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Minnesota Wild v. Chicago Blackhawks: Almost doesn't count edition

First lose in the green 3rds this season, 1-0 the final score

Hannah Foslien

The story line of the night could have been Clayton Stoner making a bad decision that ended up costing the Wild the game.

It could have been more excuses as to why the Wild lost tonight, including the announcement that Dany Heatley is done for the regular season and likely the post season.

But there wasn't a single excuse coming out of the Wild locker room tonight.

"Our execution wasn't good enough" Zach Parise said after the game.

"We've got to be better on our part" Devin Setoguchi replied when talking about the teams offense.

"We can't make any excuses" is what Kyle Brodziak said to the media after the game.

"That was a costly one. I feel bad for letting the team down" was the response Clayton Stoner gave when asked about his pass that made it to Marian Hossa's stick for what ended up being the only goal of the game.

Mike Yeo, who is always an optimist, said he thought the team "defended really hard tonight , but our execution wasn't good enough."

While these words describe some of the thoughts of the Wild players tonight, they don't show how personal these players took the loss. The mood in the locker room was dejected, depressed even.

It's as if this team knew that they could have beaten this Blackhawk team, which isn't that far off base honestly. The Hawks are the second in the league when it comes to goals per game. The Wild held them to one goal, which wouldn't have happened if there hadn't been a glaring mistake on Stoners part in his own zone.

Patrick Kane, 5th in goal scoring, was held to 3 shots on goal and failed to score on Niklas Backstrom. Jonathan Toews, who is 7th in the league in goal scoring, failed to best Backstrom.

This loss stings, but only because this team could have beaten the best in the game tonight and didn't. The forwards couldn't find the net against a team that has the fewest allowed goals in the league. The defense, minus one major mistake, was able to keep the game down to one goal. While it wasn't the success fans were hoping for, it shows that Minnesota can hang with the "big boys" of the league.

5 Questions

1. Last time the Hawks were in town, the Wild managed to be the first team to get 2 pts from them. Can they do it again? No, they could not

2. Granlund and Coyle have had really good chemistry together between the AHL and the NHL. Is tonight another showing like it was in Columbus? Granlund ended up being shifted to the 2nd line, where he played a decent game.

3. The blue line was pretty stronger on Sunday. Can they keep it up? Regardless of the Stoner mistake, the blue line was very solid tonight.

4. How silly does Patrick Kane make the Wild look? No theatrics from Kaner. Backstrom kept all his shots out of the net, and the defense was able to keep him occupied most of the game

5. Is this a good game that showcase why the Wild and Hawks could be future division "rivals"? This was a really good game. For a team like the Hawks who have scored a ridiculous amount of goals on many teams, keeping them down to one on the scoreboard is great.