Wednesday night, the Wild managed to quell all that enthusiasm created by dismantling the Nashville Predators last weekend.
As if players started their Thanksgiving dinner of turkey, gravy and stuffing one night early, a quick start by the Wild dissipated unexpectedly and a Vancouver Canucks team with five wins in its previous 18 games skated away with a 3-2 victory.
"You'd think that we should come out with a little more attitude to start the second period than we did," coach Mike Yeo said. "We came out and played with half-speed, half-intensity, made hope plays, just threw the puck to them.
"We weren't really willing to work and play honest and try to create. Mentally we were not sharp. Things that we draw up on the board and talk about, then we come out and we're not ready.
"The intensity part is the main thing because when that's not there, everything else is following suit."
Radim Vrabata scored two goals and Jannik Hansen gave Vancouver a two-goal lead early in the third period with the eventual game-winner after Charlie Coyle scored with 80 seconds left. The Wild came centimeters from tying the score in the final seconds — Ryan Miller stopped Ryan Suter, Mikko Koivu, Thomas Vanek and Mikael Granlund 11 seconds apart, and Jason Pominville, goalless in 20 games, hit the crossbar, but as Vanek said, "too little too late."
It was the Wild's second loss in 10 home games.
"Tonight was one of those nights, because we have been good at home, we just expected a win, but we didn't put in the work," Vanek added.
That's what Yeo felt. The Wild got off to a quality start, forechecked the Canucks hard and forced them into turnover after turnover. The Koivu line especially buzzed the entire opening period, and Granlund and Koivu set up Vanek's team-leading ninth goal on a power play.
But the Wild spoiled what was otherwise a one-sided period by getting sloppy in the final few shifts. The carelessness began with a pair of turnovers on one shift by struggling defenseman Matt Dumba.
One minute later, Vanek turned the puck over in the neutral zone, and eight seconds later, after Pominville fell at center ice, Jared McCann skated easily into the zone and set up Vrbata for the tying goal with 27.9 seconds left.
The poor end of the period filtered into the second.
"I don't know if it was that goal at the end and that put a damper, but it shouldn't matter," Coyle said. "It's a tie game, playing at home, second period, we should be up for it."
The Wild completely lost its game, got outshot 10-5 and outscored 1-0. Granlund picked off Henrik Sedin's pass in the slot, didn't have Vrbata tied up and he made it 2-1 with a power-play goal, the 15th of his career against Minnesota.
"The second period was not even close to what it needs to be," said Koivu, who has a seven-game point streak. "All the credit to them for playing a good road game, but the second period, that's not us."
Added Coyle: "I don't know if we expected a team lower in the standings and didn't expect a game as good as Nashville, but we can't afford to take a shift off, take a period off, take a game off.
''It's going to come back to bite us like that."