With both teams coming into Tuesday each having played the night before, you could expect some tired legs on the ice. The Wild and Canadiens skated to a complete snoozer on national TV and in front of 19,105 fans that WANTED to go nuts in St. Paul. Minnesota got two goals from Jason Pominville and Charlie Coyle to hold on to a one goal lead as time expired for the victory.
In an ideal world, Coyle would play wing
The Wild's lack of depth at the position has forced Coyle to play center, but it is holding him back offensively.
Minnesota looked to return to the defensive ways that helped them be successful in December. They held the Habs to just 15 shots through 40 minutes and 25 shots on goal total. Jason Pominville scored his fifth goal of the season after Mikael Granlund's backhand shot popped out front and Pominville turned around and fired one past Canadiens' starter Mike Condon. Nino Niederreiter looked to have scored on the only power play the Wild received after his shot trickled through the five-hole of Condon. However, the replay was inconclusive and was deemed a no-goal. Fans and broadcasters thought it looked good, but the league office didn't think this
was a goal. The puck must cross the line completely to be ruled a goal and there doesn't seem to be any white ice visible between the puck and goal line. Okay, so that one may be a legit no-goal.
Darcy Kuemper was solid all game long. He stopped 24 of 25 shots and the only goal against was a shot from Daniel Carr backhander through the five-hole. But he was just superb all game long.
Minnesota and Montreal traded shots in the second but no one could find the back of the net. It actually turned into a bit of a snooze-fest. There were multiple one-an-dones from both teams, and the tons of blocked shots just provided little to no excitement in the game.
Looking to find the insurance marker, Charlie Coyle streaked down the left wing side and made a move around the Montreal defender to zip the puck over the shoulder of Condon. It was his second goal in as many games, and oddly enough, they were from the same general area of the ice. Coyle has problems playing this way consistently, but when he plays like this, he is fun to watch.
Zach Parise thought he had scored as he tried to jam the puck between the left pad of Condon and the left post. Justin St. Pierre, the on-ice official, blew the play dead, even though the puck was really never frozen by the netminder, and it looked awfully close like Parise was able to wedge the puck across the goal line just inside the pipe. They'd review the play and again deem that it was not a goal. Boos rained down from the agitated 19,105 fans at Xcel Energy Center. And when Carr scored his tally to cut the lead in half with 7:14 to play to make the final minutes a little more interesting, those calls look even more glaring.
Minnesota and Kuemper held on just long enough with the empty net at the other end for time to run out on the Habs. The Wild take a 2-1 win into the Christmas break and 7-2-2 for the month of December thus far with three games yet to play to close out the month.