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Canucks win third in a row, Wild ponder situation in net

Mar 26, 2014, 10:17 PM EDT

Edmonton Oilers v Minnesota Wild Getty Images

Minnesota Wild head coach Mike Yeo was already answering questions about his team’s goaltending before Wednesday’s loss to the Vancouver Canucks, but the tone might change a little after that defeat.

Before that 5-2 defeat, it seemed like the questions came about more from an embarrassment of riches – or at least two/three solid choices – but Darcy Kuemper (pictured) and Ilya Bryzgalov had a rough night.

Kuemper was pulled after two periods in which he allowed three goals on 12 shots. Things didn’t go any better for Bryzgalov, however, as he allowed two goals on seven shots.

Minnesota generated a 31-19 shot advantage (including 15-6 in the second period), yet the Canucks took their third win in a row to keep hope alive. It’s difficult to imagine Vancouver (78 points, seven games remaining) catching Minnesota (85 points, eight games remaining), yet this improves the Canucks’ odds of catching the Phoenix Coyotes (82 points, eight games left) and Dallas Stars (79 points, nine games left) for the final wild card spot.

(It’s also worth noting that the Wild’s road ahead isn’t exactly a cakewalk.)

Burrows fights through it

If any Vancouver player deserves credit for toughness, it’s Alex Burrows.

Consider, for one, what he went through to begin the game:

If that wasn’t enough, he shook off a questionable hit by Nino Niederreiter (which earned the Wild forward a two-minute interference penalty). CJ Zero passes along a GIF of the check:

source:

  1. yetidad - Mar 26, 2014 at 10:31 PM

    Brutal goaltending. Lack of sense of urgency. Yes, the Wild outshot the Canucks but that makes the loss even more questionable. Yeo can talk all he wants that this year is different and the Wild aren’t fading at the stretch, but it looked pretty much like exactly that on my TV. Good grief, not again….

    • guitarhunterdude - Mar 26, 2014 at 10:49 PM

      This time, it looks like it’ll because of questionable goaltending, though. I’m definitely not blaming Yeo for this loss, and if we continue to play like we did tonight, I’ll keep blaming Kuemper/Bryzgalov. This was on the goalies, not the team, and certainly not the coach.

      • clarke16 - Mar 26, 2014 at 11:49 PM

        Exactly… When the other team is shut down to the extent of only being allowed 19 shots–yet scores on 5 of them…it’s pretty easy to see who let the team down on this night… Directing the blame anywhere other than where it belongs is for the blind and stupid…

      • getadealdonealready - Mar 26, 2014 at 11:52 PM

        Wild goalies have given up 8 goals on past 33 shots, tough to beat anyone stopping 3 out every 4 shots.

    • kaptaanamerica - Mar 27, 2014 at 1:21 AM

      Canucks got another big win today. A lot of work left to do despite injuries to at least two top six guys at any given time (Sedin, Santorelli right now) and for a lot of time guys are playing hurt who in a different situation would sit out (Burrows/ Kesler/ Daniel). The quality of the guys that got hurt over the season this year is mind boggling. Those 5 guys are 5 of the top six players on the team.

      Another tough game tomorrow against Colorado.

      • kaptaanamerica - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:00 AM

        Just fyi, the injury analysis sites don’t necessarily count the guys who’ve been out like Santorelli in the context of how they were being deployed by the team and what they meant to the club. The team started to really lose their way after Santorelli got injured. In the previous ten games to the game he got injured in the club was 3-4-3, after he got injured the club went 3-7 (including the game he got injured) and then lost a few more games in regulation before turning the corner against St. Louis of all teams, who they swept in the season series.

  2. strictlythedanks - Mar 26, 2014 at 10:32 PM

    Horrible game for the Wild. Lack played well for the nucks while the Keumperor appears to be off his game.

    Im not sold on that being a cheap shot by El Nino. You have your head down with the puck on your stick you should get blasted. Nino lead with a shoulder to the middle of the chest of burrows.

    Nucks capitalized on their chances while the wild did not.

    • tarotsujimoto74 - Mar 26, 2014 at 10:57 PM

      I don’t know if I’d say his shoulder hit the middle of Burrows’ chest.

      • strictlythedanks - Mar 26, 2014 at 11:12 PM

        Upper middle/chin to be more specific I suppose

      • kaptaanamerica - Mar 26, 2014 at 11:22 PM

        “middle of the chest”?? what exactly are you watching? the principle point of contact is the head of an unsuspecting player. The RULES have changed from when Scott Stevens played the game. Having your head down doesn’t matter anymore, you are not allowed to HIT the head. If Nino doesn’t get suspended, well, we’ll all know the fix is in.

  3. scottybcboy - Mar 26, 2014 at 10:44 PM

    I could watch that gif forever, no one more deserving of a shoulder to the head.
    Biter and twice a hair puller. I hope he isn’t injured but hope he is in pain.

    • micasa81 - Mar 26, 2014 at 11:14 PM

      Nope, not in pain, he said post game that he’s perfectly fine. Sorry to ruin your night, you wonderful human being, you!

    • thesportsjudge - Mar 26, 2014 at 11:14 PM

      I wonder if O’Brien can/did thumb you down?

    • hosewater2 - Mar 27, 2014 at 1:45 PM

      No one more deserving? Really? Not even Matt Cooke? Bill Laimbeer?

  4. c9castine - Mar 26, 2014 at 11:25 PM

    neiderreiter’s hit would have been fine if he didnt drive up into his head.

    all he had to do was stay crouched a bit and he would have leveled him, and not risked injury to him, and not risked punishment to himself.

  5. clarke16 - Mar 26, 2014 at 11:59 PM

    Nino’s head was down, too… Very difficult to make the case that there was any intent there to target the head or even expectation of the head being the point of primary contact. Had an injury resulted–I’d say Nino would have bagged a game/two–but given the circumstances…no harm–no foul. This is hockey. Jeezuz–where did all the whiners come from?

  6. luvmnsports2012 - Mar 27, 2014 at 8:29 AM

    Friggin Wild!! Boy it’s tough being a Minnesota sports fan! Inconsistent play from every major sport. Wish the Wild would step there game up!

  7. tlow97 - Mar 27, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    What would O’Brien’s take have been if Burrows laid that hit on Nino…

    “Good clean hit, such a competitor”

  8. joeyashwi - Mar 27, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    Too bad the Wild can’t play a 70 game season. Every year it’s the same downward spiral at the end of the season.

  9. djshnooks - Mar 27, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    Lol, that’s what you get when you don’t give Tim Murray what he wants for a decent goalie. Good luck with that mess.

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