The month of November had been the best month for the Minnesota Wild. But now that the month is coming to a close so are the winning ways for Minnesota. On Friday the Colorado Avalanche won 3-1 at the Xcel Energy Center.
Avalanche goaltender Jean-Sebastian Giguere was on fire Friday night, he stopped 27 of the 28 shots the Wild took. What was even more impressive for Giguere was that he stopped 16 frantic shots in the third period when the Wild trailed by a goal and attacked relentlessly.
But instead of getting a goal, they came up empty handed and lost their third consecutive game.
Giguere, improved to 6-0-0 for the season, and 16-12-5 all-time versus the Wild.
“It’s kind of fun to watch that and play with him now and see him still doing well. We have a ton of confidence in him,” Erik Johnson said. “A lot of people have said this could be his last year, but he’s playing darn good and can keep going.”
Boosted by Zach Parise’s return to the Wild lineup — the star forward missed one game, rather than the two- to three-week absence his left foot injury was expected to produce — and the NHL debut of former Gophers star Erik Haula, the Wild were finally supposed to have some jump in their step, and overcome the slow starts that have been their usual lately.
But after two periods, they found themselves on the lower side of the scoreboard again. Haula assisted on the Wild’s only goal, and is averaging a point per game for his NHL career, but it wasn’t nearly enough, especially against Giguere.
“It seems to take us a 2-0 deficit right now to find the urgency to be effective in the game,” said Wild coach Mike Yeo, for whom frustration is clearly growing. “We seem to think that we’re pretty good and we don’t need to do some of the things that brought us success, some of the things that we need to do to be successful. Hopefully we’re taking a lesson, we’re taking notes.”
Frustration is clearly growing in the locker room for everyone.
“Played a soft hockey game. We cheat. We turn the puck over,” Parise said. “Once we started doing it right in the third period, we started getting some chances. But we turn it over, we turn away from everybody, we make it pretty easy for them, and that slows us down.”
Hopefully they can pick up where they left off early this month when they play against the Avalanche again in Colorado at 7:00 PM CST. You can watch the game on Fox Sports North Plus or listen at NHL Game Radio.