Kings skate by Wild, win in shootout: why not Latendresse?
By Wild Road Tripper
Oh, boy, was THAT apparent last night.
What was THAT?
That road kill on the ice last night at Xcel Energy Center? That was the Minnesota Wild, snatching defeat from victory's grasp once again, as they just flat-out stopped skating in the last 45 minutes (2nd & 3rd periods, and overtime) of their game against the young, aggressive and very, very speedy Los Angeles Kings, as the Wild let a 2-0 lead collapse, en route to a disgusting 3-2 shootout loss in front of 17,094 fairly disgruntled patrons.
As the Kings continually outhustled the Wild for the last two-thirds of the contest, the glaring lack of Wild speed became evident, especially in players such as Martin Havlat (why so slow lately, Marty? Groiner??), and Guillaume Latendresse (little too much poutine during the summer, Gui?), as well as the five penalties for infractions caused by not keeping up (two interference penalties, two hooking penalties, and one trip) over the last 48 minutes of the game. The first line (which has always been slow) didn't look any better than the fourth line last night.
Niklas Backstrom, 1-8 in shootouts over the last calendar year, couldn't stop a Michael Handzus snap shot, and the Wild's fate was sealed when Antti 'Missedthenetagain' Miettinen tried to deke LA goalie Jonathan Quick, and Quick didn't fall for the ruse. I certainly question Coach Todd Richards' choice of Miettinen in the shootout when Latendresse, who has points in his last three games, was still on the bench.
Wild go (down) to 3-3-2 on the season, and Game 9 features, amongst the opponents, the best scorer in hockey: 'Alexander the Gr8'...
...Next Game: vs. Washington, Thursday, Oct. 28, 7:00 PM Central (8:00 PM Eastern) Time, Xcel Energy Center. (TV: FSNorth, CSN-MidAtlantic; both feeds in HD)