Friday, April 18, 2008

What More?

08 Cup Logo

Avalanche @ Wild - Western Conference Quarterfinals Game 5 - View from Section 209
No, I wasn't in mourning or anything...this post was late because I got home at midnite-thirty last nite. Also because I wanted to detach myself a little bit from the game. As most of you know, Wild lose 3-2 to Colorado in game 5 to take a 3-2 series lead in a game that the Wild absolutely dominated for 2 periods. Shots on goal were like 30-15 (give or take) after 2 periods. Jose Theodore was a freaking rock and kept the Wild off the scoreboard save for a 1st period powerplay goal by Pierre Marc Bouchard. The 2nd was such a fun period for the fans. The X was so loud, but every "aaaah" turned into "oooooh" instead of goal horn. It was very emotional and disappointing from a fan standpoint. I had troubles thinking about what I wanted to write. So, here it is.

Let's start with my keys for the Wild to win from the previous post...let's see which ones happened.

  • Thugnation plays smarter - Yep
  • Wild score in 1st or 2nd period - Yep
  • Gabby gets at least a point - Not so much
  • Thugnation plays smarter - Yep
  • D-men get their wind back - Only Til the 3rd
  • Sean Hill doesn't fall over - Didn't fall over, but took a penalty that led to the go ahead goal
  • Jose Theodore actually allows goals - Theodore was even better
  • Thugnation plays smarter - Yep
  • Crowd is off the hook - Yep

Unfortunately listing Thugnation's mild manner 3 times wasn't enough to overshadow the things that didn't happen. Gabby is now trying too hard, attempting to create what isn't there and fanning on one-timers to open nets. Adding Eric Reitz into the defensive corps was a good move and he played well, but in my opinion it should have been for Sean Hill, not Pterri Nummelin. Because Sean Hill is old and can't keep up with most forwards, he had to hook someone after a defensive-zone turnover. And Jose Theodore has clearly made a pact with someone unsavory as he is stopping everything that the Wild throw at him.

The crowd at the X was great. From the opening video on it was bonkers. So loud. The Wild finally get a 1st period goal, but it was to tie the game, not the 1st goal of the game. In the 2nd, they played so well, they pressed so hard, but they couldn't get anything by Theodore. What Theodore didn't stop hit the posts. The puck was in the Avs zone for what seemed like the entire period. It seemed they had finally gotten one by Theodore when Pavol Demitra fired one past Theodore from the blue line on the rush, but someone, I'm not even sure who it was, skated into the zone before Demo got the puck past the blue line. Go from pandemonium to what is going on in the crowd. Grrr.

In the 2nd intermission, the place just didn't have a good vibe. Everyone was so into the 2nd but to not score...definitely came down from a high. They put Caps v. Flyers 2nd OT on the video board (and on the ice...that was cool) and I'm not sure who was paying attention, but I was, and there wasn't alot of flow to it. When the boys came out, instead of the whole place loud, cheering, waving towels like before the game and before the 2nd period, it was only a handful of people. The place just seemed drained, and so did the Wild. Mikko Koivu turned the puck over in the defensive zone, that led to the Hill penalty, and the Avs scored on the powerplay. So you're thinkin...ok...there's time left to tie it up...but Paul Stastney broke out of his scoring drought in a big way with a pretty top-shelf backhand to beat Backstrom, and that was all she wrote. The Wild were barely able to get the puck in the Avs zone the rest of the period. Brian Rolston's goal from the point off a faceoff with 2.5 seconds left added to the frustration. It was your typical hockey gods laughing at the irony of too little too late after playing a great game. The hockey gods are interfering way too much in this series - Andrew Brunette scored his 3rd of the series tonite too.

Fight to Bring the Cup to St. Paul
They're really going to have to fight now. Avs lead the series 3-2. Wild need to win the next 2 to continue the fight.

Next on the Docket - Wild @ Avalanche - Sat 4-19-08
Do or die. Win or go home. Play hockey Monday or dust off the golf clubs Monday. Which will it be? If the Wild can play remotely like they did in the 1st and 2nd last nite you would think eventually a couple would go in. Gabby has got to get lose. If he does, we might see the floodgates open and it would be on for game 7. In what could be my last prediction of the season: Wild 4 Avs 1


  1. From what I hear it was a blast, minus the whole not having any defence and losing the game part.

  2. This was so tough. I'm glad you had fun at the game at least, but the bottom line was a ill-timed loss. Hopefully history repeats itself and we see the Wild come from behind in this series and beat Colorado just like 5 years ago... only this time, the team can celebrate at home instead of in Denver.


Got thoughts? Share em here!