What Went Wrong: The Minnesota Wild
This is a continuing series that will explore why the various teams that fall by the wayside did exactly that.
This really doesn’t have to go much further than “The Blackhawks are pretty good, and the Wild aren’t.” Case in point, Game 3, the Wild’s only victory. The Wild outshot the Blackhawks (37-27), blocked more shots (12-11), missed fewer shots (10-16), directed more shots towards the net (58-55), committed fewer penalties (2-3), had more hits (34-13), and won more faceoffs (40-32) and were still barely able to scrape an overtime victory.
Sure you can point to injuries to Niklas Backstrom and Jason Pominville, but Josh Harding isn’t that much of a downgrade, and it’s difficult to imagine that either player would have been able to reverse 5-2, 3-0, and 5-1 blowouts in games 2, 4, and 5.
Minnesota did a good job of shutting down (the goal scoring at least) of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, but all that did was allow Patrick Sharp (5 goals), Marian Hossa (3 goals, 6 points), and Bryan Bickell (3 goals) to bury them. It also didn’t help that Minnesota was the worst 5 on 5 team (-9 goals) heading into the playoffs and Chicago was the best (+30 goals).
Series like these warm your heart because they remind everyone that the seeding means something and no matter how hard you try, a gross excess of talent usually wins.