The Minnesota Wild lost to one of the worst teams in the league last night and not just be a single goal, but by four unanswered goals. It really does sum up how bleak things are right now.
However, this performance really highlighted two things that have been common this year – the Minnesota Wild can’t score goals and Devan Dubnyk‘s form has been an absolute roller-coaster.
The manner of the defeat wasn’t awful; the Wild weren’t completely outplayed. In fact, if you look at their Corsi on the night, they controlled large portions of the action – topping the Ducks with an impressive 60.22% Corsi at even-strength.
Their 31 shots on goal was a much better number than Anaheim’s 24, but in the end it was the quality of the Ducks’ finishes that far out-did the Minnesota Wild. Despite having 7 less shots, the Ducks scored 4 more goals!
We’re talking a team that coming into the game had fired its head coach within the past week, installed their General Manager, Bob Murray as the interim bench boss and on the receiving end of 34 Goals Against since the start of February. That should hardly strike fear into a side, even one struggling from the injury bug.
However, strike fear they did with a Jakob Silfverberg power-play goal early in the second period and then three unanswered third period goals.
Minnesota Wild bench boss summed it up on the official NHL website:
"“I didn’t think we paid the price to win, simple as that. You got to get to the front of the net. You got to get the dirty goals.” – Bruce Boudreau (NHL.com)"
Moving on from this game, you have to wonder how the Minnesota Wild can get back on track. They face the New York Rangers in New York later this week and that is quickly turning into a must-win game to keep even a glimmer of play-off hope alive, especially with Central Division rivals, the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks racking up the wins.
Long gone is the early season winning streak and near-perfect Western road-trip for the Wild; now we’re in the heavy days of winter and the form has dipped, the pressure has increased ten-fold and right now, a jump-start is very much in order.
The time is nigh to either start winning games or start looking at the Draft Lottery and a shot at Jack Hughes as a very real possibility.