A strong, passion-charged effort was wasted in another hapless shootout showing.
The Winnipeg Jets are to blame.
In what feels like an excruciating eternity ago, they started the Wild's tumble down the standings on Dec. 13. The Wild has lost 22 of 27 since.
Told that fact Thursday morning, Jets coach Claude Noel said, "And you want me to cry?"
Noel has got his own problems. The Wild and Jets are in parallel universes -- separate conferences yet each going the wrong way in the standings.
That desperation was evident during Thursday's rematch -- an eventual 4-3 shootout victory by the Jets that seemed to be played in front of half of Winnipeg.
Thousands of Jets fans, all wearing blue and white, all screaming "Go Jets Go!" and "BACK-STROM"ing Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom in his own barn, made the trek to Xcel Energy Center. It created an intoxicating atmosphere in what turned into a fantastic game between brewing rivals. There were lots of scoring chances, scrums and one toe-to-toe Darroll Powe vs. Tanner Glass middleweight bout.
"That's what hockey's all about," Powe said. "The crowd was going. Fighting in the stands, fighting on the ice. It was a hard-fought game."
But one with a familiar feeling postgame for the Wild, which could not pull out the extra point. Its winless streak has reached six (0-5-1) thanks to an 0-3-1 homestand.
Devin Setoguchi and Evander Kane exchanged goals in both the first and second periods. Mikko Koivu scored the go-ahead goal 63 seconds into the third, only to see Alexander Burmistrov answer two minutes later.
Then, Kane won it in the shootout as Backstrom lost his fourth consecutive shootout and the Wild its fifth in the past six.
"Once again, it's just one or two plays where we could have put one in, could have scored a goal, could have stopped one," said Setoguchi, who had his first two-goal game for the Wild. "It's disappointing. ... You can't get frustrated, but right now it's tough to swallow."
Coach Mike Yeo was proud of the effort, saying: "We're going through a real tough time. I know a lot of other teams would not handle it the way that our guys are. We're coming out and we're fighting hard every game."
Yeo said it's just a matter of "climbing over that hurdle right now and finding that play."
In all four games on the homestand, the Wild's first line struck first. Twice it was Dany Heatley, twice Setoguchi.
Setoguchi finished a beautifully executed 3-on-1 pass from Mikko Koivu for a 1-0 Wild lead, but with 1:13 left in the first, Kane lost Nate Prosser and tied it after Blake Wheeler lost Nick Schultz and hit him with a goalmouth pass.
Kane made it 2-1, but after the Wild went the first 12:15 of the period without a shot, Setoguchi tied the score on a power play. Koivu scored for the first time since Dec. 29 early in the third, but Schultz swung and missed at Dustin Byfuglien's rebound off the end boards two shifts later and Burmistrov tied it at 3-3. "I don't know if it bounced over my stick or I just missed it or whatever. I can't let it get by me," Schultz said.
Schultz nearly won it in overtime, but Chris Mason made the save before denying three shooters in the shootout.
The Wild scored seven goals on the homestand -- all by Heatley, Setoguchi or Koivu. It's getting no secondary scoring. "We've got to start gripping the stick looser," said Nick Johnson.
The Wild outshot Winnipeg 14-6 in the third. It mounted pressure. But Mason stoned 'em, and Jets fans loved it.
"Not only were they there, but they were noisy," Wheeler said. "It's always fun to see them make the game maybe not so fun for the home crowd and stir things up."
|Houston||12/5/13 7:25 PM|
|Minnesota||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Kansas City||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Buffalo||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Miami||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Detroit||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Indianapolis||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Cleveland||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Oakland||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Atlanta||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Tennessee||12/8/13 3:05 PM|
|St. Louis||12/8/13 3:25 PM|
|Seattle||12/8/13 3:25 PM|
|NY Giants||12/8/13 3:25 PM|
|Carolina||12/8/13 7:30 PM|
|Dallas||12/9/13 7:40 PM|
|Denver||58||3rd Qtr 8:05|
|LA Clippers||38||2nd Qtr 3:07|
