CALGARY – The Wild has issues to address after getting blanked for the first time this season in a 2-0 loss to the Flames Thursday at Scotiabank Saddledome.
But that might not be the only problem for the team.
Captain Mikko Koivu exited the game in the third period and did not return after getting tripped up along the boards by Calgary
Coach Bruce Boudreau didn’t have an update on Koivu’s status after the game.
A closer look at the sequence appeared to show Giordano catch Koivu’s left knee with his left knee.
Giordano was penalized on the play for tripping.
“We saw it pretty clearly on the video,” Boudreau said.
That wasn’t the only controversial aspect of the ending of this game.
After defenseman Matt Dumba leveled center Mikael Backlund with a hard check, Dumba was jumped by winger Ryan Lomberg in the final minute of the third.
Lomberg was assessed an instigator, five-minute major and 10-minute game misconduct, a slew of penalties that is supposed to culminate in a one-game suspension and $10,000 fine for the coach.
“I get it, why it gets them fired up,” Dumba said. “Yeah, I understand. I’ve been on that side, too.”
Boudreau called the hit “a good hockey hit to me.”
Overall, the loss dropped the Wild to 1-1 on this three-game, Western Canada road trip that wraps up Friday in Edmonton against the Oilers.
And although that team has been playing tighter, low-scoring games since coach Ken Hitchcock took over for Todd McLellan after McLellan was fired last month, limping into Edmonton with offensive woes is not ideal for the Wild.
The team couldn’t work any of its 31 attempts on net by goalie Mike Smith, who was particularly effective at stymieing the Wild’s forecheck; an active puck-handler, Smith regularly picked pucks off the boards when the Wild shot them into Calgary’s zone and before the Wild could catch up, Smith transitioned the puck the other way.
“When you do dump it, it has to be in a good spot,” said center Eric Staal. “Otherwise he comes out and stops it every time, and it makes it really difficult to forecheck on. We had pockets of good play. We did have enough chances to at least get one, but it’s frustrating to finish like that.”