Friday, February 8, 2008

Gm # 54: Wild vs. Stars (4/4)

Well, one suspects JL has a nice read on how his team stacks up against the best in the west now, anyway.

The Wild got the two other western conference division leaders in sequential games this week - and went 0-1-1 in those two games. Did they get blown out? No. Did they show they can skate with both teams? Yes. ...And, over the course of a seven game series who knows? But the Wild still lacks the game-breaker or, in lieu of that, the killer instinct to either deliver the coup de gras or rally on a really good team.

Nik Backstrom was again very solid - and really tightened up his rebound control from the Detroit game. He certainly Kept Them In It/Gave Them A Chance To Win and frankly deserves an apology from Skoula on the GWG.

The PK units were excellent, keeping the Stars at bay despite both a lengthy 5:3 and a double minor.

Other than that there wasn't a whole lot of great in that game for the Wild.

Season series
Overall: Wild lose 1-3-0 (GF 10, GA 15)
In Minny: Wild tie 1-1-0 (GF 6, GA 4)
In Dallas: Wild lose 0-2-0 (GF 4, GA 11)

CHICKEN LITTLE SAYS: If you can't beat the tier one teams, you're a tier two team - at best.

POLLYANNA SAYS: At least Backstrom is playing better...right?

BOTTOM LINE: So much for getting some separation in the NW.

STUD: Backstrom was the main reason the Wild was in this one all night.

DUD: Skoula's feet are too damn big for him to be caught flat footed as he was on the GWG.

Up Next: Hockey Day in Minnesota! The Isles are in town to (hopefully) play the Washington Generals to the Wild's Harlem Globetrotters.



Paul said...

Good points you made about Thursday's game, Nick. ANOTHER difficult loss to take here. The way the Wild lost to Detroit was one of the most heartbreaking I've seen since I've followed them from their inception. Then yet another one of these 1-0 home losses to Dallas. Truly remarkable.

I give Mike Smith credit for his performance, especially with a few key saves, but more than once as you described, there were defensive lapses in coverage. One of those obviously led to the lone goal scored by someone that's red hot right now. Before the season had you predicted Hagman would be Dallas' leading goal scorer, I would've thought you were nuts.

The Wild can compete with the elite teams, but they have to win these games here. And yes, you're right. Outside of Marian Gaborik, what other player right now is a huge scoring threat when the game is on the line? Sure, Brian Rolston and of course Pavol Demitra are capable of playing big when it matters most, but the team needs more. Whether that's making a big trade at the deadline or signing an impact free agent this summer, it remains to be seen.

Nick in New York said...

paul: a game-breaker would go a long way on this team. As it is now, we have to hope a guy like Rolston or Parrish gets on one of their infamous goal streaks right when the playoffs start.