The Wild this season are an enigma.

When they're good ... well, you know.

They were not good, however, in a 3-1 loss to the struggling Calgary Flames on Saturday night, Feb. 23.

Label it a nightmare or label it a reminder, either way it was a missed opportunity.

A win following their 3-1 victory over Edmonton two nights earlier would have given the Wild two straight wins in Western Canada and, more important, boosted them into sixth position in the NHL's Western Conference.

Instead, they were back in the territory they have patrolled for the past three seasons, a little outside the conference's top eight teams.

Coach Mike Yeo declined to point a finger at any individual.

"This was a team effort tonight," he said after the game. "In the wrong direction."

Things unraveled early for Minnesota, despite a 12-5 shots-on-goal advantage late in the first period. Suddenly, the Wild's shots and the scoring chances became less frequent and the Flames, who had won just two of nine games at the Saddledome this season, began winning battles and footraces. They seized a territorial advantage.

"We almost had a sense that things were going to come easy to us," Yeo said. "We stopped shooting pucks."

This was the opposite of how Minnesota had been playing during most of its 4-1-1 stretch coming into Calgary, but not of how the team meandered through its third game of the season to its 10th when it went 2-5-1.