Devils @ Wild – 3-13-06 – A View from the Couch
In my earlier post today, I mentioned I had a very positive outlook on tonite’s game. Sun shining gave way to birds singing, snow melting, and in theory, a Wild victory, righting the sinking ship. Those birds kept singing until 7 minutes left in the 3rd period. They completely fell asleep when Jamie Langenbrunner easily deked Niklas Backstrom (that’s different) to win the shootout and the game for the Devils.

Wild did play a pretty good game tonite. Great 1st period resulted in a 2-0 lead. Bad 2nd period allowed NJ to tie the game, and then Koivu to stickhandle nicely to set up Gabby for his 1st goal in like 85 games. Good 3rd period up until Backstrom was scored on from a bad angle again. This time it was sort of on a hockey move instead of a shot from 15 feet out and behind the goal line, but still a save he should have made. He shouldn’t have followed Danius Zubrus to the front of the net, because he never went there. I don’t know what to make of the OT. Wild dominated after the ugly minute-long power play, but didn’t ever shoot the puck. Skoula and PMB combined for like 30 seconds of skating around the offensive zone, never getting a shot at Martaaay Brodeur. That was frustrating. And of course, the shootout was bad for the Wild. They could not score a goal and Backstrom was beat 3 times, even though only one of the goals went in. Langenbrunner’s winning goal was fitting, given he had like 100 friends and family in from Cloquet, and that I have always liked him as a player, and that earlier in the game I called him old. Oh, and he almost caused me to break my TV. I childishly threw my goal light remote on the floor and it bounced up and hit the TV. No damage tho. (What, you don’t have a goal light?)

I guess it’s positive. They had alot of great scoring opportunities tonite and Brodeur either got lucky or made the good save. The team sounded pretty upbeat in the postgame interviews. Stephane Veilleux and Mikko Koivu both were encouraged that they played a good game, and that if they keep playing that way things will go their way. I hope they’re right.

Fight to Hang the 1st Banner
At time of this post, Colorado has a 5-1 lead on Edmonton in the 3rd, so they’ll be in 1st by 2 pts at the end of the day.  Atlanta miraculously came back on Calgary to win 6-4, so the Wild and Calgary are tied for 2nd. Vancouver could pull into that same tie for 2nd if they beat Phoenix, but right now it is 1-0 Coyotes at the 2nd intermission. C’mon ‘Yotes!

Seen in the Crowd
Props to a couple of my co-workers, Kristie and Karen, who got alot of high-definition face time tonite on FSN behind the Wild bench. One of the highlights was during the break before the shootout…they seemed to be mimicking the coaches writing out the shootout lineup. Beauty work!

Next on the Docket – Kings @ Wild – Sat 3-15-08
We’ll see if the last 2 shootout losses against good teams really were good for the Wild’s psyche against the lowly Kings. I’d like to see Josh Harding in net. I expect a win. Wild 4 Kings 1


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