Game Summary: The Minnesota Wild were dead, losing 1-0 to the Los Angeles Kings
We held out for that?
The Minnesota Wild have started the road trip with a 1-0 loss against the Los Angeles Kings. A game that had nothing to do for the Wild except for the man between the pipes and players willing to put their bodies on the line for that man.
Marc-Andre Fleury saved 29 of the 30 shots he faced, including 11 full minutes of that time spent on penalties. He single-handedly kept the Wild in this game for over 53 minutes until Gabe Vilardi scored the only goal of this game in the third period to clinch the victory for the Kings.
It was a game full of disappointing performances and was certainly one we will forget almost immediately.
Well, what can we say? The Wild started this game flat-footed and got stomped all over by the Kings. Maybe it was the long trip to the West Coast or not having played a hockey game since last Thursday, but Minnesota looked dead in the first couple of minutes.
After 20 minutes they managed to arrive just in time three shots on goal, while the Kings took 10 and had two power play opportunities. A period of complete nothingness, so I feel weird even trying to pry some words out of it. It was nothing – nothing! – remarkable that it happened in the first frame.
In the second period, things got a little more interesting despite the fact that no goals were scored. Stay with me, you’ll want to stay there.
Then after some unfortunate penalties in the early period and some missed opportunities from the Kings, it all started. when Drew Doughty hacked and slashed Kirill Kaprizov, before the Wild wing finally turned and hit him in the face with his own stick.
This is considered a penalty right away, but the referees stand together to discuss whether this is a simple two-minute minor penalty for High-Sticking or whether it is Intent to Hurt and therefore a game penalty with the Kings at five minutes. powerplay and Kaprizov will be ejected from the game. Guess which option they chose? Yes, Kaprizov was ejected from the game for this “intent to injure” action and will also automatically receive a call with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for a potential suspension and/or fine.
This feels like a bit of overkill, but what can you do? It had to be either a two-minute penalty or a match penalty, and the referees deemed it worthy of something more than a simple penalty.
Worst of all, Doughty decided to celebrate Kaprizov’s departure in his own way.
Oh, you stupid bastard.
Without Kaprizov, the Wild were pretty flat offensively. Trying and trying to try and not concede a goal and hopefully manage something on the counter. In the end it wasn’t enough without their best and most dynamic player and the home team pushed hard enough to break up the scoring.
After the Wild blocked over 20 shots and the Kings still managed to get over 20 shots on goal themselves, the dam eventually had to burst, and unfortunately that was before the referee blew the final whistle.
With the one-goal lead, the Kings kept it simple and breezy, pushing away the Wild’s attempt to tie the game with an empty-net goal, keeping the score as it was after the single and Minnesota walking away with no points.
Then it’s the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday, with a little more hope of at least getting something out of it.
What will Greenway look like when he returns?
Jordan Greenway was on the ice for 24 shot attempts, and only four shots were also attempted by Wild players during that time. If it doesn’t say “poor performance”, how about the fact that Greenway didn’t get to attempt a single shot and his biggest accomplishment this game was blocking two shots?
He will need some time to get back into the swing, this is his first full game this season, but this is a tough start.
How about a return to the power play’s dominance?
They had one opportunity on the power play, and it didn’t get Kirill Kaprizov. It is a write-off.