For the Dater-esque perspective, stop on over at Mile High Hockey.
Apologies for the late post. I'm starting to think that SkyNet is about to take over the internet. Anywho...
Despite the fact that the Wild had an epic meltdown Tuesday, you have to believe that Yeo was upbeat about the first 50 minutes the Wild totally dominated. If the Wild could come out and play that kind of hockey, then they give themselves every opportunity to win. If not...well, it could be a long night. How would the team respond after the St. Paul version of Chernobyl?
The Avs seemed to dominate a lot of the puck control early on, but the Wild didn't give them a whole lot of looks at the net. The one good chance was broken up by Nate Prosser, the Wild got the puck deep, and Colorado had to take an icing. Off the ensuing faceoff, Greg Zanon fluttered a seeing-eye puck to the net that got past a screened JS
Cheater Giguere. It started to look like Minnesota would start to mount some pressure after the goal, but as we've grown accustomed to seeing, a lot of passive forechecking without shots getting to the net. Colorado turned up the heat to close the period, but the Wild hung on.
In what has become a staple when the Wild and Avalanche lock horns, the game started to devolve into bad offense and chippy play. Powe had some seriously questionable hits in the 2nd. McLeod squared off with Stoner. Kobasew (yeah, that guy) even dropped the gloves twice. It's not so much a rivalry anymore as it is a grudge match. Fortunately, fans on both sides were treated with some fantastic offside and icing calls to slow play down to a crawl. The Avs had another good late push, but Backstrom came up with some huge saves to preserve the 1-goal lead heading into the 3rd.
The Avs definitely had the early jump in the 3rd, but Backstrom came to the rescue to allow his team to settle back into the game. The fights and chippy play settled down for the final frame, and once the Wild settled in, the game slowed down again. It did get interesting when Falk was whistled for a cross-checking minor in the last minute of the game. Colorado had a 6-on-4, but never actually got a clean setup in the zone. Kudos to the Wild really digging their heels in and holding on in the 3rd, but you would like to see more attack with just a one-goal lead.
Not exactly what you would call an "exciting" game. Not a whole lot of good scoring chances, and the Wild really failed to get pucks to the net. Combined, there were 58 shots on goal compared to 62 faceoffs. Had this game been on the NBC Sports Network, the TV gurus probably would have killed themselves. That's how slow paced this game really was. Gritty win though, and one that was necessary given what happened on Tuesday night. The win gives Minnesota a 3-point lead over Colorado and Dallas for the 8th spot in the West. Next up: the aforementioned Dallas Stars.
The Bennett's Chop & Railhouseof the Game:
Niklas Backstrom (37 saves, 3rd shutout of the season)
- Greg Zanon (GWG, 4 blocked shots)
- Nate Prosser (5 blocked shots including one goal saver before Zanon scored, led Wild with 25:53 TOI)
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 athttp://bennettschopandrailhouse.com/.
- Getting embarrassed can motivate or crush souls. Which will it be tonight? A step in the right direction, but it was noted that the Wild definitely played down to Colorado.
- Backstrom back in the cage. Does it help? In a big way. Usually allowing zero goals leads to positive results.
- Wild need a leader. Who will it be? The defense as a whole stepped up after Stoner went out, but Prosser in particular had himself a game.
- Any chance, any at all, that the Wild play the system for a full 60 tonight? They didn't stray too far from the system, but the offense is still something to be desired
- How many times does Adrian Dater make himself look stupid tonight? In an attempt to avoid migraine headaches, I didn't actually follow his "thread".