Under normal circumstances, a game this high-scoring should have been an exciting, great exhibition of what hockey can be...and what other sports (soccer) is not.
Monday night's game at Xcel Energy Center was not a great hockey exhibition, unless of course your name is Paul Stastny, who's 2 goals led the Avs past the Wild to start off the month of December.
The new captain of the Wild did not fare very well, as Kim Johnsson, who was awarded the captaincy of the Wild after Monday's morning skate, had one of his worst games in a Wild sweater, winding up a -3 for the night as the Avs improved their record to .500 (12-12-0), while the Wild blew another chance of taking first place in the Northwest Division away from Vancouver, who lost 3-2 to the Blue Jackets in Columbus.
That wasn't 'Moose!' you were hearing on Versus or TSN2 tonight in the latter half of the second period. Those were boos, loud and long, from the 18,568 (well, those that weren't Avs fans) as the Wild displayed one of their most putrid periods EVER in their eight-season history, as the Avs scored 4 goals in 14 minutes (2 of those 1:20 apart) to turn a 3-2 Wild lead into a 6-3 Avs romp.
The Wild tried, mostly in vain, to make a game of it in the third period, but the Avs played the 'prevent' defense (the same one 'da boys' can't seem to handle) to perfection down the stretch as the Wild blew a golden opportunity to take advantage of a night where neither team was on their game.
Chicken Little: The weight of the Captain's 'C' was too much for Johnsson to handle. Give it back to the real leader of the Wild...Mikko Koivu. And quickly!
Pollyanna: Brent Burns scored his 100th point tonight, Bouchard had two goals, the Wild scored five...what more do you want?
Bottom Line: Jacques Lemaire said in his post-game presser that the first two periods were the worst two he had ever seen the Wild play. He'd probably get 18,568 people nodding in agreement. Tonight's game was an embarrassing display of hockey. You can't go on like this and expect not to be a big seller at the trade deadline. Something has to give -- soon -- or this team will backslide right out of the playoffs. You don't give away divisional games at home like this.
Stud: Only because we've all been on him for not shooting...PMB and his two goals.
Dud: Every other non-goalie on the lineup card, save for Boogaard, who almost -- almost -- scored tonight. He actually tried to play hockey. Wish the rest of the team felt that way tonight.
Next: Vs. St. Louis, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 7:00 PM Central Time (FSNorth, FSMidwest, both feeds in HD)