Son of a...
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WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT WILD!?!?!?!
Minnesota went into Dallas looking to win two games in a row for the first time since November 28th. Sure, they had plane trouble and got in a 3AM. Sure, they scratched Justin Fontaine and Tyler Graovac. Sure, Stu Bickel was inserted into the line-up, only played 1:29 and racked up 39 total penalty minutes. None of that mattered - not one iota.
The Wild came out sluggish from the drop of the puck. Not much happened from then on went well for Minnesota after that. At one point in the second period, the Stars were at 82 percent Corsi For. Darcy Kuemper let in a couple softies, was hung out to dry on two more, and Niklas Backstrom took an ill-advised walk when the Wild were on a power play. Oh that's not to mention the other juicy rebound he gave up for Dallas' 6th goal of the game.
Minnesota could not get anything started in the offensive zone if their playoff life depended on it...oh wait...it did. A power play goal from Thomas Vanek late inthe second period was the ONLY thing good for the Wild. There was a line brawl in the second period that started when Ryan Carter shoved Trevor Daley over the top of Kari Lehtonen. A melee ensued and the Wild came out of it down two players bot on the ice an in the line up. Stu Bickel was assessed 39 penalty minutes and escorted to the locker room. Carter was given seven minutes. I don't know how that wasn't evened up penalty wise, but the Wild were playing the way that it really just didn't matter.
I asked midway through the game if Wild fans could sum up the game in one word, what would it be? I got some juicy replies:
@hockeywildernes Horrid— Phil Dennie (@Frosty_theATC) January 4, 2015
@hockeywildernes Do hyphenated words count as one word? If so, poop-like— Ken Chia (@kcchia80) January 4, 2015
@hockeywildernes Shitshow.— Zach Gilbert (@olafbeerseh) January 4, 2015
"@hockeywildernes: Sum up this game in one word. Go, I'll start: Ridiculous" barf— GRHS Hockey Online (@grhshockey) January 4, 2015
Now there is obviously a multitude of problems with the team. Line-up decisions are one thing, goaltending the other. Minnesota just plain didn't get off the plane. Hopefully this is rock-bottom for the Wild as there was not any aspect of the Wild's game that could be considered acceptable for a team chasing a playoff spot, and a team that wanted to consider itself among the upper-echelon of NHL teams.
Dallas added a late goal in the third period to make the final score 7-1.