Sunday, February 10, 2008

4 Really Big Points

Islanders @ Wild - 2-9-08 - A View from Section 216 & Wild @ Blues - 2-10-08 - A View from My House
Couple games to recap here. I was in attendance in section 216 for Saturday's game on Hockey Day Minnesota. For me, since I am not a Gopher fan, it was pretty much the culmination of Hockey Day. I watched the early morning high-school game on Baudette Bay and parts of the other HS game at Xcel that followed. Really enjoyed watching the kids freeze on Baudette Bay. Man, did that look cold. But all the kids they talked to were like, yeah, it's cold, but I don't notice it. They were just very excited to play in the outdoor game and to be a part of the event. Nice work.

So the Wild game on Saturday was the perverbial bounce-back game after two well-played games against the top two teams in the conference, but lossess non-the-less. The Islanders are a bad team, so you'd think it would be a nice easy win. Well, not so much.

After gaining the lead but giving up tying goals in the first 30 seconds of the 2nd and 3rd periods, I still thought we would come out with a W. But New York took the lead with about 4 minutes left. Since the Wild aren't a great come-from-behind team, I didn't like our chances and I became pretty crabby. Missed opportunity. Thankfully, Mr. Streaky Brian Rolston nicely corralled a big rebound off a PMB shot and slammed the puck past DiPietro for the tie, and Burnsie followed up a Gaborik rush up-ice to get the second point. HUGE! Biggest things I take from this game were that Backstrom improved his control of the rebound and the Wild were resilient enough to not let two points slip away.

Then comes the Blues game. Not the best game the Wild have ever played, and this one goes to OT again...then it went to the shootout. I was surprised Gabby was the first shooter since he was unable to beat Manny Legace on a breakaway in the OT. He shot this time and missed...then Legace stopped Rolston. St. Louis scored on their 2nd shot, but Pavol Demitra scored to keep us alive. Josh Harding made some great stops in the shootout, and Burnsie again got the game-winner with a pretty goal. He rushed the net with alot of speed, put on the breaks, and drug the puck for a shot to an open net. St. Louis couldn't score on their try, and the extra point goes to the Wild. HUGE AGAIN!

Fight to Hang the First Banner
With the 4 points over the last 2 nites the Wild again have a 3-point lead in the Northwest Division. Suddenly the closest team is Colorado, who is doing it without the injured Joe Sakic and Ryan Smyth. All 4 of the top teams in the NW now have the same number of games remaining, so it'll be whoever can finish with the best record.

Next on the Docket - Wild @ Oilers - Tues 2-12-08
Look for the Wild to shake the sloppy play from the last two games and get a convincing win over Edmonton. Wild 4 Oilers 1

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