I know we're not quite halfway through the season, but I'm watching the standings already. A loss tonight would have left us in the 7th spot in the West, with Calgary only a point behind. But with the win, we're back to 1st in the Northwest, and 3rd in the West. It's going to be a long 2nd half if this is how it goes every night.
Most Important Thing(s)
Better goaltending. The Wild were still shaky defensively, giving up 48 shots and taking too many penalties. Goodness that's alot of shots. But Backstrom was strong. He must have had some extra yoga or something, because he came up big.
The Wild also played with the lead tonight, which is important for this team. Whenever we get behind I don't have alot of confidence we're going to come back. Playing with the lead makes for a much more enjoyable Wizzy watching experience.
The power play was huge tonight. All three goals came on the power play. The difference tonight compared to last night was the Wild scored on their power plays instead of giving up shorthanded chances and goals.
- Mark Parrish got his 200th goal tonight. That must have been why he's been in a scoring drought recently - droughts always come before milestone goals.
- Gabby had some nice chanes in the 3rd. That's good to see since he has been shut down since the 5-goal game.
- The team must have had "shoot the puck on net" drilled into their heads before the game. They really looked like they were actually trying to shoot. Belanger's goal was from behind the goal line, and Pav shot when usually he passes. Good to see.
- Suddenly the Wild's power play is 11th in the league and 4th in the West at 19%. Who knew?
- Does anyone actually like the Kevin Gorg v. Mike Greenlay faceoff bit on FSN?
Next on the Docket - Saturday 12-29 v. Edmonton @ Xcel
Perverbial 4-point division game. Look for a grinding game in this one; I like the Wild in a low-scoring tilt.