Amazing. Unbelievable. Season-defining. Shocking. Resounding.
All words that could be used to describe last night's game.
All for the wrong reasons, if you're a Wild fan.
The Wild were going to lose. Obviously. And last night had a lot of things going for it, too. Against the Flames, who have had great success against the Wild. In Calgary. The Flames coming off a bad loss - and probably stinging from it either of their own accord, or from Keenan's. But, after getting out to a 3-0 start only 10 minutes in, it's not that they ended up losing 5-3 (though that's bad enough) but rather HOW they ended up losing that is scary.
They dominated in the first period, and for nearly the first half of the second. 5:5 the Flames were penned in their own zone, running around and taking stupid penalties. The Wild had two PPGs (Rolston, Parrish) in the first, and shut the Flames down when Calgary had a man-advantage. The first period was the most dominating period of the season, by far. The second started out as more of the same - but then the Wild got into penalty trouble (at one point, four guys in the box), and even though they killed off a 5:3, the tide was ebbing. Once the dam broke, it was only a matter of time before the flood.
The last half of the game was a complete and utter meltdown by Minnesota. No one played well. Nobody played to the game plan. The Flames absolutely owned the Wild the last 30 minutes.
I don't know if Boogey saw a shift after the first period, but if Lemaire isn't comfortable sending him out when we so clearly needed to do anything at all to break up Calgary's momentum then he has no value to the team. That's at least the third straight game where he's gotten less-than 2 minutes of ice time. If you can't play him when you're winning, and you can't play him when you're losing, and you can't play him when it's tied...then he's essentially a Wachenhut rent-a-cop sitting on his duff eating Doritos and watching TV. I'm not saying I don't want him to play - quite the contrary. But if Lemaire won't play him then why is he there?
CHICKEN LITTLE SAYS: If this team doesn't start playing 60 minutes that 7-0-1 start could evaporate very, very quickly.
POLLYANNA SAYS: At least no one got hurt. But a 7-1-1 start is still better than what we could have hoped for.
BOTTOM LINE: Fugly. Reality check? Definitely. Lesson learned? We'll see.
STUD: Really hard to pick one guy here, but Sheppard got his first NHL point (assist on the first PPG), so I'll give it to him.
DUD: They were all bad at some point, but Foy was a -3 with 6:40 of ice time. I actually thought he played well in the first period (when they all did), but clearly the Flames preyed on him in the second and third.