It was gutcheck night in C-Bus for the Wild on Saturday, and they passed the test.
After getting abused by the Red Wings on Friday night, the Wild skated into their personal house of horrors (aka Nationwide Arena) where they've had extremely limited "success" since birth.
When they skated off the ice, it was with a solid if unspectacular 2-1 win. Niklas Backstrom was very sharp, especially in the final 18 minutes of the third period after the Wild took the lead and the BJs threw everything at him.
This was patient, system-oriented Wild hockey at its best. But, while that was good to see, the difference between winning and losing was that they didn't freak out when adversity struck. They just kept plugging away.
If they're going to become a team that can win in the playoffs they're going to need to develop this kind of mental fortitude.
Aaron Voros saw additional time with the WonderGroin Twins, and it paid off with a goal in the first period. He also got into a scrap. There's nothing unlikable about Voros' game. Remember when he pissed off the entire team in the preseason by hitting people like Carney? Well he's taken that exact same approach and applied it to the real games - without crossing the line - and the results are all positive so far. This kid has absolutely taken a job away from someone, and it's probably Foy or Radio. Good for him.
Wild lead 2-1-0 (GF 5, GA 7)
In Minny: 1-1-0 (GF 3, GA 6)
In C-Bus: 1-0-0 (GF 2, GA 1)
CHICKEN LITTLE SAYS: It would be nice to see some more offense.
POLLYANNA SAYS: They had plenty of excuses not to win that game.
BOTTOM LINE: Salvaged a little pride after the Detroit game.
STUD: Rolston's goal was huge and the GWG, both of which we need more of from him. But he was also 3-3 on the dot in the offensive zone. That's the kind of on-ice leadership we need from Rolston.
DUD: The "checking line" was victimized for the only goal allowed, with Dominic Moore compounding his sub-par (even for his own standards) game by being 3-7 on draws in our zone. Not good enough.