Glass Half Full

Wild v. Stars – 2-7-08 – A View from Bison Creek Bar and Grill
I was in and out of the game tonight. I missed the entire 1st periond except the quick Mike Modano tribute. More on that later. I saw the second and most of the third. So, take that into consideration in reading my musings.

Wild lose tonite 1-0. What I saw was actually pretty entertaining for a 1-0 game. Good kill of a minute of 5 on 3 in the 1st, another 4-minute penalty in the 2nd, and alot of good chances offensively. Something called Mike Smith was in net for Dallas as Turco was hurt or sick or something. Smith was great, stopping Marian Gaborik on a breakaway in the 2nd and again on a point blank opportunity in the 3rd. Even though we scored no goals, the pressure was pretty steady throughout what I saw.

Dallas’ goal came early in the 3rd perod on what looked like poor defensive positioning by the Wild defensemen. He will remain nameless (ok, it was Skoula). Somehow a 2 on 1 developed and Skoula looked confused on who to take, and Niklas Hagman put a move on G Niklas Backstrom for the goal. The sequence was frightingly similar to the Sharks goal earlier in the year where Skoula misplayed the puck and Jonathan Cheechoo moved around Backstrom to put in the game winner.

Still, the Wizzy had their chances; just couldn’t get anything past Smith. They played a pretty solid game given the potential it had to be down after the Detroit loss. The crowd was loud tonight on the KSTC, especially after they killed the 4:00 and put some great pressure on Smith to closeout the 2nd period.

Modano “Tribute”
The Mike Modano tribute was nice and all. It wasn’t a big ol production, which was probably the way it should be. The crowd was quite polite, which is good. I was a little worried some boo-birds would be sprinkled in with cheering, but it was predominately cheering. Good work X!

For those who didn’t see it, after the national anthem P.A. Announcer-Guy read off some stats MoDo compiled and announced that he is now the #1 American-born scorer and MoDo came out onto the ice, waved to the crowd, got some pictures taked of him, Phil Housley (#2 American-born scorer and Minnesota native) Brad Bombardir (not sure why he was there), and a print of Met Center Memories, a painting by Terance Fogarty. Good enough.

The only weird thing was it happened so fast and Mike was back on the bench, while P.A. Announcer Guy was still talking. Just had a feel of akwardness.

The Fight to the Hang the 1st Banner at Xcel
With the Wild’s hot streak seemingly over, it will absolutely be a fight to the end in the Northwest Division. 1 point up on Colorado, 2 up on Calgary. The KSTC graphic told the story. 28 games left, and the last 8 games of the season are against the NW division. Yikes!

Calgary lost to Chicago tonite and Colorado was off so we stay in 1st. But Vancouver beat Atlanta, so they’re only 3 points back.

Next on the Docket – Islanders @ Wild – Sat 2-9-08 – Hockey Day Minnesota
It’s Hockey Day Minnesota on Saturday! We have hockey all-day on FSN beginning at 10AM. First it’s Eveleth v. Lake of the Woods on Baudette Bay. It’s gonna be cold for that! Then it’s St. Thomas Academy v. Hill Murray at the X. Wild v. Islanders at 5. Goofers at Denver at 8. Then a tape-delay of Blaine v. Roseau on Baudette Bay. That’s a full day of hockey!

I really enjoyed last year’s Hockey Day Minnesota, and I’m looking forward to Saturday. Make some time to take some of it in, especially the HS games on Baudete Bay. Just like last year, I’ll be in attendance in section 216 for the Wild game, and I’m expecting a bounce-back game against the terrible Islanders. I’m going to this one with a psuedo-Islanders fan, so it should be a good time. Wild 5 Islanders 2


4 thoughts on “Glass Half Full

  1. Haha, yeah that Mike Smith is, as you could probably detect, our back up but he’s good enough to be a starter. I heard a rumor we could trade Turco for St. Louis which wouldn’t be to bad in my opinion.

  2. I love Hockey Day. I just got home from the ACT and I am now planning on sitting in front of my tv and not switching from FSN the entire day.

  3. It’s a frustrating loss, but the Stars did earn this win with Smith’s performance. What makes it tougher to take is that this isn’t the first time in recent memory that the Wild lost to Dallas at home by the same score, but Marty Turco was the goalie the previous time this outcome occurred.The Wild have to score more consistently, get Backstrom and Harding to play better between the pipes than they have been and simply be better defensively. Most observers may think they do, but if Minnesota is going to make the playoffs, win the Northwest Division title for the first time and get deep into postseason play, they need to step it up in those areas I mentioned.As for Mike Modano, I was offended by his comments when the North Stars relocated and criticized the fan support and then in 1999 expressed skepticism for St. Paul being a viable location to put an NHL expansion team in St. Paul instead of Minneapolis or even in the state altogether. But I’ve gotten over that. Maybe me fondly remembering the days where he was playing in the Met Center and being a part of that 1991 playoff run is too strong for me to hate him for his statements… This honor was for his American hockey achievements, not as a focus for what he did with the North Stars. That’s what bitter fans have to realize. The Wild did a good thing by recognizing his achievements.Regarding Hockey Day Minnesota, I wish I had the FSN North feed, but since I’m in the New York City metropolitan area, I have no choice but seeing the Islanders coverage of tonight’s game. Kurtis Foster just scored as I write this. I’d probably do the same thing Elise if I had the chance to take it all in. We have hockey tradition here, but just isn’t celebrated as it is in Minnesota. Too much of baseball and even football to compete with here, but hockey has it’s very nice niche where I’m from.

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