Wild v. Canadiens – Thurs Oct 30 – View from All Over the House
We’ve seen a couple things play out in the Wild’s last 2 games. One is that against stiffer competition, the Wild are pretty much overmatched in the scoring department. Two is that a Wild team without Marian Gaborik is pretty punchless. Eric Belanger has reverted to invisible Eric Belanger, and Antti Miettinen can not pick up the slack for the goals the Wild will lose when Gabby is not part of this team.
Wild lose tonite to the Montreal Canadiens 2-1. One would say they didn’t lose too badly, that it was a close game. But if you watched the game, you saw no flow from the Wild offense for the majority of the game. They spent pretty much the entire 2nd period on the powerplay, including significant 5-on-3 time, and did not sniff a goal. Passes were not crisp, players were overskating the puck, and Montreal played a stellar penalty kill strategy. The Wild could not work the puck into the slot, so all the shots came from Bergeron or other defensemen from the point and would not get thru to Canadiens G Carey Price. The Wild had a total of 10 powerplay opportunities, and came up snake-eyes. The lone Wild goal came 1:30 into the game from Brent Burns, who was playing forward tonite with Owen Nolan out again with another “lower body” injury. Josh Harding got the start tonite, and he finished with 19 saves giving up 2 goals. The 1st goal was a little weak, but all in all he played a decent game.
The most exciting part of tonite’s game was at the end of the game, with about 20 seconds to play, there was a scrum in front of the Montreal net. The Wild’s Koivu was all up in the fracas, throwing gloved-fists and losing his helmet. The Canadien’s Koivu was on the ice as well, and he got into it with Wild F Andrew Brunette. If they’da let it go, it would have been interesting to see how it would play out if Koivu and Koivu met in the pile. Koivu v. Koivu droppin’ the gloves? Mikko is a bit of a crazy if he gets riled up…it coulda happened!
Then as he went back out on the ice for the final 20 seconds, he had Martin Skoula’s #41 helmet on. I thought it was pretty comical.
The Wild’s performance in the last 2 games has me worried for the games this season against the upper-tier teams in the NHL. It’s one thing to beat Atlanta and Tampa Bay, but the Wild have lost to Buffalo, Dallas, and Montreal – three good teams – and they haven’t looked particularly competent in any of those losses.
Next on the Docket – Wild @ Coyotes – Sat Nov 1
Phoenix is last in the Western Conference with 8 points so far this season, but tonite they beat the Penguins 4-1. This is a game the Wild need to get back on track. Wild 3 ‘Yotes 0 That’s right, I’m callin’ a shutout!
Closed Circuit to Kirsten
I hope you’re happy!!!