One statistic normally does not a game make. It did tonight in Raleigh, where the 30th-ranked Carolina Hurricanes penalty kill helped shut down the Minnesota Wild 3-2. Former Moorhead (that's in Minnesota, dont'cha know there) Spud Matt Cullen scored twice for the 'Canes, who came out of a back-to-back with two wins after outscoring their opponents 9-5.
The Wild pulled another '0-fer' on the power play, going 0-for-6 after pulling off a similarly putrid effort on Tuesday vs. the Chicago Blackhawks, When will the power play wake up? Maybe they need to be sponsored by that new Diet Pepsi...
Josh Harding, starting goalie for Minnesota, was victimized by a Carolina attack that frankly was not afraid to attack the middle of the ice -- something the Wild were loathe to do throughout the evening.
So, now that the storm has passed, let's ask the troops:
CHICKEN LITTLE SAYS: In case you haven't figured it out yet...THE SKY IS FALLING!! Wherrrrrrre's ROLSTON???
POLLYANNA SAYS: "Georgia...Georgia...the whole day thru....with that ol' sweet song...keep Georgia on my mind."
BOTTOM LINE: The 'Canes were very willing to lose this game. The Wild did NOTHING to change perception into reality. The boys need something -- at this point, anything will do -- to get them out of this late-season funk. The next three games are against 2007 playoff teams, and the Wild official Road Trip group will meet the team at Phillips Arena tomorrow.
STUD: Is there one in this game? Believe it or not, it's Mikko Koivu! Last game's dud is this game's stud; 1 goal scored, +1 for the night, 5 shots, 1 hit, 8 for 18 in faceoffs, 21:34 in TOI.
DUD: Eric Belanger on a night where there could be multiple duds, stands below many of the rest. -2, 3 shots, 3-for-9 in faceoffs, his 3rd period penalty forced the Wild to play 4-on-3 for 2 full minutes. Not his best effort.
Next Wild game: at Atlanta, Friday, March 7, 6:30 PM Central, FSN North (no local Thrashers' TV).
Next Carolina game: Buffalo, RBC Center, Saturday, March 8, 7:00 PM Eastern Time, FSN South, MSG