By Wild Road Tripper
CHICAGO -- The Minnesota Wild brought some clothes, some money and some hockey equipment to Chicago in order to play the Chicago Blackhawks Monday night in a nationally-televised (except on DirecTV) game on Versus, the NHL's US cable-TV outlet. What did they forget to bring?
Their 'A' game.
The Hawks beat the Wild 3-1 in front of 20,046 at the United Center, in Martin Havlat's first real game against the team whom he used to play for, prior to his UFA signing on July 1 with the Wild.
Too bad Havlat's -2 rating for the night did not stand out more, as the Wild generally were one step behind the Hawks the rest of the evening.
Wild Offense: Right now, there is none, save for Andrew Brunette. He's the only one who can put the biscuit in the basket.
Wild Defense: About as bad as the offense. If they don't get bad luck, they get none at all.
Hawks Offense: Sputtering without Jonathan Toews, who's still MIA after Willie Mitchell's open-ice hit last week vs. Vancouver, but more than enough to beat this sorry lot.
Hawks Defense: Good enough for tonight. Not very good, but good enough.
Leader: Tomas Kopecky. Seemed to be wherever the puck was, even though he didn't show in the scoresheet.
Lagger: Mikko Koivu. O Captain, our Captain, where hast thou gone?
Stud: Brunette. The only single Wild player worth anything right now.
Dud: James Sheppard. Even after a stint at the Martin Skoula press box popcorn machine, he still doesn't get it. You can be 'Little Boy Lost' for only so long, Shep.
The assembled multitude got on the wrong bus after the game (naturally):
Chicken Little: Who's more lost right now? The Wild? Or us??
Pollyanna: Bruno's going great guns, but...Hey, why do we keep passing pawn shops?
Bottom Line: If the Wild are going to do anything later in the season except have a fire sale, they have to play better than this. Two front-line players for Chicago (Toews, Brent Seabrook) both out injured, and they still played like that tonight. Unacceptable.
Next: vs. Nashville, Wednesday, October 28, 7:00 PM, Xcel Energy Center. (TV: FSNorth (includes FSWisconsin) in HD: No XM Radio)
That Kane goal was sick. And the Hawks gave up only 21 shots, so their defense seemed to do fairly well. I only half-watched the game though.
The Kane goal was a wicked shot. I doubt 99% of the NHL would have tried that. Just enough room...
but Huet (except for when Brunette's goal was scored) could have been on the bench, eating a hot dog, for all we knew most of the night.
Agreed, and certainly the Wild's lack of offense played a part in Huet's boredom, but I would think Chicago's defense has to get some credit for it too. Fans, myself included, tend to only criticize their team when they lose without giving credit to the opponent for what they did well. There are two teams out there, and the outcome of a game isn't decided by just one of them. Lately, I've tried to be more accommodating to the opponent when the Penguins lose. That doesn't mean I always do, of course. ;)
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