|Dallas||24||1st Qtr 2:16|
|Detroit||18||1st Qtr 2:40|
|Phoenix||20||1st Qtr 2:27|
|San Antonio||8:30 PM|
|Oklahoma City||9:00 PM|
|Montreal||1||2nd Prd 5:29|
|Philadelphia||0||1st Prd 13:00|
|Brewton-Parker||39||2nd Half 13:34|
|West Va Tech||62||2nd Half 11:11|
|Tulane||46||2nd Half 7:56|
|Valparaiso||49||2nd Half 10:45|
|Western Carolina||50||2nd Half 8:47|
|South Florida||36||2nd Half 11:28|
|Rutgers||50||2nd Half 12:17|
|Sacred Heart||57||2nd Half 9:13|
|No Greenville||49||2nd Half 11:45|
|Richmond||48||2nd Half 11:19|
|William & Mary||46|
|New Hampshire||40||2nd Half 7:26|
|Central Conn St||49|
|Wisconsin||39||2nd Half 7:02|
|Wofford||42||2nd Half 11:39|
|Maine||44||2nd Half 8:58|
|Marist||47||2nd Half 11:11|
|Maryland||40||2nd Half 10:22|
|UMBC||52||2nd Half 8:41|
|UMKC||40||2nd Half 13:25|
|Army||53||2nd Half 5:50|
|Binghamton||52||2nd Half 8:27|
|Mount St Marys||38|
|Harvard||53||2nd Half 9:42|
|Albany||36||2nd Half 16:28|
|Lehigh||43||2nd Half 10:10|
|Furman||31||2nd Half 9:43|
|Hartford||43||2nd Half 12:09|
|Davidson||55||2nd Half 12:20|
|Delaware State||30||2nd Half 9:50|
|Detroit||59||2nd Half 11:52|
|Fair-Dickinson||43||2nd Half 9:26|
|Citadel||40||2nd Half 9:12|
|Cleveland State||48||2nd Half 8:43|
|Central Penn College||50||2nd Half 11:58|
|Young Harris||42||2nd Half 6:56|
|Bryant||29||2nd Half 19:08|
|Bucknell||38||2nd Half 16:32|
|Robert Morris||33||1st Half 2:22|
|Huston-Tillotson||12||1st Half 8:12|
|SMU||20||1st Half 7:22|
|Tenn-Martin||25||1st Half 8:38|
|North Florida||8||1st Half 11:19|
|Cedarville||13||1st Half 10:14|
|Saint Josephs||21||1st Half 7:47|
|Penn||8||1st Half 11:19|
|Morehead State||12||1st Half 8:16|
|Houston||16||1st Half 7:27|
|St Edwards||25||1st Half 6:00|
|East Tenn St||19||1st Half 10:26|
|Eastern Ill||9||1st Half 8:45|
|Evansville||15||1st Half 9:05|
|Dakota State||21||1st Half 7:58|
|South Dakota St||27|
|Chicago State||15||1st Half 7:41|
|Texas Southern||17||1st Half 10:19|
|Cameron||12||1st Half 9:16|
|New Mexico||8:00 PM|
|New Mexico St|
|North Carolina||8:00 PM|
|Boston College||8:00 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton||9:00 PM|
|(19) Louisville||12/5/13 6:30 PM|
|Bowling Green||12/6/13 7:00 PM|
|(16) Northern Ill|
|(15) UCF||12/7/13 11:00 AM|
|(18) Oklahoma||12/7/13 11:00 AM|
|(6) Oklahoma State|
|Marshall||12/7/13 11:00 AM|
|Memphis||12/7/13 12:00 PM|
|(23) Texas||12/7/13 2:30 PM|
|(5) Missouri||12/7/13 3:00 PM|
|So Florida||12/7/13 6:30 PM|
|(7) Stanford||12/7/13 6:45 PM|
|(11) Arizona State|
|(20) Duke||12/7/13 7:00 PM|
|(1) Florida State|
|Louisiana||12/7/13 7:00 PM|
|(2) Ohio State||12/7/13 7:17 PM|
|(10) Michigan State|
|Utah State||12/7/13 9:00 PM|
|(24) Fresno State|
|(15) Nebraska||30||2nd Half|
|(18) North Carolina||40|
|Maryville (MO)||55||2nd Half 6:03|
|Samford||22||2nd Half 8:39|
|St Francis-PA||43||2nd Half 13:36|
|Columbia||39||2nd Half 6:30|
|Western Carolina||36||2nd Half 6:50|
|Towson||55||2nd Half 7:23|
|Albany||72||2nd Half 4:29|
|Binghamton||43||2nd Half 2:51|
|Hartford||38||2nd Half 11:14|
|Ohio State||35||2nd Half 12:11|
|Howard||32||2nd Half 6:43|
|Stony Brook||57||2nd Half 7:53|
|Morehead St||42||2nd Half 9:00|
|Georgia Southern||50||2nd Half 6:28|
|American Univ||43||2nd Half 6:13|
|Murray State||55||2nd Half 6:27|
|Drexel||46||2nd Half 6:12|
|Michigan State||46||2nd Half 7:11|
|Illinois||47||2nd Half 11:39|
|Boston U||42||2nd Half 14:20|
|Tennessee St||50||2nd Half 8:18|
|Rhode Island||51||2nd Half 7:17|
|Rutgers||49||2nd Half 9:34|
|IUPUI||58||2nd Half 12:35|
|St Bonaventure||47||2nd Half 8:42|
|James Madison||63||2nd Half 6:20|
|Virginia Tech||41||2nd Half 8:24|
|South Florida||41||2nd Half 10:53|
|Fla Gulf Coast||41|
|Southern Ill||22||2nd Half|
|SE Missouri St||35|
|Western Ill||34||2nd Half|
|(4) Notre Dame||36||1st Half 3:58|
|(10) Penn State||22|
|Stephen F Austin||21||1st Half 8:42|
|Ark-Little Rock||5||1st Half 9:45|
|Northern Iowa||14||1st Half 9:57|
|(20) Iowa State||21|
|Arkansas||9||1st Half 11:46|
|SE Louisiana||12||1st Half 9:45|
|Washington||16||1st Half 11:05|
|Ark-Pine Bluff||8||1st Half 11:46|
|Eastern Michigan||28||1st Half 8:48|
|Florida||40||1st Half 8:22|
|Louisiana||11||1st Half 8:09|
|Oral Roberts||14||1st Half 11:07|
|Tenn-Martin||14||1st Half 11:31|
|North Texas||7:30 PM|
|(11) Colorado||8:00 PM|
|San Diego||9:00 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton|
Poll: What's the best sports rivalry involving a Twin Cities sports team?