Philly is not the answer, as Wild suffer most lopsided loss of season
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All in all, the Minnesota Wild would rather have not been in Philadelphia.
A rare trip to visit one of the Eastern Conference powers on Tuesday did nothing to cure the month-long malaise that has plagued the Wild. A pair of quick goals by the Philadelphia Flyers in the latter stages of the second period turned a one-goal game into a blowout as the Flyers cruised to a 5-1 win.
Former Flyer Darroll Powe scored the only goal for the Wild, snapping a long-distance shot high and past Philly goalie Illya Bryzgalov in the second period, briefly pulling the Wild within a goal at 2-1. But the Flyers scored even-strength, short-handed and power play goals to hand the Wild their most lopsided loss of the season.
Wild coach Mike Yeo summed up his feelings with one word when he met with reporters after the game: "Ugly."
When you're feeling down and lacking confidence, you might want to call your parents for some words of advice and encouragement, right? Luckily for the Wild, they have parents close at hand this week. The two-game journey to Philadelphia and Toronto is the team's annual "Dad's trip" when 33 fathers of players and other team personnel travel with the Wild on the road.
Tuesday afternoon the fathers got a bus tour of historic sites like Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell while their sons took a pregame nap. But for the Wild, they never seemed to wake up once they hit the ice on Tuesday evening.
An early penalty assessed to Matt Cullen led to an early power play goal by the Flyers, and even though Powe's shot gave the Wild life in the middle period, the Flyers stormed back, to negligible response from their opponents.
After the game, Yeo talked again about the Wild's fragile state of mind, and the notion that little negative moments in games are harder and harder for the team to overcome.
"We've got to fix that, and fix that in a hurry, because bad things are going to happen," Yeo said. "Bad things happened when we were in first place and winning a lot of hockey games, and we overcame them. But right now we let those affect us in a very negative way."
After Powe gave the Wild some hope, the Flyers snuffed it out in a hurry. Barely a minute after the Wild pulled within 2-1, Braydon Coburn scored, off a feed from Jaromir Jagr, to re-establish a two-goal lead for the Flyers.
"After that the wheels fell off and that's what I don't like, the way we responded," Yeo said, later adding, "I think that we should have a lot more pushback than we're having right now."
• 14: Losses in the last 16 games played by the Wild.
• 18-37-5: Career record by Harding in road games.
• 2: Assists by the Flyers' Matt Read, a former star at Bemidji State.
No members of the team were injured during the game. The Wild continue to play without three key forwards (Mikko Koivu, Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Guillaume Latendresse) who are out of the lineup with various ailments.
Flyers - Kimmo Timonen 2 (Giroux, Jagr), 2:56, PPG
Flyers - Sean Couturier 10 (Read), 10:27, SHG
Wild - Darroll Powe 4 (Peters, Lundin), 11:38
Flyers - Braydon Coburn 2 (Jagr, Schenn), 12:47
Flyers - Scott Hartnell 10 (Carle, Read), 16:04, PPG
Flyers - Jakub Voracek 7 (Talbot), 11:58
Shots: Wild 8-8-10-26; Flyers 12-14-8-34. Saves: Wild, Josh Harding (47-49); Flyers, Illya Bryzgalov (25-26). Power plays: Wild 0-for-1, Flyers 2-6.
1. Scott Hartnell
2. Sean Couturier
3. Jaromir Jagr
While there's an on-going dispute about the true Hockeytown USA, there's no question about the hockey capital of Canada. The Wild head there - Toronto - next for a Thursday evening meeting with former Gopher Phil Kessel and the Maple Leafs. They next play in the State of Hockey on Saturday, versus the Stars.