Monday, January 7, 2008

Gm # 41: Wild @ Predators (3/4)

An inability to play a full 60-minutes has plagued this Wild team so far this season, and it bit them in the butt Saturday night against a hungry Predators team that outworked the Wild in the first en route to a 3-0 lead at the first intermission, and cruised to a 4-1 win from there.

But for a Brian Rolston shot that hit the post the game might have been different, but you don't score if you don't get chances and you don't get chances if you don't work.

Josh Harding got the start for the first time since the debacle in Dallas, which meant he had seven goals hung on him in two consecutive periods. Obviously he wasn't responsible for all of them, but he's not exactly presenting a strong argument for getting more starts. Sometimes you need your goalie to make a couple saves he has no business making. Right now neither of the Wild's goalies is doing that.

You'd like to think this is a forgettable game in the context of an entire season, but the truth is that this Wild team is maddeningly inconsistent from one game to the next. That it was the 41st game for the Wild just makes it easier to see this game as representative of the first half overall - fairly or not.

And, with road games in Dallas and Detroit (then Chicago) coming up next, things certainly appear to be getting harder before they get easier.

Season series
Overall: Wild lead 2-1-0 (GF 8, GA 9)
In Minny: Wild lead 1-0-0 (GF 3, GA 2)
In Nashville: tied 1-1-0 (GF 5, GA 7)

CHICKEN LITTLE SAYS: Ugly. What do you expect if you don't show up until the second period?

POLLYANNA SAYS: Parrish stayed hot, though.

BOTTOM LINE: This team seems to need "excellent" to win. Not "good", "better-than-good" or certainly not "average".

STUD: Parrish did, indeed, stay hot, with this 4th goal in 5 games.

DUD: Gaborik and Voros were on the ice for three Predators goals (all even strength), but Belanger was on the ice for four even strength Preds goals.


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