In what’s being labeled a “dumb mistake” by the coach who is claiming full responsibility, the Minnesota Wild ended up playing with five defencemen on Tuesday as the team inadvertently listed defenceman Greg Pateryn as a healthy scratch. He took the warm up, was then removed, and the Wild scrambled in what wound up being a 7-3 drubbing at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
And, oh ya.. Sidney Crosby returned to action and had four points in the Penguins win.
The Wild Roster Goof Up
Pateryn dressed expecting to play when officials noticed Minnesota had 19 skaters and two goalies. When the dust had settled, center Ryan Donato, who was not scheduled but got the call, had skated just 4:59, essentially leaving the Wild down two men. It was not an ideal situation.
Wild coach Bruce Boudreau told people it was his mistake, one he called “dumb.” He said it was “all my fault” and was something he’d never messed up before, in all his years of coaching.
When asked it meant players were tired, he assumed it didn’t help but hinted that it wouldn’t have mattered on this particular night.
Crosby Returned on a Mission
Having not played since November 9, Crosby returned to the lineup for the Penguins and had a goal and three assists after saying he wasn’t going to try and get too fancy.
It was his 33rd career four-point game (more than any other NHL player) and Evgeni Malkin said of his return, “Every player is important here in locker room but Sid is captain.” He added, “He is our leader. He’s a great player, great teammate. You see tonight with him, it creates four lines. Power play is better. We’re lucky he’s back.” Clearly, the Penguins fed off the energy provided by No. 87.
Crosby didn’t make much of his four points but did say, “It’s fun to compete and with the way we work too, being out there on the bench seeing it shift after shift, it’s a great way to play,” Crosby said. “Everyone’s involved and I think that’s tough for teams to play against.”
A healthy Penguins lineup could be tough to beat in the Eastern Conference and fans got to see it tonight and Minnesota was the unfortunate team in the wrong place at the wrong time.
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