What a day in the State of Hockey. The team was sold, Gabby was named to the All-Star Team, Dominic Moore was placed on waivers to make room for Mikko Koivu, and the Wizzy played a wild game in Detroit. After blowing leads of 1-0, 3-1, and 4-2, they gave up the probable go-ahead goal with 1:08 left in the 3rd, but Eric Belanger scored just 19 seconds later with the goalie pulled to force overtime. Oh, and then we went to a shootout. Gabby scored his first ever shootout goal for a 6-5 Wild win. I'm tired.
Bob Neagle selling his majority interest in the Wild to Racine Wisconsin's Craig Leipold sort of took most everyone by surprise. There had been rumblings. Lou Nanne had talked about the possibility on his weekly appearance with KFAN's Dan Barreiro. But I don't think many people felt it was this close. I certainly didn't. Craig Leipold is the former owner of the Nashville Predators and appears to be a hockey fan at heart. The league respects him, and that should bode well for the Wizzy overall. Leipold was on with Barreiro this afternoon (podcastable on KFAN.com). I don't sense anything funny in this deal - seems to just be an owner who was ready to sell for a nice profit and another hockey guy who wanted to get back in the league.
5 goals (+2 in the shootout) against the Wings was a nice surprise. 5 different goal scorers - Skoula, Gaborik, Fedoruk, Foy, and Belanger. Gabby had a very strong game with a goal and 2 assists plus the shootout winner. Backstrom was pretty shaky again, but Harding came in in the 2nd period and played a great game. He made a number of point blank saves keeping the Wild in it. He was also strong in the shootout, stopping Zetterburg on his signature deke and sweeping backhand.
Rolston scored in the shootout on his patented slapper from between the circles. Osgood guessed the wrong side, and looked silly. Gabby then won it with a nice deke and five-hole goal.
- How weird must it have been for Moore to play in tonight's game. Being placed on waivers today means he'll either be claimed by another team or will be assigned to Houston. Knowing it will be his last in a Wild sweater for at least a while must have been a strange feeling.
- Foy played a pretty good game considering he never cracks the lineup. He played his typical fiesty game.
- The Wild's PP is up to 5th in the NHL!
- Gaborik will be the Wild's only representation in the All-Star Game in Atlanta.
- Detroit is good. But they appear to be losing some fanbase in Detroit. There were a good number of empty seats at the Joe.
- Skoula's goal came in the 1st, pinching on a nice feed from Gabby. Give him some props for that.
- Not only did Sweet Lou from the Soo correctly predict the Wild would be sold to Leipold, he also said that the Washington Capitals would sign Alex Ovechkin. Did they ever. The two parties agreed to a 13-year, $124 million deal, the first ever $100 million deal in the NHL. Ovechkin may be worth it, but a 13 year contract? Ever hear of career-ending injuries?
Next on the Docket - Wild @ Chicago Blackhawks (Fri 1-11-08)
The Wizzy have always had the Hawks number, and I think it continues here. We should see a boost from tonite's win and the return of Mikko Koivu. Wild 4 Hawks 2