Someone better call the coroner, as the playoff chances of the Minnesota Wild are looking very grave.
The Detroit Red Wings virtually assured that the Slovakian National Team in the upcoming World Championships will have their best player, Marian Gaborik, on hand later this month when the Championships begin play in Bern, Switzerland, as fellow Slovakian Marian Hossa snapped off a laser past Niklas Backstrom with 54.3 seconds left in regulation, to propel the Red Wings past the Wild 3-2 in a NBC nationally televised game Sunday afternoon at Joe Louis Arena.
In retrospect, two Wild players stand out today; Kim Johnsson, who logged an astounding 29:52 in ice time, and Marek Zidlicky, whose once again, ill-timed offensive pinch with 1 minute remaining sprung the Wings into a 2-on-1 chance, which Hossa buried, snuffing out the probable final hope for post-season play for the 'Team of 18,000', as the Red Wings snapped a 3-game home losing streak. The Wild drop to 0-3 all-time on NBC, as the Red Wings win their 50th game of the season, keeping pace with San Jose for the top two spots in the Western Conference.
Nick Schultz was nowhere to be found down the stretch, as he reportedly sustained an eye injury in the second period, and failed to return for the remainder of the afternoon. The Wild now face the final two home games of the season, beginning Tuesday night against Dallas, safe in knowing that they are virtually out of post-season contention.
Assembled Multitude: Got your tee times ready yet?
Chicken Little: Ahhh...peace at last....now can we get going and shop for that 'Big Bertha' driver?
Pollyanna: It ain't over until WE say it is!
Bottom Line: The season is over, folks. Hossa, the man who could have played for the Wild, made sure of it. Yes, they might have been 'four-and-out' in the playoffs, but it would have extended the season a week or so. And at this time of year, I want every game I can get. And besides, with the recent history of poor Wild draft choices, if we are number 14, 15, 16, or 17 on draft day, does it really make any difference?
Stud: Backstrom. 41 saves against this line-up. You can't do it alone, however...
Dud: Zidlicky. Another 'brain fart' by Zids, and this one really stinks. Talk about wrong play, wrong time, pal. Your dumb move, with one minute left in the game, just cost us the season. Nice going, Zids.
Next: vs. Dallas, Tuesday, April 7th, 7:00 PM Central Time, Xcel Energy Center. (TV: Versus (in HD), TSN2; XM Ch. 239)
WRT (looking forward to 'Select-a-Seat')