After thinking all night about how to frame this difficult loss in Minnesota on Saturday evening, I think I’ll just forget about it.
After all, with just over 13 minutes left to play, the Blackhawks had a four-goal lead; then, with just over 11 minutes to play, the lead was one, and it was anyone’s game. Finally, with just over a minute left, newly minted Hawk-killer Guillaume Latendresse tied the game, giving the Wild at least a point in a game they had no business competing in.
Giving up a lead like that is a group effort, indeed. But, four goals on seven third period shots and no real scoring chances calls one person in particular into question: Cristobal Huet. He saw only 12 shots during the first two periods – surrendering a goal on a nice play by Martin Havlat – but was unable to keep the pace in the third. Latendresse’s late goal was particularly tough to swallow, as his poor angle shot from the circle squirted through Huet.
In an ugly eight-round shootout, only Patrick Kane scored for the Hawks. Mikko Koivu and Owen Nolan notched scores for the Wild.
But, as I said, I’m forgetting about this one; I think you should, too.
The loss makes tonight’s game against the Anaheim Ducks that more important. Heading into a difficult road trip – that, following Thursday’s home game against the Blue Jackets – the Hawks need all the points they can get. They also need to make sure they keep themselves out of any prolonged losing streak.
Was the loss a good thing?
Maybe. As Pat and Eddie opined, perhaps it will serve as a long-run reminder that no game is easy at the NHL level. And, all things considered, a point on the road isn’t exactly an apocalyptic event.
So, as we all move on, I think the most important part about last night’s game is tonight’s. Stay tuned.