Wild come up empty following Blackhawks' fast start

Wild come up empty following Blackhawks' fast start
May 4, 2013, 12:15 am
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Nina Falcone

The players inside Minnesota's locker room didn't have many positive things to say about their performance following Friday's game.

The Wild had again fallen to the Blackhawks, but their mood after Game 2 was drastically different from from the outlook they had following Game 1. On Tuesday they had managed to take the game into overtime before suffering a 2-1 loss, and they did so after facing goaltender and injury issues just minutes before game time. The team believed they had plenty of work ahead of them, but they felt their overall performance was enough to make them legitimate contenders against the Blackhawks.

But on Friday, the Wild weren't nearly as happy with the product they put out.

"(The Blackhawks are) No. 1 in the league for a reason, but I don't think we were even close to playing our kind of game and our typical game," Minnesota forward Devin Setoguchi said following his team's 5-2 loss. "Everyone's gotta do it, it can't just be a couple guys. I mean we left (goaltender Josh Harding) out to dry tonight (to face) 50 shots. We can't do that. Not against a club like this. We need to focus on us and what we need to do, but you have to give (the Blackhawks) credit, we weren't ready to start the game right from the go."

[MORE: Double Down: Hawks take Game 2]

Before heading into Friday's game, the Blackhawks said their main focus was to start the game stronger and make Harding's job more difficult than they did in the series opener. They did just that, and their momentum and tempo threw Minnesota off from the start.

"They came, they just kept getting pucks in the net," Setoguchi continued. "When you get pucks in the net, it kind of breaks teams down and that's when you get run around in the D zone. For us, we weren't prepared. We turned pucks over, we weren't crisp, we weren't making our passes and they came at us hard. That's what the best team in the the league does, they come at you hard and score goals. We were on our heels most of the game."

Wild head coach Mike Yeo wasn't thrilled with his team's overall performance either and hopes to put Friday's matchup behind them as the Wild prepare to head back to Minnesota and face off in front of a home crowd.

“There was clearly another level to (the Blackhawks') game tonight and I’d say that there’s at least another level to ours that was unfortunately in the wrong direction,” he said.
“That’s playoff hockey. You have to push this one aside very quickly. We don’t have a very long turnover until we get to face them again. Obviously going home, we should be excited about that, but we also can’t sit here and just assume that we’ll be better because of that too.”

The Blackhawks, in the meantime, were happy to get off to their fast start. But like the Wild, they too will put this matchup behind them as they prepare for Sunday's game.

“It was a pretty good game. Talking about Game 1, we wanted to have a better start. Get our crowd into it right in the first period and we were able to do that," said Patrick Sharp. "Didn’t have too many let downs. We can always be better and we’ll look to do that in Game 3.”