Minnesota Wild forward Marcus Foligno summed it up perfectly:
He was referring to two questionable penalties that were called on him that resulted in Dallas power-play goals in a Stars 3-2 win in Game 4. But it also summarized the feelings of Wild fans as the air went out of the balloon on Sunday afternoon.
A fired-up crowd was ready to watch the Wild take a commanding 3-1 series lead at the Xcel Energy Center and move closer to the team advancing to the second round for the first time since 2015.
Instead, here we are, The Wild head into Dallas for a pivotal Game 5 on Tuesday night with the series deadlocked 2-2. How big is Game 5? A study showed that the winning team goes on to take the series more than 75% of the time.
The Wild-Stars series has been a physical battle and also a war of words between the two sides. None of that is expected to change or be toned down now.
“There’s been a lot made of (the physicality) and we’ve obiviouslylistened to a lot of stuff,” Wild coach Dean Evason said in a media availability session on Tuesday. “People know. They watch the games. That’s the way hockey is supposed to be played, especially this time of year. It’s intensified and ramped up.
“We’re not going to change the way we play,” Evason said. “That’s what we believe in. I think everybody does. (Game 4) was a good, hard hockey game. There wasn’t a lot of cheap stuff in the game. (Dallas) played hard. They caught a couple of breaks and we did not.”
The Wild had a handful of breakaways and one-on-one opportunities against Stars goalie Jake Oettinger and the Lakeville native answered the challenge more often than not.
“He’s a great goalie, we have great goalies too,” Evason said. It’s been a real good series so far with some great saves obviously at both ends. We just have to keep getting the opportunities and chances that we are getting and hopefully we can get a few more greasier kind of looks.
“We’re getting some breakaways and 2-on-1s but we would like to get a few more pucks to the net and those scramble-type of situations where maybe he doesn’t see the puck.”
Greasy goals leading to a Wild win? Let’s hope so.
That definitely would not be bull****