Thursday, April 10, 2008

Avalanche 3, Wild 2 (OT) -- WRT's Thoughts

Just a few thoughts before long-overdue bedtime about Game 1 of the Wild-Avalanche series:

1. If they can get any more intense, I really don't see how. Up-and-down hockey all night long. It looks like a war of attrition, and with Minnesota's Mark Parrish now day-to-day with a head injury suffered in the second period of tonight's game, that's 3 Wild players (Foster and Schultz the other two) who need replacement. Would it hurt to put Aaron Voros in there for Game 2?

2. How good did Boogaard look as an actual hockey forward tonight. He even spent some time on the power play. You try to move 6'7", 270 Lbs. sometime from in front of your net. Good luck to you.

3. This team misses Nick Schultz. Period.

4. Wes Walz did the 'Let's Play Hockey' chant tonight before the opening face-off. I hope he went downstairs and chewed out the boys after that horrid second period. A few more stretches like that and I won't have to worry about my remaining playoff ticket payments due after this round of games is over.

5. Both Brent Burns and Kim Johnsson played over 30 minutes each tonight -- each of them played more than Keith Carney and Sean Hill combined. That cannot be allowed to continue. In order for the Wild to be successful, we need three sets of 'D', old or otherwise.

6. Niklas Backstrom was stellar tonight in the nets, when he really needed to be. Too bad Skoula wasn't as aware of what was behind him (namely, Joe Sakic) on that last goal.

7. Let's talk about Skoula. He was as good as I have ever seen him until the start of the overtime. By that time, he had racked up about 25 minutes TOI. In the OT, he started to revert to 'Bad Marty' that we've all come to expect. No major losses of focus, just lapses of concentration. Martin cannot be expected to double-shift in an OT period, no matter what the situation. The Wild have, unfortunately, used two of their allotted 4 call-ups from Houston already (in case you didn't hear, Steve Kelly was sent back down earlier Wednesday.) Doug Risebrough, realizing that the Aeros are in a playoff race of their own, is hesitant to call anyone else up (not that he HAS anyone ready for the NHL level down there now) unless there is a dire (read: Goalie) need.

So that brings us back to Martin Skoula. I know we are all supposed to forgive him for previous brain cramps, but how in the hell can you do that when his play quality diminshes?

Oh, and for the record: The 'Team of 18,000' was actually the 'Team of 19,391' tonight. The place was packed, boisterous, and LOUD. Let's hope the fans bring it for Game 2 on Friday night.

Let's hope the Wild do as well. G'night, folks...



Anonymous said...

Does this mean the end of the "We love Marty Skoula" bandwagon?

WRT - Wild Road Tripper said...

Well, since I stated that I was never ON the Martin Skoula bandwagon, I think you could say that. He has been OK in the last few weeks; he was OK in Game 1. But, the reality as it stands after Game 1 is that we need much more than OK. Marty is unable to provide that.


J. Lichty said...

that was a terrible shift and it seemed a strange line matchup coming out of a timeout. I would say that Quenville outcoached Jacques Strappe in Game 1.

But, that was a great game to watch nevertheless. Ususally when a team buys a break it ends up winning. Oh well, here's hoping Game 2 is as exciting.

maggie said...

You really gotta feel bad for poor Grumpy. He played one full game, got a goal, played another game, and got hurt. I'm starting to decide who's luck is worse- Bananaz's or Grumpy's.

You think that whenever Sakic was on the ice they should have been staring him down like a hawk, but they let him set up a goal AND get the game winner.

Anonymous said...

Maggie: That's what happens when your top 3 defensemen play 28 + minutes each. They get tired, confused and forgetful. Like Skoula. He was good at the start of the game, then Jacques then starte to double-shift him late in the 3rd period and the OT.

Carney and Hill have to really step up big time in Game 2, you really don't want the boys going into Denver down 2-0.

Just my 2 cents' worth...


maggie said...

WRT- Your two cents is worth more than two cents. Jacques, are you reading this?