The Minnesota Wild blew Tuesday night's game against the New York Rangers. There's just no way around it. A lot of things went wrong for the Wild, but the most notable issue centers around the power play and its ability to drive normally sane individuals to the point of yelling at inanimate objects. Oh, and its inability to score goals.
Minnesota carried a three-goal lead into the third period, had approximately 165 minutes worth of power play time (rough estimate) and had the benefit of a seemingly dejected opponent. Seemingly is the operative word in that last sentence because the Rangers ultimately proved they were not at all dejected, although two of their players were ejected, but I think that's a different thing.
But the Rangers had no objections to the Wild's inability to close out the game, which included two separate leads of at least two goals. After pulling within one of Minnesota's three-goal lead, the Rangers allowed the Wild to cushion their total once again.
The Rangers then promptly scored three unanswered goals, which brought their third period total to five.
IN THE THIRD PERIOD.
All of which came after two Rangers players got kicked out of the game. All of which came after the Rangers spent what felt like the whole night killing off penalties. All of which came after the Wild failed to score as a result of all those penalties.
Minnesota's power play is hurting. For real.
Beyond it's inability to convert on four opportunities on Monday night (including a five-minute major), the Wild's power play has struggled this season.
OK, struggled isn't the right word. Minnesota's power play has been -- what's the best way to say, "Has been rendered totally ineffective and absolutely terrible"? Because that's what I'm trying to say but I forget the word for it.
The Wild have had nearly 53 minutes of 5-on-4 power play time this year, which ranks sixth in the NHL.
The Wild have scored zero goals during 5-on-4 power play time this year, which ranks dead last in the NHL.
That's hurting. Hurting for real.
There's a special place in Hell for the hockey spectator who sits in Row 230 E, Seat 5 and yells, "SHOOOOOOT!" during the power play. Actually, any spectator who ever yells shoot in general deserves a reserved spot in Hell.
That spot is probably right next to the individual who came up with the glow puck, but a few tables behind the person who keeps ruining the Sabres' jerseys.
Unfortunately, they need to make room for me, too.
It pains me to admit this, but I found myself yelling "SHOOT!" at my computer screen last night while watching the Wild. It wasn't like they weren't shooting, I mean, they scored four goals. But still, I kept audibly saying, "Why aren't they shooting the puck?" and "I feel like they need to be shooting the puck."
Here's an instance of the Wild not shooting on the power play:
My reaction: SHOOOOOOT
Here's an instance of the Wild not shooting with an extra attacker:
My reaction: SHOOT THE PUCK! SHOOT THE PUCK! SHOOT THE PUCK! SHOOT TH -- That's not even in the general direction of the right goal -- SHOOT THE PUCK! SHOOT THE PUCK! SHOOT THE PUCK!
Do the Wild need to shoot the puck more? I don't know. Is this actually an issue? Maybe. Do I need to calm down? Probably.
All I know is I'm going to Hell and I blame the Minnesota Wild.
They scored four goals
This in and of itself should have made this whole thing pointless.
The Wild scored four goals on Monday night. Three of those goals came during the first 40 minutes.
Despite this, the Wild allowed five goals in the final 20 minutes. Now, I'm not the brightest tool in the kitchen, but based upon my calculations, a team will lose a game if they allow more goals than they themselves have scored.
The Wild did that on Monday night. And guess what: They lost.
And boy was it painful to watch this one cross the line:
Pretty poetic representation of the game slipping away from the Wild. The only thing more appropriate would have been a balloon slowly deflating in Mike Yeo's hand.
The Rangers' resolve needs to be commended as they could have easily lost this game by four goals. Taking into account the goal differentials, the ejected players and all the penalties, New York could have crumbled and given up. Instead they hung in the game, took advantage of a struggling power play and quickly got to work in the third period.
Now that that's out of the way: Minnesota blew the game.
Worst of all, they made me become something I despise. Someone please buy me a $7 beer because that seat in 230 E is gonna set me back a bit.