Playoff Bound!

Avalanche @ Wild – 3-30-08 – View from the Recliner
Lotta good things happened today. It was an extreemly successful day of watching hockey for me today. I’ll run it down:

Game of the Week on NBC – Rangers v. Penguins
I like the GOTW on NBC cause it’s a nice early start and it’s almost always an east coast matchup, usually the Pens, so if I miss it it’s not a big deal, but if I can watch, it doesn’t interfere with anything esle. Wasn’t really watching this game, but it was on in the background while I was putting primer on the trim in the nursery. Not too much vested interest in who won, but if I were to root for one of them it would be the Pens, and they won 3-1. Most important thing is that more progress was made on the nursery…actual paint next weekend!

NCAA Regional Final #1 – Boston College v. Miami Ohio
Saw the OT in this game. BC won to deny Miami their first trip to the Frozen Four. Again, didn’t really care who won.

NCAA Regional Final #2 – Wisconsin v. North Dakota
Not a fan of either of these teams, however, my wife and mother in law are HUGE UND fans, so I become a Sioux fan when the UMD Bulldogs finish the year, and that’s usually as soon as the playoffs start. Bucky Badger shouldn’t even have made the tournament with a sub-500 record, and this game was played in Madison so it was a home game for them. Made me really want UND to win. Bucky carried the play through the 1st and 2nd periods, but Nodak woke up and scored 2 quick goals in the 3rd and won it in OT. The Sioux go to the Frozen Four for the 3rd straight year, and 15th overall. The Frozen Four is now set: North Dakota v. Boston College and Notre Dame v. Michigan. Games are Thursday April 10th from Denver on ESPN2.

Avs v. Wild
This was the main event. Another big NW division game, and this on in HD. The Wild knew they had clinched a playoff spot before this game even started, because Nashville lost to Detroit in OT, so there is no way the Wild could finish any worse than 8th in the Western Conference.

The Wild came out fast in the 1st and carried play. Brian Rolston (his 30th) and Marian Gaborik scored to take a 2-0 lead to intermission. But, as a team who is fighting to stay in the playoffs is want to do, the Avs fought back and tied it in the 2nd. It was a reversal of the 1st. Colorado dominated the 2nd. The 3rd was pretty even. The Wild hit a couple posts, Backstrom made a couple good saves, and we go to OT.

Pretty good OT period. Colorado really needed the extra point, but the Wild denied them. Gabby and Pavol Demitra broke out on a 2 on 1 with just under 2 minutes remaining. Gabby dished to Demo, Demo corralled a bouncing puck, then sent it back to Gabby for the tip in. Crowd bananas. Gabby, 40th goal and 80th point. Sit it down Jeff Finger. The Wild get the extra point that will be huge in the quest for the NW division title.

Calgary @ Vancouver
Watched this game on NHL Network. The perfect finish to this day is Vancouver winning in regulation, 6-2. Keenan pulled Kipprosoff in the 2nd after the 4th goal. The Canucks really showed up for this one; I thought they were done after Friday’s game at the X. The win also puts them back ahead of Nashville for that last playoff spot. Oh, and Jerome Iginla got into it with Matt Cooke’s prodigy Alex Burrows.

Braves @ Nationals
Not hockey, but the Nat’s new stadium looks pretty sweet. Only 2 more years left at Metrodome!

Jots

  • Liked Eric Belanger’s game tonite
  • Backstrom was solid positionally
  • Good to see Gabby get 2 tonite after getting alot of chances Friday without scoring…40 goals for the kid
  • A quick check of Wild.com revealed 2 things: Playoff tickets go on sale Saturday morning and they’re going with the same playoff slogan as last year, “Fight to the End.” Hopefully this year’s end isn’t as quick as last year.

Fight to Hang the 1st Banner
2 more points for the Wild is huge down the stretch. Calgary loses, so now it’s Colorado 4 points back and Calgary 5 points back. Colorado has 2 games left, so they can earn 4 points. If that happens and they tie the Wild, the Avs would have the tiebreak over the Wild with more wins.

Calgary has 3 games left so they can still earn 6 points and take over the NW outright.

Next on the Docket – Flames @ Wild – Thurs 4-3-08
Wild are off until Thursday, and Calgary will finally make up that game in hand. Whatever happens in that Flames game @ Edmonton Tuesday, a Wild win Thursday and wins the division. If you remember, last month the Flames came to the X a point behind the Wild for the NW lead. Flames won that game. I think I need to find some tix. I’d hate to have to watch this one on the 45. Wild 3 Flames 2

Post-Script
I’ll be at Angels v. Twins @ Metrodome for the Twins 2008 opener tomorrow nite. My prediction? 2 HRs for Torii Hunter v. Livan Hernandez. They’re talking blizzard here for the 2nd to last Twins home opener indoors.

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4 thoughts on “Playoff Bound!

  1. I’m so jealous that you get to go to the opener. I left Minnesota yesterday. What horrible timing.I agree, Washington’s new stadium is pretty sick.

  2. Thankfully the Wild pulled this baby out… I would’ve been really bitter had the Avalanche completed their comeback. It is great the big guns scored for Minnesota, but they gotta close the deal here. In the playoffs, they can ill afford to play games like these where confidence in your killer instinct is fractured.

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