Stop me if you've heard this before. The Wild started off looking very slow and lethargic in the first period of the game tonight. The team ended up lose 3-1 to the Colorado Avalanche, with the option of payback tomorrow night in Denver.
They let Jan Hejda score his 3rd goal of the season, with the assists going to Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan McKinnon. Again, it was the same story as the last 3 games to a T.
Zenon Konopka took a puck to his left eye and had to leave the game. After trying to come back, he didn't even make it to the bench before he turned around and headed back. It was later revealed that he had been sent to the hospital. After the game Yeo revealed that Konopka will not travel with the team, and that the swelling was so bad Konopka can't see right now.
Nathan Mackinnon scored his 4th goal of the season early in the second, with the assist also going to Landeskog (Mackinnon had the tip in for goal credit).
The Wild answered late in the 2nd with a goal by Dany Heatley. It's nice to see he's still keeping the dream of #50in2013 alive for Wild fans.
Erik Haula looked fantastic in his NHL debut. His speed was noticeable in both ends of the ice, he played solid defense, and was rewarded with his first NHL point, as well as Powerplay AND Penalty Kill time.
Just to show why this is a big deal, Jason Zucker has yet to spend any real significant time on the PK with the Wild this season (Honestly, I'm not sure he's spent any time on it). Zucker has played NHL games in 3 different seasons now, and has had a full year of pro-development over Haula.
This isn't to say that Haula is better than Zucker or Zucker is better than Haula. Just a comparision between players who seem to be around the same level as far as development goes. They play two very different styles of game. It would be nice to see what Zucker's game would look like with a bit more work on his defending.
The third period was almost all Wild though, and the polar opposite of the first. The Wild had the Avs stuck in their own zone for minutes on end, and looked like the team that dominated the beginning of the season with their puck possession. But that wasn't enough to overcome the first period naptime.
Landeskog scored an empty net goal to seal the game with 20 seconds left in the game.
After the game, Zach Parise was noticeably upset with the way the team played. Yeo echoed Parise's statements in his post game presser. Expect the lines to be switched up tomorrow.
With the leaders of the team becoming agitated with the way the last stretch of games have I would expect to see flashes, if not a complete showing, of the team that we grew to love just a few weeks ago.
Five Questions of the game
1.) Most people think the Avs are riding some puck luck a la Wild version 2011-2012. Avs fans are convinced the team is winning the Cup this year. Who looks correct tonight? Honestly, the Avs looked alright. The way the Wild played though, the Avs probably should have scored more goals.
2.) Does Parise play?!?! He did. Hopefully he doesn't regret it
3.) In the first game of the season for these two division rivals, who looks like the better team? Avs this time
4.) How long does it take Bryan to piss off Avs fans on twitter? I think Bryan was pretty tame tonight
5.) Does Patrick Roy show Minnesota fans just how freaking crazy he is? I could hear him barking at his players from the pressbox, but no crazy antics.