Wild made the Blues ‘crack’ with their checking

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It may not be particularly pretty to watch, but boy has it been effective for the Minnesota Wild.

“They checked us really hard and they got us to crack,” is how St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock put it after last night’s 3-0 Minnesota victory, one that saw the Wild limit the Blues to 10 shots through the first 40 minutes, and just 17 overall.

That left Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk with little to do, other than watch in awe as his teammates suffocated their opponents.

“We play like that, I don’t think there’s one team that can avoid turning the puck over,” Dubnyk said. “Every time a pass is made, our guy’s there. … Every single line, every pairing was on top of the puck. … I’ve seen some pretty incredible performances here at home by us, and that ranks right up there with it.”

We have to be honest — it’s hard to find a real glaring weakness on this Wild team. The forward group is deep, with a good mix of speed, size and talent; the defense is anchored by Ryan Suter, with the emergence of Matt Dumba allowing it to be less reliant on its top four; and, of course, there’s Dubnyk in goal.

Game 4 goes Wednesday in St. Paul. The Wild lead the Blues, 2-1.

Related: Blues need more — much more — from Backes, Stastny and Oshie