Judging by last night's reaction on Twitter -- and the quotes from Wild players and coaches themselves -- Minnesota's meltdown against the Predators had that feel to it. Though it was just a regular season game, there was a sense that because of the timing and circumstances -- right after the All-Star break, with the chance to build on a modest winning streak after a brutal preceding stretch -- it meant much more in the grand scheme of things.
For those unaware, the Wild had a three-goal lead at home in the third period. The lead was still two goals with less than four minutes to play before the Predators scored three times in regulation to steal a 5-4 victory from the emotionally deflated Wild. So what kind of game was it in terms of the "Levels of Losing?" We'd have to say it was Level 6 -- the broken axle game.
Definition: When the wheels come flying off in a big game, leading to a complete collapse down the stretch.
Yes, that pretty much sums up last night's game. Strangely enough, the rest of the description of the Broken Axle game focuses on basketball and ends with this: "By the way, nobody has been involved in more Broken Axle Games than Rick Adelman."
We can only hope that is no longer true, and we can say with near-certainty that Simmons must not have watched many Glen Mason-era Gophers football games.