It's pretty easy to understand why the Minnesota Wild were frustrated Saturday. On a macro scale, they have all of 4 wins in 2012 and they leave Missouri mired in a 7-game losing streak. On a micro scale, that 7th loss came in one of their worst performances of the season, as the Wild could only muster a season-low 13 shots, falling 4-0 to the St. Louis Blues.
And, to make matters worse, they may be looking at supplemental discipline for a couple of players.
Warren Peters will most certainly be hearing from Brendan Shanahan after his crosscheck to the head of Blues' captain David Backes, which resulted in a 5-minute major and a match penalty:
With the Wild on the powerplay and under five minutes to go in a 4-0 game, Backes showed no signs of letting up, hitting Nate Prosser in the corner just moments before appearing to ride Jared Spurgeon into the side boards. After the puck was frozen at the Wild goal, Backes was met by several Minnesota players, and knocked to the ice by Peters' shot to the head.
Said Peters after the game: "Intent was not to get him in side of head. I got to be more responsible for my stick." Shanahan will undoubtedly echo the second sentence while handing out supplemental discipline of some kind.
UPDATE: According to Mike Russo, Peters has a disciplinary hearing with the NHL Sunday afternoon.
A suspension could hurt for the Wild, as Peters is one of their top centres (a fact that also has to hurt).
But, while the Department of Player Safety is reviewing the Peters crosscheck, they'll likely take another look at that Backes' hit on Spurgeon (earlier in the clip above).
Shanahan has shown a strong dislike for plays of that nature, and with the distance Backes travels prior to the hit, he might be in line for a suspension of his own. However, as Darren Pang said on the broadcast, it looks as though Spurgeon blew a tire.
We'll wait for a better angle to pass judgment, but if Backes avoids suspension here, it will be the second time this season a player has ridden Spurgeon into the boards from behind and walked away. Cody McLeod was forgiven for a similar play along the end boards back in December.
But wait! There's more! Cal Clutterbuck may also be getting a second look after putting his shouler into the head of Blues' defenseman Alex Pietrangelo during a second period hit.
Clutterbuck has been known to charge on occasion, but he isn't usually isn't a feet-leaver. In this case, however, that's what he does, rising off the ice prior to contact.
Pietrangelo wasn't injured on the play and Clutterbuck received 2 minutes for boarding. Is that all he'll get or will Shanahan hit him with the ban-hammer? Lord knows Shanny will be in a sour mood once he realizes he spent his entire afternoon watching tape from a Blues-Wild game.
Bonus material: Clutterbuck also received a two-minute minor for running Brian Elliott in the game's final minute that might draw a second look from the Department. He didn't appear to put much of an effort into stopping, and in the context of this game, it would be very easy to see the sojourn into the crease as an intentional act.
Lucky for Clutterbuck, there's so much else to get through in this game that we'd be shocked if this wasn't lost in the shuffle.