ST. PAUL It took barely three minutes for the scrum to form, jostling and punching up against the glass. In even less time, Brandon Sutter and Nate Prosser had separated, drifting farther and farther onto the ice, carried by the power of their punches.
And then quickly Prosser was on top, perched upon the Carolina center, pressing him into the cold ice. It was decisive and final, a Minnesota win to be sure.
But a fight is just a moment, a microcosm of a game. It takes more than a few well-placed punches to come out of 60 minutes of hockey on top, and in Saturday's 5-3 loss to Carolina, the Wild didn't have enough, giving up three third-period goals from which they couldn't recover.
Prior to Saturday, the team's two most recent games were both losses decided by one goal. Not much changed against Carolina, as just an empty net goal by Chad LaRose at 18:45 in the third period pushed the Hurricanes' lead to two. So for the third game in a row, the Wild lacked th...