After being embarrassed on home ice Wednesday, the Minnesota Wild came out flatter than flat, going without a shot on goal for the game's first 11 minutes and being heavily out-shot 12-3 in the first period. This would continue, as the Blues proceeded to run over the Wild for nearly the entire night, peppering Dubnyk for a total of 37 shots. The Wild spent most of their night struggling to get pucks to Jake Allen, putting just 19 shots on net- merely one more than they did in their humiliating defeat on Wednesday.
All of that is true, but you won't find those sentences anywhere in anyone's game recaps. Instead, you'll see headlines suggesting the Wild announced that they're "back" with a "roaring response" after their 4-1 victory over St. Louis.
Because while Allen faltered, Devan Dubnyk finally played like the Dubnyk that we've grown accustomed to seeing, and he stole Game 5 for the Wild to have them take control of the series 3-2.
There's always going to be a conflict between looking at process and looking at results. Both are obviously important, but for different reasons. A good process will often lead to good results, particularly over time, while results have a finality about them that can trump process, regardless of how sound it is (or isn't). This is demonstrated pretty neatly by last night's game: The Wild won, but until they went up 3-1 it was impossible to get even a little bit comfortable, given the way they were playing.
According to Zach Parise, the Wild went into Game 4's blowout feeling "a little cocky" after Game 3's victory over St. Louis. There should be no such feeling going into Game 6. After trying to temper praise for his team after Game 3, there's no doubt that Coach Mike Yeo is going to reinforce the idea that, even though the Wild came away with the victory, there's still a ton for them to prove.
Tomorrow at 2 PM, the Wild will get their first chance in team history to eliminate an opponent before Game 7. If they're going to accomplish that feat, they'll have to bring more urgency than they did the last time they came off a win.