Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Minnesota Throws Away Game Late in Third Period – Arizona Coyotes Win in shootout

Last night while watching the Wild game, I fell into the trap that many other Minnesota sports fans have fallen into. Just when I thought that my team had the game won and that they couldn’t lose, reality set in. Once I let my guard down and thought things were safe. Reality set in. Once I had faith in my team, the Wild did what other Minnesota sports teams have done and that is they pulled the rug right out from under me and stuck a metaphorical dagger in my heart.

The Minnesota Wild had found a way to lose a game that it had dominated. The Wild had spent the first 40 minutes building an amazing lead…in shots that is. The Minnesota Wild had outshot the Coyotes 24-6 by the end of the second period.

The problem for the Wild is that they can’t score. This is a problem the team has had lately and a problem that seems to crop up season after season. When I say that the Coyotes weren’t in the game in the first 40 minutes, that’s an understatement.

Minnesota Wild Dominated Arizona Through Two periods

The Coyotes did nothing. Any credible team would have had a sizable lead by the end of the second period but not the Wild. I knew that the Coyotes would come on strong in the third. They’ve done that all season. So that meant that the Wild would come out flat.

This set the trend for a heart-breaker. That’s what I thought until the Wild scored the go ahead goal midway through the third period. The Wild hung on to the lead late into the final frame. That’s when Arizona took a penalty.

The Fall of the Wild in St. Paul

I’m sure everyone watching the debacle last night thought that the Wild had the game won. What could go wrong? Shame on us for having faith in these losers. Just when everything looked fine and dandy, Devan Dubnyk had to act like a typical Wild player and make a boneheaded play by coughing up the puck behind his net.

The Coyotes scored and that sent the game into Overtime (OT). You could feel the air had been let out of the building. At this point in the game, I knew that the Wild would either lose in OT or in the shootout because the Wild play like amateurs in OT and the shootout.

If OT wasn’t bad enough, their performance in the shootout was embarrassing, pathetic and downright unforgivable. The Wild lost in the shootout and with that lost a game that they should have won.

Leave it up to the Wild to figure out a way to lose a game like the one that they lost last night.

Shakeup Necessary

Like many Wild fans, I’m sick and tired of hearing that this team has talent. I’m sick of hearing we have a lot of potential and I’m sick of this team leaving an impression that this is the year. The problem with this group of misfits and underachievers is that they can’t put together a consistent brand of hockey.

In the past two seasons the Wild have had a poor December and January, only to put together a miracle during the last two months of the season to make the playoffs. They earned Wild Card playoff spots in both of the past two seasons and won their first round series.

Then the team collapsed when they played the Blackhawks. This year was shaping up to be different. Minnesota had their best record ever through the end of December but a collapse has occurred in January, the worst time for a collapse to occur.

The issue in all of the Wild’s collapses and when they’ve had trouble winning games is that they go for long periods of time having difficulty scoring more than a goal a game. Many times it’s not for the lack of chances but for the inability to bury the puck in the back of the net.

I don’t know how many times the Wild have made a goalie look like an MVP and future Hall of Famer.

The Wild need to shakeup their lineups and make a blockbuster trade for a bonafide goal scorer. They need to acquire a proven talent and someone that’s won in the playoffs.

The only problem with this line of reasoning is that the player the Wild will acquire will probably go into their worst goal scoring drought of their career.

Is it still possible for the Wild to make the playoffs? Of course it is. Knowing the Wild, they will play desperate hockey in February and March and make the playoffs as the seventh or eighth seed. Then bow out in four games in the first round of the playoffs.

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Hockey Wilderness
Sportmentary.com recommends Hockey Wilderness to our readers. It's an insightful blog for everything Minnesota Wild.

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