May be dangerous for consumption.
Look, I started out this game already pissed off because of the previous game, and literally nothing alleviated how pissed off I was. I have now reached entirely new levels of pissed off. One could almost call me incandescent with rage.
Things that didn’t help during this game: it was on NBC again and while they did not have the glaring errors they did during that game against the Blackhawks, the broadcast was so biased toward the Wild it was hard to listen to. Like, extremely hard to listen to.
Let’s look at a chart.
Figures taken from War On Ice, 5v5 unless otherwise mentioned, scored adjusted. Total CF was 43%. Bright side: we were out possessed and still lost? At least it actually makes sense.
Like. This one was fine. They said John Klingberg’s name right on the broadcast. Enroth made some really good saves. They talked about the Wild an UNGODLY amount, but I can’t actually remember anything that was said because I was rolling my eyes too hard.
I don’t know, y’all. This period was boring because the Wild play supremely boring hockey. I don’t know how people watch them regularly.
Like, one thing you need to know about this period is that our CF was 29%. TWENTY. NINE. PERCENT. There was one shift, you can see it’s the lowest point of the graph, where Cody Eakin lost his stick and we got stuck in our zone for literally three and a half minutes. It was a 5 on 4 power play (basically, without Eakin’s stick) for THREE AND A HALF MINUTES. Where we COULDN’T GET A LINE CHANGE.
Did they score during this time? Of course not. Why would the Wild score when they’re possessing the puck 71% of the time? When they’re creating a flurry of offense on our gassed players? When one of our dudes DOESN’T EVEN HAVE HIS STICK?
No. Instead we finally score on one of the three power plays given to us this period, and it was the second lamest penalty you can get, which I find particularly delightful. (Almost as delightful, it was Koivu’s second penalty that period, I just imagined Mike Yeo’s head exploding.)
This game, friends, is our season in a nutshell. We score when we’re barely touching the puck enough to actually carry it up the ice, let alone shoot it in the net.
Why bother with a chart. It would baseline at the bottom of the page and never blip back up. It would, in fact, just keep dropping off the page until it literally reached the center of the earth. That’s how incredibly shitty this period was.
You want some fun stats?
This period set a franchise record for the Wild.
According to Defending Big D, those six goals allowed by the Stars in the third are the most allowed by any team in the NHL this season.
If that doesn’t fill you with pride, I don’t know what will.
Do you want to talk about the goals? Let’s talk about the goals.
The first goal was scored when Klingberg basically left Parise alone in front of the net with enough space and time to build a house. Klingberg’s been solid for us the whole season long, but these last two games has really just had some stinkers. Which, I mean. My god. This whole TEAM has had stinkers, let’s just talk about that. Klingberg has been a bright spot, but he isn’t defensive Jesus, come to save us from our blunders.
Our spirit was really broken on the second goal when Cole turned the puck over in our zone, gets tangled up with Goligoski who was trying to defend, which left Koivu the time and space to scoop the puck up and make Enroth look like the shittiest goalie in the world. Like, he wasn’t in position. He wasn’t able to get down in butterly. Koivu got five hole because Enroth was standing bowlegged on the goal line and, like, basically just let him. It was quite possibly the softest goal any of our goalies have let in this season, and that’s saying something.
It was just embarrassing after that. Veilleux beats all six of the Stars on the ice FROM HIS BELLY. (It was his first goal of the year too, you’re welcome.)
The fourth goal had perhaps the best call. “And the roof is caving in on the Dallas Stars” as Dumba skates over for his fist bumps from the bench. Like. Bro. We’re so far under the roof of our season you don’t even know. (You don’t know, because as an NBC announcer you probably haven’t even been paying attention to hockey. This year or any year.) Honestly, it was another that Enroth should have had. No one was screening him, he was square to the shooter. There weren’t any surprises. It was on the power play for the Wild so Enroth should already have been paying better attention. But, like, his spirit had already been broken, I guess. (Sorry Enroth, I hope you weren’t expecting better defense than you were getting on the Sabres when you came down here.)
Granlund gets a breakaway, Jokipakka isn’t able to intercept or catch up. Like. I don’t know if Jokipakka just wasn’t aware of the ice around him or what, but this was just not a great night for our rookie defensemen, and we need great nights from EVERYONE going into this stretch.
WE’RE STILL NOT DONE TALKING ABOUT THE GOALS. Parise gets his second on a fucking sloppy turnover from Klingberg right in front of our net, and Parise isn’t one to not cash in on those kinds of errors. 6-1 Wild. SIX. ONE. WILD.
Thankfully, that’s where the carnage ended for us. Spezza netted another one but who even cares at this point.
At least the Dallas Stars instagram can maintain its good humor.
The Wild have long been a team that plays a frickin great possession game. They slow fast teams down, they’re SICK defensively. They can’t always kick their offense in to step it up but CLEARLY they had no problems here.
But. Like. We have so many issues here. It was our third period collapse played out to an epic scale. It was our third period collapse on STEROIDS. A couple of those Enroth should have had, honestly, as an NHL level goalie. But a couple of those were definitely defensive deficiencies.
Crossing my fingers and praying to Jesus for a #1 defenseman to just appear. Suddenly. In a storm of snow and amazing possession numbers.