The Wild just didn’t have it tonight.
The Chicago Blackhawks came in to the Xcel Energy Center and pretty much dominated our favorite hockey team for two periods, building a 3-0 lead through 2. This was a big game in front of a big crowd, and the Wild were a step slower than the Hawks the whole night. And although they did rally in the 3rd, cutting it to 3-2 and getting a powerplay opportunity late in the game, you just kind of had the feeling that they weren’t going to have enough. Sure enough, they gave up a shortie on that powerplay. Rally: Dead.
My man crush on Pierre-Marc Bouchard also took a hit. He didn’t do much all night as the Hawks were tight on him all game. And you could make a case for pinning the back-breaking shorty on him too. He got a bit carried away in the furious effort to tie the game on the last powerplay, diving to keep the puck in the offensive zone. His weak attempt to get the puck deep into the zone (he was laying on his stomach, so you can’t blame him for that) led to a 2-on-1 Hawks goal from Marian Hossa. It was a play that I probably would have stood and applauded had it not gone the way it did, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.
The loss means the Hawks leapfrog the Wild in the standings and the Wild drop to 9th in the conference…yep…back on the outside looking in. They head out to the Big Apple to take on the hapless Islanders Wednesday and the mediocre (and likely Gabork-less) Rangers on Thursday. Gotta take at least 3 points out of those two games, IMHO.
Oh BTW…trade deadline? YAWN!!!