In a move I did not anticipate, Jacques scratched Skoula for tonight's game. Given all the heat both Skoula and Lemaire (for his backing of Skoula) have taken the past two days, I fully expected Skoula to be in the lineup. If anything, because Jacques knows better than all of us and he's going to prove it to us that Skoula is good. Well, when I didn't see him out for warmups, I thought maybe...but maybe I just missed him. Then a cheer went up from the crowd as he was announced as a scratch. Color me surprised.
Big 1st Period, Hold on to Win
The Wild turned a poor performance from Marty Turco in the 1st period into to a 6-3 dubaya. All the major players were heard from tonight with 2 goals from Gabby and 1 each for Pav, PMB, Belanger, and Parrish. Gabby got things started by absolutely blowing by the Dallas defenseman from center ice shorthanded, flipping the puck over a weird pokecheck attempt by Turco. They kept coming in the first, and everything seemed well in hand. They got another goal on the PP in the 2nd, but then had a little defensive lapse and allowed Dallas to cut it to 5-3 with two straight goals. The third was kind of a get-thru-it period, and Parrish put it out of reach with a net-crashing goal.
- The crowd was a tish subdued tonite. Must have been the holiday hangover.
- Tonight's attendance is 18,568. You are the greatest hockey fans in the world!
- Captain Schultzie had a strong game. Maybe it was because I was looking for him tonite, but he really impressed me with his aggressiveness and heady play.
- I watched warmups from the glass, which I haven't done for a few years. All the Wild players wear their helmets. Seemed like half of the Stars do not. Mike Modano's hair waves gracefully in the wind during warmups, like a Suave shampoo commercial. Mike Riberio's hair looks like he's been playing too much Guitar Hero. Here's some pics on Flickr.
- Dallas' 3rd goal was scored by Virginia MN native and former UMD Bulldog Matt Niskanen, and he got a nice cheer from what was believed to be two busloads of friends and relatives.
- Mark Parrish has 3 goals in the last 4 games. Another example of breaking out of a scoring slump with a milestone goal (his 200th Dec 27th) and going on a scoring streak.
- Fights in the NHL do nothing for me anymore. With the new tighter-fitting jerseys, the players can't get any good punches in. Both Voros and Fedoruk were in long fights tonight that were closer to Dancing with the Stars.
Next on the Docket - Wild v. Predators @ the venue formerly known as the Gaylord Entertainment Center
The Wild embark on a four-game road trip, and Nashville is the weakest team of the four. It would behoove them to win this game. Wild 2 Preds 1, OT