Game Eight: The Hangover
Posted by Nathan Wells on Monday, February 04, 2013
Wild.com recap (Anaheim 3 - Minnesota 1)
In the Ugly Duckling album "Taste the Secret," there is an overlying concept of a fictional fast-food restaurant called "Meat Shake" where everything is made with meat. Even the french fries and fresh cookies they bake. Their signature meal is a meatshake made with meat, dairy cream, cheese and beans all mixed in a blender and served in a cup.
So why do I bring that up in a post about a hockey game? As disgusting as that sounds (or in the words of the Long Beach, CA hip-hop trio, "wait until you try it, you'll want it in your diet") to literally digest, Friday's game reminded me of what that taste would be like three days later.
There was nothing ugly about the Anaheim Ducks Friday night as they handily defeated Minnesota 3-1 in a game that took away any momentum from the Wild's victory over Chicago.
Other belated musings:
-Minnesota's first line of Zach Parise-Mikko Koivu-Dany Heatley has been dominant all season so while it isn't surprising to see a team shut them down, it is surprising to see the three have no shots for 55 minutes. The Wild have been getting contributions from other players more in the last week but they still have been a one-line team more than anything. I don't expect all three to be off to become the norm. At the same time, teams have and will be focusing on shutting down Heatley, Parise and Koivu. That puts more pressure on others to show up and prove that there is depth and Minnesota isn't a one-line team like last year.
-Teemu Selanne makes Chris Chelios seem like a mortal creature.
-For the second time in four games, the Wild were physically manhandled by a bigger Anaheim team. Minnesota has speed yet teams have stymied their lack of size. Although it's something Chuck Fletcher addressed in today's Mike Rupp trade (side notes: outside of getting an extra 3rd round pick the Marek Zidlicky trade has been lose-lose along with Darroll Powe being expendable once Torrey Mitchell was signed), one guy doesn't make the biggest impact. There are still bigger issues at hand.
-On the same note, Matt Kassian has gone from cult hero signed to a two-year deal to being kept out of a lineup in need of physicality just over the span of a Lockout.
-Niklas Backstrom once again played well in goal and kept the score closer than it should have been.
-Marco Scandella scored the lone goal for Minnesota, which has to be a positive step for the defenseman. At the same time, he also made a few defensive blunders and
-Matt Cullen was injured on a head-first crash in the boards towards the end of the game. Although we know he'll soldier on 3 days after the fact, it looked a lot worst than the end result at the time.