Bad luck, bad equipment, bad karma, bad everything all conspired against the Minnesota Wild Saturday night in their game versus the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place. And then, the game actually started. And things got worse from that point.
Four Ottawa goals in just over a period (24:50) meant that the Sens walked away with a 4-1 victory in front of a non-sellout crowd of an announced 16,259, driving the Sens' all-time record vs. the Wild to 1-3 in Ottawa, and 2-5-2 overall, as enough different Senators to make a filibuster stick -- 11 -- scored points against the uncomfortable Wild, who were breaking in mostly new equipment after their original game stuff was mostly destroyed in a Ottawa panel truck fire Friday, while returning to the arena after a practice session at a nearby facility.
It wasn't a pretty game to watch, as the Sens' close-checking style, three-across-the-blue-line meant that the Wild could not get any type of an effective forecheck on all evening. Due to the recurring flu virus which has swept thru this team at least twice by now, three players were forced out of the lineup (Eric Belanger, Robbie Earl, Guillaume Latendresse) and the Wild were also forced to play with only 17 skaters (not the allowed 18) and two goalies. The net result was a very slow, boring, dull game, one that if this had been played in the Lemaire years, this game would have been sponsored by No-Doz. Of course, the fact that the 'Human Pylon' himself, Ottawa's Filip Kuba, former Wild obst-er, defenseman -- was a -1 for the night. A small, non-definitive win for the Minnesota side, unfortunately one which did not involve standings points.
The Wild now end the first half (21 games) of their road schedule with a 7-12-2 record away from St. Paul, and are now 1-6 over the past two seasons on CBC's 'Hockey Night in Canada', including losing the last six in a row, on the NHL's premiere presentation north of the 49th parallel. They are not scheduled to appear on HNIC's weekly Saturday evening telecast again this season.
Hopefully things will get better for 'da boys' as their next three are at home, beginning with the Next Game: vs. Colorado, Monday, Dec. 21, 7:00 PM Central (6 PM Mountain), Xcel Energy Center. (Wild TV: KSTC-45; Avs' TV: Altitude; XM Radio, Ch. 238).
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