Two Minnesota teams played in spotlight games in their respective leagues on Monday night.
And it wasn’t pretty for either.
The Minnesota Vikings played a shorthanded Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football and played the type of game at Soldier Field that no one was surprised by — except, perhaps that the Vikings held on for a 17-9 victory.
At the same time, the Minnesota Wild surrendered two goals in the opening 3 minutes, 24 seconds on the way to a 7-4 loss to the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.
It was the NHL’s only scheduled game on Monday and will be the last one for the Minnesota Wild before the holiday weekend. Thursday’s matchup with the Detroit Red Wings was already postponed before the NHL announced that there will be a league-wide shutdown from Wednesday through Saturday due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases.
The Wild are 0-3-1 in their last four games after an eight-game winning streak came to an end, and the team looks like it needs a break — and a few practices — to try and break the funk they have been in over the past week.
Minnesota is scheduled to travel to Winnipeg on Monday but that might be in question too. The next game after that is the Winter Classic matchup on New Year’s Day against the St. Louis Blues at Target Field.
“It’s probably good, honestly,” Wild forward Marcus Foligno said of the break during a postgame media session. “The biggest thing in our game right now is just that it’s in pieces right now. There’s not great flow. You’re seeing some great things but then there’s a little bit of a lull or a hiccup and we’re getting the puck in the back of the net now. We just need to sharpen up. ”
The Wild also need to get healthy.
The team entered the game without defenseman Jared Spurgeon, who re-aggravated a lower-body injury in a shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres last Thursday. Forward Jordan Greenway did not make the trip to Dallas with a lower-body injury, and then the Wild lost Joel Erikkson Ek in the second period as he was hit into the board during the second period. It appeared he suffered an upper-arm injury.
“It doesn’t look good,” Wild coach Dean Evason said in his postgame media session. “Upper-body, I don’t know, obviously we’ll wait and see. It’s just frustrating
“We’ll evaluate and see where we are at ,” Evason said. “We don’t know how bad it is until we evaluate over the next couple days. The good part is that we’ve got some serious time off now til we go again after the holidays. With Ekky being out and Spurgy being out and Greenie, we’ve got some bumps and bruises like everybody in the league. It’ s probably a good time to have a little rest.”
Hopefully it’s one that helps get the Wild back on track.