So I’ve adopted a new word. Picked it up mostly from the Twitter, and I know I’m late to this party, but that’s pretty standard for me. I’ve hesitated to use it but if I’m ever going to use it, it’s going to be now.
In case you’ve been checked out on some exotic island the last few days, you know that Minnesota has been the center of the sports universe over the last 5 days or so. A couple months ago, it looked like a pretty sweet weekend. Gophers v. Badgers at TCF Bank Stadium Saturday, Twins final series at Metrodome the whole weekend culminating with a celebration after the final game Sunday, Vikings v. Packers on Monday Night Football at Metrodome, and the Wild home opener at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday. 5 great days of Minnesota sporting events in the Twin Cities.
Then the stretch became huge.
Brett Favre signed with the Vikings and the matchup with the Packers at Metrodomebecame huge. The Twins were two games back of the Tigers in the Central division entering play on Friday. We all know what happened there – the Twins swept Kansas City, tied the Tigers, and forced a playoff game at Metrodome. That game was scheduled for Tuesday, and the Wild opener suddenly became the forgotten.
And then the stretch became EPIC.
Favre, Jared Allen, and the Vikings dominated the Packers on Monday and 60,000 Vikings fans left Metrodome elated. On Tuesday, Twins v. Tigers was a nail-biting, stomach-churning affair for both sides. The Twins battled back from 3-0, took a 4-3 lead, got down 5-4, went to extra innings, eeked out of numerous jams, and somehow, someway, walked off as Central Division Champions in the 12th inning. 54,000 Twins fans at Metrodome went banana sandwich. Metrodome is not yet ready to give this team to Target Field.
All that was left was the Wild, just hanging out over in St. Paul, in front of the team of 18,000 (barely), opening their home season with a new coach and new identity. Time to switch gears.
Don’t Forget About Us!
I flipped the Wild game on after I’d had my fill of watching Twins players jumping (I mean dancing), spraying champagne, and otherwise adding to their hangover that will make it tough to play well against the Yankees tomorrow. It was the start of the 2nd period, where it was 0-0, and what I saw did not look good at all. The Wild looked out of sorts again, similar to the season opener v. the Blue Jackets. The lack of flow turned quickly into a 3-0 Duck lead. The Duck goals included one from Saku Koivu, which had to drive a bit of a dagger into Mikko and the Wild.
Then EPIC intervened. The 3rd period was a complete reversal of the 2nd. Suddenly the Wild were attacking, sustaining pressure, and getting the puck on Duck G JS Giguere. Mikko Koivu broke through with a powerplay goal from Martin Havlat and Andrew Brunette 6 minutes in. Petr Sykora fired a pretty snap shot past Giguere 6 minutes later, from Havlat and Eric Belanger to make it 3-2. With just over 2 minutes left in regulation, Belanger tied the game, beating Giguere 5-hole from the left circle on the PP, assisted by Havlat again and Brent Burns. And in the overtime, Andrew Brunette cleaned up a loose puck for the game winner – once again on the PP, assisted by Belanger and Kim Johnsson.
The Wild completed the most EPIC 5-day stretch in MN sports history with an equally EPIC comeback. One that we likely would never have seen under the old regime. Andrew Brunette said after the game that they wouldn’t let the Twins out do them tonight, and the Team of 18,000 went home as elated as everyone else did over the EPIC stretch of MN sports.
Twins v. Yankees from Yankee Stadium on Wednesday 5 PM TBS…Oh yeah…this is a Wild blog.
The Wild travel to the LA Kings (Thursday 9:30 PM FSNorth HD). The Kings are 1-1 after beating the Sharks tonight and Kings are scoring a few goals in this early season, so the Wild defense will be challenged to continue fine-tuning their offensive system while keeping the Kings scoring chances down. I still think it will take some time, Kings 4 Wild 2.