Article written by Sportmentary - Editor in Chief Sportmentary Online Sports Talk
The Minnesota Wild entered the third period of their game against the St. Louis Blues with a 3-2 lead. The Wild looked focused and determined to win a game against one the best teams in the Western conference. The problem is that hockey is three periods long, not two. The Wild only played two periods on this night. Before it was over the Wild would be tamed by the St. Louis Blues.
Minnesota actually had a 3-1 lead in the second period but the Blues got a goal late in the third period to narrow the gap to 3-2. The third period was a disaster. The Wild took three straight penalties at the midway point of the third period and although the Blues didn't score on them, the Wild were gassed
Shortly after the third penalty ended the Blues got a deflected goal from a shot from just inside the blue line. Chris Stewart was in front of the Wild net and deflected the shot from the blue line. Just over two minutes later the Wild gave up another shot from the blue line after the Wild made a sloppy and terrible line change.
The Wild would recover and Dany Heatly got an equalizer when he batted the puck into the Blues goal. Heatly had the presence of mind to wait until the puck dropped below the cross bar before batting the puck into the net with just over four minutes left in the third period.
The game would go into Overtime (OT). Under the circumstances the Wild were relieved to have a chance at OT. The Wild should have won the game and finished the Blues off in the third period. The Wild need to put a complete game together. They need to limit garbage penalties to a team like the Blues. They have to have cleaner line changes. They need to play smarter hockey.
Kudos to Dany Heatly for his heads up play and goal late in the third period. The top line figured in all of the Wild's goals. Zack Parise scored two goals, while Koivu and Heatly both netted a goal. The other lines of the Wild need to start doing their part. They need to pick up the slack. Parise, Koivu and Healtey can't do it all.
The Wild lost the game in the end. They lost 5-4 on an OT winner by the Blues. This game was extremely disappointing for Wild fans. Their team blew a chance to get back on track and also beat a good team. The Wild might be pretenders after all. The Wild were tamed by the Blues.
It doesn't get any easier for the Wild. Their next opponent is the Chicago Blackhawks. The Wild will have to play a better game in order to get two points from Chicago.