On the 12th of February, the Wild began what was a very important four-game home stand trying to gain some ground not only in the Central Division, but also to build some breathing room for themselves in a tight Western Conference Wild Card battle. Well, the Wild wrapped up that home stand Tuesday night in disappointing fashion to a Anaheim team that has been atrocious to say the least since December 17th.
The Wild haven’t scored a goal in a 156 minutes, and after their loss to the Ducks Tuesday night would end the “must win” home stand a disappointing 0-3-1. In their past 10 games, the Wild are now 1-6-3, but yet are still in 8th place somehow in the Western Conference. How they are still in 8th is beyond me, but even playing bad, they are still a “playoff team”. Remember, Bruce Boudreau guaranteed us that this team will make the playoffs.
And speaking of Bruce, to just sum out how things are going right now in Minnesota only answered two questions in his post-game presser before storming out and not saying anything that he might regret.
Also, before the game, General Manager Paul Fenton addressed the media basically saying that these next couple of games between Anaheim, New York, and Detroit will be huge on what he does come Monday’s trade deadline. And if the Wild don’t turn things around, in just a week’s time, we could be seeing a much different team. Now, to the game from Tuesday night.
The first period was quiet between the two teams as no goals or penalties took place in the opening twenty minutes of play. And as we find out, that was the case the majority of the game. Now, by now means did the Wild start off slow like they normally do, which is a good sign, but that sense of urgency that they need at the moment just wasn’t there. Anything Ryan Miller had to stop wasn’t anything to difficult.
However, in the second, the red light goal lamp was finally lit as they Wild once again would allow the opposition to score with the man advantage. After a shot on net by Devin Shore, a pile up on Devan Dubnyk would occur but Jakob Silverberg would bang home the loose puck in front to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead. That is the 15th goal the Wild’s penalty-kill has allowed in the last 13 games. The next power-play the Ducks would have would give the Wild it’s first real chance of a goal although Joel Eriksson Ek would ring it off the crossbar.
The third period was one of those “wow I can’t believe this is actually happening, but with the recent play of the Wild I’m not surprised at all. The Wild thought they had tied the game up after a scramble in front lead to Mikael Granlund poking it past for the goal. However, a quick whistle disallowed the goal keep it 1-0 Anaheim. The Wild draw a power-play after that little skirmish in front, but that was just the beginning. Two more Wild power-plays would go by the wayside, and just went you thought the Wild were striking at any moment, the dagger came. A deflected shot of Jared Spurgeon off the stick of Corey Perry would flutter past Dubnyk to give the Ducks a 2-0 lead. Just 1:46 later, the icing on the cake would happen as Ryan Kessler found the back of the net, and the boo’s came pouring down along with the Xcel Energy Center beginning to empty. And just to make matters worse, Hampus Lindholm would add an empty netter to give the Ducks a 4-0 victory over our beloved Wild.
Now, remember earlier when I said the Ducks have been awful since December 17th? Well, the Ducks have gone 5-16-4 since that date, but two of those wins came against the Wild, the last time out snapping their 12 game losing streak.
At this point in time, it can’t get any worse can it? Guess we will have to find out Thursday night when the Wild travel to Madison Square Garden to face the Rangers.