The Wild were absolutely putrid in their 8-3 ass-kicking by the Stars last night. Godawful. Ironically, the best player on the ice for the Wild was Harding, without whom the score could have been 15-3.
But this wasn't a loss to the Red Wings where you say "well, the Wings are that much better, it's okay". The Stars might be that much better, but this was most certainly not okay. Why not? Because the Wild showed absolutely zero interest in pushing back in this one once the Stars got up by a couple. The Wild literally deflated and they may as well have skated off the ice for as much effort as they put out.
To me, this again boils down to a clear lack of heart. And that's compounded by an apparent void in the leadership department. Can you imagine a Mark Messier team quitting in a game like that? Everyone has bad nights, and every team takes a beating now and then. But the Wild have seemed to fold under pressure and/or abandon hope with startling alacrity this season.
I do not think this is a talent-gap issue. I think it's a heart issue.
Now they take their Tin Man game to Phoenix for a game in the desert tonight.
CHICKEN LITTLE SAYS: Reversion to the mean is a powerful force.
POLLYANNA SAYS: At least Demo got back in the goals column.
BOTTOM LINE: The loss was one thing. Quitting on the game is quite another.
STUD: I guess Demo.
DUD: Gaborik was particularly terrible.
That was horrible. I don't think they can blame that much sucking on having to travel that morning. I agree, Gaborik was just awful last night. Probably the worst I've seen him all season.
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