This team’s in absolute shambles, just a total mess.
For the second time in three games, the Wild got annihilated by six goals (only this time on national TV), the unraveling tonight coming in the final nine minutes of the second period when Colorado struck four times in a span of 5:41 – three in a span of 1:56 – en route to a 7-1 pounding of Minnesota.
Oy, oy, oy, where to begin?
The Wild fell behind early – 3:05 in tonight, which is progress, I suppose – and then actually responded fairly well.
But it kept taking penalties. Nate Prosser put one in the crowd. Kyle Brodziak instigated a fight. Warren Peters was called for goalie interference.
Then, finally, a Dany Heatley neutral-zone turnover led to the puck going the other way. Erik Christensen didn’t move his feet, took a reaching penalty and bam, 2-0, against a team that has little ability to score.
Less than four minutes later, the Wild get running around, Christensen again floats around the zone and bam, 3-0. Less than a minute later, the Wild turn it over in the neutral zone, the Avs come with speed, Mark Olver drives the net and falls over Matt Hackett, and bam, 4-0. In comes Josh Harding, awful breakdown defensively, and bam, 5-0.
In a snap, it felt, a 1-0 game became 5-0.
I’ve said this over and over, and I’m not trying to make excuses, but just look at the lineup. It’s yuck right now. That’s reality.
With all these injuries (Backstrom, Koivu, Bouchard, Latendresse, Stoner, Falk, Lundin), the Wild’s dressing a mishmash lineup. Then, Cal Clutterbuck’s not feeling well (I think we’ll find out this could be a head injury) and can’t play, Brodziak instigates a fight and is put in the box for 17 minutes forcing coach Mike Yeo to pull out the Bingo ball to come up with lines, Kurtis Foster’s back seizes up and he plays 62 seconds in two periods, and frankly, this is what you get.
Hideousness. A skill-less, inexperienced, makeshift lineup getting humiliated nightly.
Plus, for all the Nick Schultz critics out there, I think you can see now the stabilizing presence he had, the experience he brought. Nineteen goals allowed since he and Greg Zanon were traded.
Marco Scandella was minus-3. Steven Kampfer was minus-4. Foster was minus-2.
Brodziak and Nick Johnson minus-3. Jed Ortmeyer and Dany Heatley and Darroll Powe minus-2 each (Powe is a team-worst minus-19).
This team is incapable of making a play it seems.
At least tonight, it scored. Down 5-0, Devin Setoguchi snapped a 169-minute, 44-second goal drought for the team. He was the last one to score last Thursday in Montreal with 9.8 seconds left in regulation.
The Wild has lost 29 of 38 now overall, 18 of 21 on the road (outscored 68-25).
The Wild has been outscored 15-1 in the past nine periods, 13-0 in eight straight periods before the third tonight.
Anyway, read the game story for Mike Yeo’s quotes tonight. You may blow a gasket with the, “they care,” comments and how he feels for the players and that probably doesn’t fly after a 7-1 butt-beating. But what’s he going to say at this point?
It’s not like he can say, “Just look what I’ve got to work with right now.”
But, realistically, look at the Wild’s lineup nightly compared to every team it’s facing.
I’ve covered some bad teams. I’ve never covered a team where the wheels have fallen off this dramatically. I can’t believe there’s 15 more games of this.
Onward to Phoenix. I mean, it can’t get any worse, can it?