You just had a feeling, that it was going to be one of those nights, when Steve Staios' cue-shot elbow into the nose of Stephane Veilleux was not called for a penalty.
And, you'd have been right.
The Minnesota Wild went into Edmonton's Rexall Place -- a building which recently has become something of a house of horrors -- and came out on the short end of a 3-1 lube job, courtesy of the Edmonton Oilers, who were themselves rebounding from a 10-2 annihilation Tuesday night at the hands of the Buffalo Sabres, which went down as the worst home loss in Oilers' history.
The only bright spot (other than two fights, by Cal Clutterbuck and Derek Boogaard) was James Sheppard's goal early in the third period. But, by that time, it was all over.
Now, the Wild take on another team whose house is literally in disarray -- the Vancouver Canucks, who have lost seven home games in a row at GM Place -- and who reportedly were fighting amongst themselves the last few days. Maybe 'da boys' can take advantage of the disorder to help pull themselves back into the Western Conference race, where the Wild now sit in 10th place after Friday night's action.
Chicken Little: Talk about 'where's the beef?' after this game?? Yeesh...
Pollyanna: Hey, at least the newbies (Peter Olvecky, Dan Fritsche) didn't cost the Wild the game this time.
Bottom Line: If the Wild are serious about making a playoff run, they really needed to win this one. You just don't throw away 4-point efforts. They should have been better prepared for the first period Oiler onslaught. They weren't; they paid for it; they lost. Simple.
Stud: It would have been worse without Josh Harding relieving Niklas Backstrom after the 3rd goal by the Oil.
Dud: Take your pick. There were so many who didn't come ready to play...
Next: at Vancouver, Tonight 9:00 PM Central (7 PM Pacific) time, GM Place, Vancouver. (TV: FSNorth, CBC in HD(doubleheader game, 'Hockey Night in Canada'), NHL Network-US: XM Ch. 204)