The Wild played like an energy-less team from start to near the end of the 2nd period tonight, resulting in a 3-1 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes. It was almost like with Zach Parise out, the Wild felt like they couldn't win the game so why even bother to try and bury the puck.
Oh course, once they figured out that they were losing the game, they battled tooth and nail to try and scrape some goals together. Sadly, it was too little too late for the Wild to grab any points out of this game.
Dany Heatley scored the sole goal for the Wild, with the assist going to Nino Niederreiter who was one of the few (if not the only) Wild player to have a strong night from start to finish.
It's very frustrating to watch this team lately, especially when this team clearly has the skills to be competitive against just about any other team in the league. Yet every single time they get the opportunity to show everyone that, almost every player on the team turns into Lindsey Lohan before rehab.
Mikael Granlund played a whooping 29 seconds before having to leave the game tonight. At first, it looked like Conner Murphy had hit him up high, but after seeing the video later in the game it really looked like Granlund was actually the one who made the mistake of going high.
Either way, he skated directly from the corner to the bench and then headed back to the locker room. Not good for the kid, OR the team.
The good news is that Parise skated in morning skate this morning, and may actually be back before too long. If Granlund's injury is severe and Parise isn't quite 100%, expect to see a call up from Iowa for Friday's game.
Here's the deal with this team. They have the talent and they have the skill to play against the best and win. The type of performance they had for the first half of this game, and the entire game against St. Louis are not indicative of that.
If they want to be taken as a serious threat, the team as a whole needs to figure out how they can win games against not only teams that they SHOULD win against, but also against teams that really test them.
The good news to leave you with tonight is that if the playoffs started today, the Wild would still make it in. It wouldn't be in great position, but considering how tight the standings have been in the Western Conference this season, and the fact that the Wild have walked away from their last two games without a point, it does speak about the talent of this team.