Wild approaching goaltending crisis on heels of loss to Avalanche and 0-3 start

ST. PAUL, Minn — The goal was a microcosm of the stunningly bad start to the Wild’s season.

They had battled back twice to tie the score against the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Avalanche, and were holding their own midway through the second period. Then came superstar Nathan MacKinnon sending an innocent dump-in toward the net. It was just a flick of the wrist, with the puck dribbling toward goalie Filip Gustavsson.

Ninety-nine times out of 100, that’s a save and freeze or gets steered to the side. At least, it should be.

nope. The puck trickled through Gustavsson’s pads and onto the stick of Mikko Rantanen, who put it in the empty net. It was a backbreaking goal, putting the Avs up for good in an eventual 6-3 victory Monday at the Xcel Energy Center.

There are many reasons the Wild are 0-3, but the main one is they’re approaching a goaltending crisis. You shouldn’t have to score a touchdown to win in the NHL, and it’s games like Monday’s, when Minnesota played well enough to get a point, that can be especially deflating.

“It’s super frustrating,” Gustavsson said. “You can see how the guys are fighting. They score goals, they score goals. It just goes (behind you). Me and (Marc-Andre) Fleury have to work on this and be better for the players.


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