Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could convince the world to love jumpsuits as much as he does. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.

Follow Randball on Twitter

Wednesday (Wild starting to feel Heatley's absence) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under NHL news Updated: May 8, 2013 - 8:42 AM


During the first three games of the Wild-Blackhawks series, we watched from the comfort of the couch. That changed in Game 4, with NHL enthusiast Rocket in town. It was time to pay up and see our first live playoff hockey game in a decade.


What we saw was ghastly at times. The Wild's first line, determined but often overmatched in this series, gave up two turnovers (one by Mikko Koivu, the other by Zach Parise) that led to the first to Chicago goals. The Wild's goaltending situation is something we have never seen, with the starter and top backup injured within four games. We also saw what has been evident throughout: Chicago is the more skilled team by a couple of lengths, if not more.

To make up for that, the Wild has either played a tight defensive game (Game 1 overtime loss in which they were a crossbar away from victory) or a very good and physical overall game (Game 3 overtime victory) to make this series competitive.

Game 4, one which often lacked flow or much of a spark beyond the first 10 minutes, was one in which another truth became evident: as frustrating as he can be, Dany Heatley is sorely missed in this lineup. Game 4 begged for his natural goal-scoring ability. Parise, at his best, is a relentless worker and gifted player, but he is no sniper. Neither is Koivu. The Wild, in this matchup and with this lineup, need effort goals and good bounces. What they needed Wednesday, particularly during six fruitless power plays, was someone who could find a corner of the net and hit it.

Heatley was injured in early April, missing the stretch run of the regular season and the playoffs. He had 11 goals in 36 games before that -- not exactly prolific, but it was tied for third on the team at the time. Minnesota scored one or zero goals in half of its final 12 games without Heatley. In the playoffs, Minnesota has six goals in four games, including Tuesday's shutout loss.

Heatley's presence most likely wouldn't have been the difference between winning and losing this series, so let's not call this an excuse. It would be foolish to believe that given just how good the Blackhawks are. But he would have helped -- particularly last night.


Post By Category

Arts (1) Books (1)
Movies (3) Music (6)
Hobbies (1) Fishing (1)
Society (3) Crime (1)
Sports (523) Baseball (1)
Professional baseball (786) Basketball (13)
College basketball (6) Football (1)
College football (118) Professional football (560)
Technology (1) Food and drink (14)
Politics (1) Transportation (1)
Employment (1) Career development (1)
Cooking (2) Pets (1)
Vikings (1075) Men (3)
Games (1) Gambling (1)
Commercial (1) Animals (3)
Dogs (3) Gripes (1)
Newspapers (1) Beer (6)
Minnesota wine retailers (1) Wine retail + marketing (1)
Bad driving (1) Commuting (1)
High School Sports (1) Family activities (1)
Style (2) Pregnancy (1)
Car buying (1) Retirement (1)
Shopping (1) Chickens (2)
Fruit and berries (1) Weather (1)
Internet (2) Twitter (2)
Video games (2) Web pick (1)
YouTube (1) Birds in the backyard (1)
Business trends (2) Loopholes (1)
Problems on the job (1) The rich get richer (1)
Airlines (1) Midwest getaways (1)
Road trips (1) Skiing (1)
Travel deals (1) Wisconsin (3)
Gopher road games (1) TCF Bank Stadium (1)
NCAA: football (124) Basketball on TV (2)
Gophers coaches (1) Frozen Four (11)
North Dakota (1) College hockey (20)
Fantasy football (12) Golf (84)
Minnesota state tournaments (20) Preps (8)
Soccer (93) WNBA (16)
Wild news (8) Wolves news (393)
NFC (2) Super Bowl (1)
Vikings coaches (1) Behind the scenes (3)
Celebrities (1) Dance (1)
Local TV and radio (2) Ex-players (1)
Injury report (2) Baseball wisdom (1)
Target Field (262) Twins fans (807)
Twins game coverage (17) Twins management (3)
Twins offense (1) Twins pitching (3)
NBA playoffs (1) Wolves draft news (1)
Wolves guards (1) Wolves players (9)
Values and morals (2) Miscreants (1)
Wild coaching (67) Wild game coverage (3)
Wild off-season news (1) Wild player moves (3)
Wild pregame skate (1) Wild trade news (1)
Movies (1) Buffalo Lake-Hector (1)
Ortonville (2) Brad Childress (1)
Stillwater (1) Television (2)
NHL news (97) Outdoors Women (1)
Olympics (2) Olympic hockey (1)
Glen Perkins (1) Health + Beauty (1)
Beer (2) Wine (1)
Public safety (1) Gophers (203)
Pen Pals (1)
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters