Win or go golfing.
That's what's left for the Wild, after getting shut out Tuesday night at home, 3-0, to the Chicago Blackhawks. Minnesota, now trailing 3-1 in the best-of-seven playoff series, needs to win Thursday night or their season is over.
What went wrong in Game 4? It starts and ends with two words: Power play. Minnesota was 0-for-6 with the extra man, and are 0-for-15 in the series. The Wild also seemed to abandon the idea of hitting first, skating second -- a formula which earned them a 3-2 overtime win Sunday afternoon.
The morning after, here's what they're saying about the power outage at the X:
Jim Souhan, Star Tribune: "Game 4 turned into one of those mixed martial arts bouts that begins with a flurry of punches and ends with one combatant getting the other into an awkward position and holding on until time, or his opponents’ breath, runs out. There have been more violent games of Scrabble."
Bob Sansevere, Pioneer Press: "If you're a Wild player, coach, executive, employee or fan, it's got to be eating at you. The Wild lost 3-0 to the Chicago Blackhawks Tuesday night, May 7, and you've got to be wondering: What if Josh Harding hadn't gotten hurt?"
Michael Russo, Star Tribune: "The Wild attempted 68 shots tonight. Just 25 got through because the Blackhawks, the best team in the league all year and the team that gave up the fewest goals in the NHL, tightened up, clamped down and squeezed the collar around the Wild’s neck."
Tom Powers, Pioneer Press: "Where was that nastiness, that fire that served them so well in Game 3? I bumped into more people on the way to the press elevator than the Wild did on the ice the whole game."
Chad Graff, Pioneer Press:"There were still more than seven minutes left in Game 4 when hundreds of fans at Xcel Energy Center filed for the exits. And who could blame them?"
Bruce Brothers, Pioneer Press: "The first four games of the series have been statistically unkind to (Mikko) Koivu: He was minus-5 with no points, seven shots on goal and four penalties."