hopeful ever played in the history of the Universe. The Wild are done. That's it, that's all.

Ugh.. Pouliot...Where's Guillaume Latendresse when you need him? Of course, unless he'd have scored 8 goals, he wouldn't have made a lick of friggin' difference!

Next game, another important one for me, against the Maple Leafs on Tuesday. I hope I have something to cheer about this time around, because I'll be recapping that one as well. Know that I had to show an herculean amount of restraint to write this recap, even though I'm sure no one wants to be reminded of this $%&%.

Well, now I'm off to drink my face off, try to forget this abomination of a game. Peace!


Game notes:

- Only two Wild players were amazingly spared from being minus players, Chuck Kobasew and Nate Prosser.

- Subban's first career hat-trick helped him to a rookie-defensemen leading 11 goals on the season... ugh. It also marked the first time the Wild have ever allowed a defenseman to score three goals in a game against them. 4th time a defenseman scored 4 points, following Dustin Byfuglien, Niclas Havelid and Ed ''Jovocop'' Jovanovski.

- This was Montreal's 3100th franchise W.

- Ryan White is probably the only player to get his first NHL goal and first Gordie Howe hat-trick in the same game, I can't confirm this.

- 6-0 was the worst shutout home loss in Wild history... and that was the score after two periods. 8-1 is the most lopsided loss in Wild history, as it marks the first time the Wild lost by more than a 6 goal difference. Also the first time the Wild have allowed 8 goals at home... It just had to be against the Habs...This was, by the way, their biggest offensive game in over 3 years. Goody.

- Mikko Koivu scored a goal on what was his first ever penalty shot attempt... and it is the only thing that made me smile a little bit in this game. First Wild penalty shot goal since Pierre-Marc Bouchard got one against Tomas Vokoun on Feb. 17, 2007. The last home penalty shot goal was from Brian Rolston on Roberto Luongo on Nov. 2, 2006. The Wild are 13 for 23 on penalty shots all-time.

- Jose Theodore is now 2-2-1 against Montreal, with a ghastly 4.81 GAA and .858% SV%



Hockey Wilderness 3 stars:

Do I have to?.... Yeah?.... Fine...

1. P.K. Subban (first NHL career hat trick, good job playing defense, still don't like him at all. 4 points total.)

2. Ryan White (first NHL career goal + first NHL career Gordie Howe hat-trick, 3 points total.)

3. Benoit Pouliot (3 assists, pain in the ass, felt like he was on the ice for 50 minutes, but he was on for 12:17, which I find quite surprising.)


5 Questions:

1. Can the Wild put forth an effort worthy of the Moose? HA! .... If anyone thinks the Wild did a good job, they need a wet towel slap in the face.

2. Does Benny boy make himself scarce, or does he make the Wild pay? He made them pay big time, 3 assists, made everyone look like fools.

3. Can anyone, anyone at all save this Wild team? Nope. Koivu kept this from being a shutout, but it might as well have been 250 - 1.

4. Seriously... is it over yet? If it wasn't before, it is now.

5. If the Habs lose, do Wild fans riot in their stead? Well I don't know about the people in St. Paul, but after I few more drinks, I just might burn a couple of things in the street tonight.