Todd Bertuzzi reminds most Minnesota Wild fans of a bad piece of meat. Eventually, you'll develop indigestion. Tonight, they were reminded as to why.
Bertuzzi's intercept of an errant puck handle nearing the end of overtime let Adrian Aucoin walk in against Minnesota goaltender Niklas Backstrom, and his shot bounced off the posterior of Brent Burns, off the arm of Backstrom, and into the net to give the Calgary Flames a 3-2 overtime win over the Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The OT loser point drops the Wild further behind in the Western Conference playoff race, as every other team playing who are ahead of the Wild (except Edmonton, who lost at Dallas) won Thursday night. And, to make matters that much worse, Andrew Brunette left the game late in the first period with an undisclosed 'lower body' injury, according to Wild Propaganda Minister Kevin Falness.
The Wild are now 1-5-3 in their last nine games vs. Calgary, who see the Wild as the Wild saw the Chicago Blackhawks until this season; as their own personal chew toy, ready to be beaten at any given time. The Wild have now lost 3 in a row, with two games back-to-back upcoming against two of the top four teams in the West, where they are now 17-21-4 overall.
The Flames now lead the Northwest Division by 14 points over the Wild, who play 7 of their next 8 games on the road after their Saturday home game against Detroit, yet another team who loves beating up on the Wild.
The Wild now find themselves six points behind Edmonton for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West, and 5 points ahead of 14th place St. Louis.
It sucks being a Wild fan right now...
Chicken Little: Which moving company should we call for the van to pull up for the exodus? The Wild will be sellers at the deadline, sure as shootin'...
Pollyanna: Wild-killer Jarome Iginla did not register a point for the 3rd game in a row against 'da boys'.
Stud: Dan Fritsche. Really stepped up after Bruno's injury to help bail the Wild out. Sadly, it wasn't enough, no thanks to...
Dud: Marek Zidlicky. Called out after the game in Jacques Lemaire's post-game presser, Zids took a chance on an offensive rush, turned the puck over, got caught out of position, and got burned for it. Completely killed the atmosphere at the start of the game, and stomped it flat pretty much the rest of the night. You really know you've pissed the coaches off when you get thrown under the bus by JL.
Next: vs. Detroit, Saturday, Feb. 21, 7:00 PM Central Time (8 PM Eastern), Xcel Energy Center. (TV: FSNorth, FSDetroit, RDS, all feeds in HD; XM Ch. 209)