I'd like to issue an apology to the league's other 29 teams.
If that was the kind of hockey that you were forced to endure when the Minnesota Wild were matched with your team for all those years, I finally get it your complaints about boring hockey. The Wild, who are faster and more exciting to watch than anyone will give them credit for, finally got a taste of what it was like to be slowed down by a team that likes to keep it boring.
It sucked. Tonight's game between the Wild and the Devils was a dumpster fire, frustrating to Wild fans, and boring as hell to watch. Your night could have been better spent doing a lot of other things. I know I was pining to play the new Pokèmon game. In fact, now I'm kicking myself for not having played the demo. Why couldn't I have chosen a semi-entertaining experience tonight?! Whyyyyyyyy?
As you probably know by now, the Devils toppled the Wild tonight by a score of 3-1. The first period was as uneventful as it gets, with both teams finishing with 6 shots apiece, and few real scoring chances, despite 3 power plays.
Oh, yes, speaking of the power play, the Wild's incredible run of not scoring with the man advantage continued tonight. This time, it wasn't a matter of not getting the breaks, they were legitimately stifled by the Devils. The Devils went into tonight's with the league's worst penalty kill, so that's not concerning at all.
The Devils struck first in the second period, as Tuomo Ruutu re-directed a shot by Seth Hegleson, who is a Minnesota native that I've never heard of making his NHL debut tonight. So congrats to that guy. Mikael Granlund almost tied it up, ringing a shot off the post that bounced off Cory Schneider that Schneider juuuuuust managed to swipe away before it slid into the net. Very shortly after, the Devils took it the other way and Mike Cammalleri made it 2-0.
The Wild got a goal to make it a close game in the third period when Ryan Carter got a short-handed goal, leading to a lot of well-deserved snark about the penalty kill out-scoring the power play on the season (and in fewer chances, too!). There were a few more chances for the Wild to tie, most notably when Erik Haula couldn't finish on a beautiful feed from Thomas Vanek, but Schneider was able to complete an excellent night after recent struggles.
Speaking of Vanek, he spent a pretty good portion of this game playing the worst he's done in a Wild sweater. I'm still far from concerned, but with Parise out, the offensively struggling Wild need one of those classic Vanek hot streaks now more than ever. Can't be wasting opportunities when you're skating with Granlund or Pominville.
The Wild will be hosting Buffalo at the X on Thursday. That managed to pull them out of a slide last year. If it doesn't work, and the Wild fall under .500, feel free to start jumping off bridges, or whatever it is you kids do when your life is ruined, and all hope is lost.