Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Minnesota Wild Run Out Of Gas In Anaheim

Article written by Sportmentary - Editor in Chief Sportmentary Online Sports Talk
After the Wild put forth a great effort in a shootout victory over the then undefeated Chicago Blackhawks in St. Paul on Wednesday night, they traveled to the West Coast where they ran out of gas against the Anaheim Ducks. The Minnesota Wild simply ran out of gas on Friday night.

Autographed Niklas Backstrom Photo - 8X10 w COAThe Ducks looked mighty on Friday night. They controlled the play and seemed to be in the Wild's zone all night long. The Ducks won the game 3-1 but if wasn't for the stellar netminding of Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom, they could have lost the game 8-1.

I will not be too harsh on the Wild. They had a grueling game against the Blackhawks and it took an OT shootout for the Wild to come out victorious. Two nights later and less than 48 hours later, the Wild were on the West Coast playing against the Ducks.

Sure we expect our professional athletes to have enough energy to compete but traveling to other side of the country on short rest in a lockout shortened season where teams play more games in a short period of time can be tough.

Coastal travel can be tough in a regular season but this year it's even tougher. With that said, the Wild will have to figure out how to win on the road, something they've yet to accomplish. They will have to get used to more travel in a shorter period of time. The way they played last night was pathetic.

The Wild need to get back to basics. Coach Mike Yeo needs to spend some time explaining how to clear the puck out of their own end. The Wild were inept at that yesterday and their confusion on how to move the puck out of their end of the ice showed.

It was so obvious that Ducks players were all over them, pressuring them all night long. The Wild couldn't help to turn over the puck. The result was long offensive sequences in the Wild zone. There were times when the Ducks controlled the puck for over two minutes while Wild players tried to put their Lego blocks aside long enough to try and defense their end of the ice.

The Wild's lack of energy and enthusiasm showed in the offensive zone as well. The Wild had few pressuring sequences and the Ducks were able to clear their zone quickly and efficiently while transitioning to offense.

This was a very frustrating game to watch. I never had the feeling that the Wild would find their legs and be able to create enough offense to win the game. The Wild's next game is against the NHL owned Phoenix Coyotes. I'm hoping that the Wild throttles the Coyotes and earns their first road victory of this season.

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