Now you know why Todd Richards was apprehensive to say the Wild's good morning skate Thursday would translate to the game.
Brutal, from its own end out all night long. As you can read in the gamer, assistant coach Rick Wilson had to split his first and third defense pairings. Brent Burns, Cam Barker and Justin Falk all had rough, rough nights. In fact, rookie Clayton Stoner was arguably the team's best defenseman.
It was just lost puck battles all night long.
Ben Eager goal: Justin Falk loses battle with Eager on wall, then Eric Nystrom loses Eager.
Jim Slater goal: John Madden doesn't even consider checking a guy he's skating with for 20 feet, he sends it to the point, Enstrom slides it to big-shot Byfuglien, Backstrom can't handle rebound goal.
Andrew Ladd goal: Matt Cullen, who's got no goals in nine games, can't get a shot off while tangled in the offensive zone. The puck comes the other way, and Cam Barker just couldn't win a battle with Rich Peverley. He gets it to the net, Burns and Cullen don't have the backdoor covered, goal.
Freddy Modin shorthanded goal: After Antti Miettinen scores, then draws a power play to make it a game, the Thrashers go the other way and an idling captain Mikko Koivu's got no awareness that Modin slips by him.
Nik Antropov goal: Falk loses puck battle with Ladd. Goal.
Dozens of puck battles lost, in the offensive and defensive zones. Couldn't make a pass early on. Poor dumps in the first 10 minutes, meant pucks coming the other way quickly.
Luckily, the Wild doesn't have four days to think about this one like it had four days to think about its win over Columbus. They play again Friday night in Florida. We'll see if they can rebound. Jose Theodore will be in the cage.
Talk to you from South Florida.