In all honesty, that was a boring game. And you have to figure it was by design on the part of the Wild. Get the lead, tighten it up, choke the Ducks to death. A very Wild-like win.
The Wild did some nice things. Obviously their defensive game was very strong. Not very many secondary- or tertiary-chances for the Ducks at all. They played their system extremely well. They were opportunistic offensively, and other than PMB's ENG, Bruno's and Mikko's goals were both the result of hard work and going to the net.
PMB had another strong game - and we need it from him. Now he has to keep it up, because he has the ability to really be a difference-maker for us down the stretch here. He's finally playing "big" (well, bigger than himself) and that's awesome - but it needs to continue.
A perfect game from Clutterbuck. Aggravating, drawing penalties, not retaliating, no boarding...creating opportunities. Bobby who?
And Backstrom. What else can you say about him? For sure it wasn't the Ducks' best game ever, but he is just so solid. I thought the Ducks TV crew did a good job showing how he's just swallowing pucks, not letting off any rebounds (and admitting that I thought Brian Hayward did something good took a lot out of me.) Russo apparently mentioned that there might, repeat might, be something going on with his contract negotiations with the Wild. Assuming DR won't sign him if he's looking for ridiculous money, I sure hope they can work something out.
Finally, thanks to our new friends SK and grace, both Ducks fans, who stopped by the live blog during the game last night. And Fred, from Ms. Conduct's neck of the woods too. (And of course Ms. Conduct, Elise, Buddha, KiPA, MiG and Maggie - the old gang.) It's great to get the opposing fan's perspective on things.
Chicken Little says: Actually, not too much to gripe about. It wasn't the most exciting game ever, but it was a win.
Pollyanna says: Back-to-back wins! 9-5-1 since New Year's Eve! Back into the top eight!
Bottom Line: A big two points to start off this crucial stretch of 8-of-10 at home heading into the March from Hell.
Stud: For as much as we beat on PMB, when he's playing this well we have to give him the shout out. Turnabout's fair play.
Dud: SRV was absolutely invisible last night. With Cal getting some PK time, could SRV be out of a job?
Next: Nashville, Xcel Energy Center, Friday 8pm ET.