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Wild steal the momentum, but give it right back

Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

Last night's game was less than ideal, to put it lightly. Painful, brutal, and infuriatingly predictable are adjectives that also come to mind.

Despite all the negatives, despite the raging, uncontrollable tire fire that was the second period, the Wild managed to staunch the bleeding. 18:36 into the period, Jason Pominville decided to try his luck at shooting the puck (something the Wild were hesitant to do after the first period). This was the result:

The game was tied, and the Wild looked like they could carry that tie into the second break in an attempt to take the momentum back. After a second period that had been all New York, Minnesota looked like they had grasped the bull by the horns and had a chance.

They didn't. They hadn't. They wouldn't, they couldn't (you're making me rhyme, Wild and it is not a good look for me).

Just 40 seconds later, the Wild lazed their way into the defensive zone with Brock Nelson coming in hot, and this happened.

After that, the Wild were done. Nino Niederreiter would pull one more back in the third, but the game was never in question. Generally, I think the "momentum" narrative is played out, and let's not pretend the Wild had "dominated" any part of the game (even the first period in which they got off a season-high number of shots, the Islanders had more of the puck). Pommer's goal was a chance to shift the game, and the Wild simply didn't take it.

Vanek took responsibility for that goal, but he was far from the only sub-par player in that sequence. The Wild need to, at some point, put a full 60 minutes of effort into a game. Until they do that, I wouldn't expect them to win many games.