Monday, January 14, 2008

Gm # 44: Wild @ Blackhawks (2/4)

After Thursday's thrilling SO victory over the mighty Red machine the Wild found themselves once more at the crossroads that has vexed them this whole season: build on a big win or piss away the momentum?

Friday night in Chicago, arguably for the first time this season, the Wild chose the former option, ultimately skating away with a 5-2 win over the resurgent-but-fatally-injured Blackhawks.

So prone to the "score a goal and then give it right back" gaffe this season, the Wild reversed that trick for the second night in a row, this time on Matt Foy's stuff on some good forechecking by the Foy-Sheppard-Fedoruk line. In fact that kind of play would be present all game from that line, and was a welcome sight.

The Wild took control with a three-goal second period and didn't let an early third period goal that brought the Hawks back to withing 4-2 derail what had been a solid effort. Josh Harding was again excellent in earning the win.

Again, the Blackhawks have some big injuries right now, but where this win fails as a litmus test, it still holds up as a good follow-up to a big win - and is the kind of game this Wild team has lost several times already this season.

Martin Skoula Report Card
Martin had another solid game. No major mistakes, took care of business in his own zone.
Grade B

Season series
Overall: Wild lead 2-0-0 (GF 6, GA 2)
In Minny: Wild lead 1-0-0 (GF 1, GA 0)
In Chicago: Wild lead 1-0-0 (GF 5, GA 2)

CHICKEN LITTLE SAYS: Not crazy about 43 shots against, thankfully Harding was up to the task.

POLLYANNA SAYS: 7-1-1 now on the back end of B2B games this season.

BOTTOM LINE: Solid road win, in conference, regulation.

STUD: Harding followed up his saviour routine with a strong performance.

DUD: Other than another (lame) fight, SRV was invisible.


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