Every thing felt totally different for the Wild heading into the NHL playoffs this time round.
For the primary time in without end, the Wild had a pair of gamebreakers in Kirill Kaprizov and Kevin Fiala. That they had unimaginable depth up and down the lineup, which served because the driving drive throughout an everyday season that actually rewrote the data books. That they had legendary goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury between the pipes and standout goaltender Cam Talbot ready within the wings.
In the long run, although, the Wild proved the extra issues change, the extra they keep the identical. Like so many groups earlier than them, the Wild have been left to lament their missed scoring possibilities on their technique to a deflating 4-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues in Sport 1 of the primary spherical.
By no means thoughts that the Xcel Power Heart was able to erupt shortly after puck drop on Monday evening. With the house crowd fiending for a purpose, the Wild didn’t just about all the things besides put the puck behind the web.
There was a sequence of posts by Matt Boldy, Jake Middleton, and Joe Eriksson Ek all through the sport. There was a missed breakaway by Ryan Hartman late. There was a putrid 0 for five efficiency on the ability play.
All of it added as much as an way-too-familiar end result for anybody that’s been following the Wild for the previous couple of a long time. Whether or not it was Marian Gaborik and Brian Rolston within the early days of the franchise, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter within the mid 2010’s, or this supposedly new-and-improved model of the Wild, when the playoffs roll round, this group struggles to attain.
On the opposite finish of the ice, David Perron had a recreation for the ages, netting a hat trick to place the Blues forward within the sequence. All of his targets got here the left circle with Fleury scrambling in his crease after permitting a giant rebound.
The dominance began early within the first interval because the Blues bounce in entrance 1-0 because of a diving purpose from Perron. That got here a couple of minutes after Fleury revved up the house crowd by denying Ivan Barbashev on a penalty shot.
With the Wild chasing the sport after Perron’s purpose, the Blues stretched the result in 2-0 later within the first interval with a purpose from captain Ryan O’Reilly.
Whereas that was already greater than sufficient run assist for Ville Husso between the pipes, Perron added one other purpose late within the second interval to make it 3-0.
Little doubt essentially the most irritating half for the Wild was they largely outplayed the Blues within the second interval with completely nothing to indicate for it.
With the sport properly in hand within the third interval, Perron accomplished his hat trick with a purpose that finalize the rating at 4-0.
Now the Wild will flip their focus to Sport 2 the place they are going to have some work to do to show to their followers that this time is definitely totally different.