ADVERTISEMENT

Avs outshot, outchanced, yet outscore Wild; Scandella injured

  • Blog Post by: Michael Russo
  • January 14, 2011 - 11:25 PM

Before we begin, tweet from Avalanche young star Matt Duchene (Matt9Duchene):"Great road win, never pretty against Minny that's for sure! Good news, O'Reilly is ok, makin plane ride back with us tonight. Thank God!"

Scary moment on a second-period Wild power play tonight, but O'Reilly, the Avs' other 19-year-old talent, tripped over Matt Cullen's skate and crashed head-first into the boards. All three Wild doctors (Dan Peterson, Joel Boyd and Sheldon Burns) attended to O'Reilly, immobilized him and took him off the ice on a stretcher and to Regions.

But the good news is he could move all extremities and as Duchene, a very high-paid and good hockey-playing PR guy, reported, O'Reilly chartered back to Denver.

As for the game, well, the Wild dominated it in every area but the scoreboard (sports cliche alert!!!). But it's true. Wild outchanged 'em 2-to-1, outshot 'em 33-18. Coach Todd Richards said the Wild needed more "puck luck" and "fortuitous bounces," and hey, it's hard to argue.

When it was 1-0, Craig Anderson robbed Kyle Brodziak, then Brodziak hit the side of the net with another half-empty net in front. Then, Marco Scandella, a minus-8 in the last 3 games and lost in the third period tonight after being hit in the ear with a puck (Richards didn't have update on status immediately after game), rang the post.

Then, the Avs get on a power play, the Wild's doing a great job killing it, but Clayton Stoner froze a puck instead of rimming it around, and a turnover later, give and go between Paul Stastny and Milan Hejduk, and that didn't end well for the Wild. It was the first time in eight games the Wild was scored on the penalty kill, and it proved to be the winner.

The Wild didn't have any puck luck, true. But it also doesn't have any horses like Hejduk, too, that can bury its chances even when they're few and far between.

In other words, Wild's got to work exhaustedly to score. Other teams, sometimes they don't.

Then, Anton Khudobin gave up a back-breaking goal late in the second. In a period the Wild controlled but couldn't beat Anderson, Tomas Fleischmann flipped a bouncing puck at Khudobin from the blue line and it got through the exposed FIVE-hole.

"Everything that will be talked about is that third goal," Richards said. "It’s just unfortunate. Young guy coming in, wants to impress, and you see that happen. … It happens."
 
And that's not why the Wild lost. The Wild lost because it couldn't score, a common theme here at the X. They've averaged 2.43 goals at home, 27th in the NHL.
 
Mikko Koivu did set up Andrew Brunette beautifully in the third period.Check the video here.
 
Very costly loss. Six days ago, the Wild won its fourth in a row and was 7th in the conference. Now it's 11th, four behind 8th-place Chicago. A Wild win tonight?
 
They'd be 9th, ONE point behind Colorado, which is now 5 ahead -- the proverbial four-point game.
 
To make matters worse, Vancouver, the best team in the NHL, is coming to town tomorrow for a Sunday 5 p.m. game. Then, four-game road trip before the All-Star break.
 
The Wild's up against it now. Huge portion of its season.
 
"We can’t let it get us down," said Brodziak, who was stopped on four shots, and missed the net four times. "The game could have went differently. You get a bounce here or there, or maybe we score on one of the chances early, it could be a different game. It’s frustrating when you play that hard for 60 minutes and don’t get the result you want. But we have to build on it."
 
Richards will accentuate the positives and try to play therapist by getting this fragile team's mind right again Saturday.
 
Cal Clutterbuck seemed to lack energy for a second straight game. And Brad Staubitz found himself out there many times with David Koci and never once dropped the gloves with him in a game the Wild and its fans could have used a little spark.
 
“I told them I’m ready to do my job, but nobody wanted to do anything,” Koci said. “I asked Staubitz if he wanted to go, but nothing.”
 
Ouch.
 
Talk to you from Saturday's practice, where we should have a Scandella update.
 

© 2014 Star Tribune