Backstrom was very good last night at GM Place. He continues to give his team a chance night in and night out. He has maintained an elevated level of play over last season, and continues to make the hard saves as well as the ones he should make.
That has been enough for the Wild in 8 of their 13 games so far this season, and a major part of this year's version of their now-annual rush out of the opening gate.
It wasn't enough last night.
You see, the Canucks employ this goalie by the name of Roberto Luongo. He's pretty good. He was outstanding last night. He garnered his third shutout in a row - and fifth on the young season. To say he's in a ridiculous zone is to minimize the brilliance that he brings every night.
The thing is, he hasn't been that successful (for him) against the Wild in his career-to-date. But he was the story last night. I would say the Wild had the lion's share of the good chances - and that's not including the shots the Canucks blocked. While Backs did what the Wild needed him to do, Luongo just did more.
In particular his second period left pad save on Bouchard (who was pretty good last night himself) was a thing of beauty. Bobby had the left pad working all night, and used it on another tough save later in the same period.
I really didn't have a problem with how the Wild played overall. The Canucks neutralized the Wild's power play, but one got the sense it really wouldn't have mattered considering how locked in Luongo is right now.
So, you tip your cap to him.
Come on home, boys.
Chicken Little says: It's hard to muster up some desperation in a mid-November game. But the Wild didn't even appear to try to do so until it was too late.
Pollyanna says: Threw everyting at them but the kitchen sink. Nothing to hang their heads at.
Bottom Line: Tough to say anything other than the right team won.
Stud: Luongo - not even close. If you need a Wild player, Backstrom fits the bill.
Dud: As posted on Russo's Rants last night, Queen MAB is the new Skoula.
MAB is not doing a good job erasing my memory of the Stanley Cup playoffs in '06.
Despite the fact that Backstrom has been playing so well for you lately, isn't it better to trade him now for some younger guys and keep Gabby happy? Otherwise, you'll forever be pining for that Top 3 scoring forward... Like - well - Cannots fans have been...
Well first, I'm not sure we can make Gaby happy. If he's turning down upwards of $9M per, which he's going to be hard pressed to get somewhere else, then that suggests that he just doesn't want to be in Minny.
Second, I'd rather build around a stud goalie than an injury prone diva who doesn't even score all that well/often any day.
Bottom line for me is that if gaborik just doesn't want to come back to Minnesota (Lemaire?) then he has to go.
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