Even 42 saves were not enough to pull the Minnesota Wild out of their offensive funk last night.
Josh Harding worked as hard as he could to backup an anemic, tired offense but the Nashville Predators worked just a mite bit harder as they defeated the Wild 1-0 at Nashville's Sommet Center in front of 14,408 fans Saturday night.
The Wild looked like they were at the end of their rope, last night being their 11th game in the last 19 nights. The Wild came home immediately after the game for three-plus days at home before heading off to the Valley of the Sun for a game on Thursday night vs. the Phoenix Coyotes, the start of a three-game, four-night trip which will end next Sunday in Anaheim.
Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne had 31 saves for the winning Preds, who even the season series 1-1 with the Wild.
Not much else to say, other than even the Derek Boogaard - Wade Belak fight in the first period wasn't much of a tussle, altho Boogaard went off afterwards for repairs and Belak sat in the penalty box, his hands cut up from hitting Boogaard's helmet.
Let's go right to the multitude:
Chicken Little: There weren't enough shots early on for the Wild to get going, and someone let Jordin Tootoo take another run at Josh Harding (Johnsson again?)
Pollyanna: Harding is ready for anything any other NHL team wants to throw at him. He'll probably play one of the two games in Southern California this coming weekend.
Bottom Line: It's too bad the Wild wasted an opportunity like this. But, 11 games in 19 days is really compressing a season. Now, we fans know what a shortened season would have been like had we had one in 2004-05 as was rumored during the lockout/strike. Good to have 'da boys' off for a few days before heading out West.
Stud: Harding, no question. 42 saves, and on the only goal he let in, he was screened by no less than 5 players.
Dud: Kim Johnsson for his dumb penalty which led to the Predators' goal (the goal was scored 3 seconds after the penalty ended).
Next: at Phoenix, Thursday, Dec. 11, 8 PM Central (7 PM Mountain), Jobing.com Arena, Glendale, Ariz. (TV: FSNorth (including FSWisconsin), FSArizona, all feeds IN HD; XM Radio, Ch. 239)