Oilers @ Wild - 3-26-08 - View from the Couch
Very nice 3-1 win tonite. It was an important win as the Wild played a much better game than just Monday in Edmonton. Tonite the defense was much better, Mikko Koivu was awesome, and Marian Gaborik was great.
The team seemed much more focused in this one, and they jumped out to a 3-0 lead by midway through the 2nd. An early goal from Branko Radivojevic thanks to a pretty dish from Gabby, a powerplay goal by Sean Hill on a pretty tic-tac-toe passing play started by Gabby, Radivojevic, and Koivu, and a shorthanded goal where Koivu hit Brian Rolston driving to the net for a nice five-hole goal.
Defense supported very well, and they cut down the ugly turnovers. There were still a couple, specifically one by one by Nick Schultz that led to a post by Gagne, but all-in-all the Wild were in control of this game from the start.
- Since I took the time to watch this game, it was good to see Eric Belanger back in the lineup. He didn't figure in the scoring, but it had kind of a calming effect. At least on me.
- Mark Parrish got to play, but didn't do much. He had one opportunity in close on Edmonton G Dwayne Roloson, but he missed the net short-side.
- Speaking of Roloson, I really like watching him lose. Did anyone really believe he was hurt when Boogaard crashed into him?
- The Oil looked like a team that has finally run out of steam as a result of the hard push they've made to get into playoff contention. I think they're about spent.
- When was the last time the Wild had a shortie?
- Sean Hill with 2 goals in his last 2 games...he's on fi-a!
Fight to Hang the 1st Banner
With the win, the Wild regain the division lead again over Calgary, by 1 point. Calgary with 5 games left, Wild 4, so the game at Xcel v. Calgary on April 3rd will likely be huge. Colorado beat Vancouver 6-3, so they jump into 3rd, 3 pts behind the Wild. Vancouver is now 5 pts back.
Next on the Docket - Canucks @ Wild - Fri 3-26-08
When I chose this game back when we divvied up games in September, my thoughts were that it could be for the NW division title. It's not quite that, but it is still a big game for the Wild. I expect them to continue high-intensity, and I expect them to win my final game of the year in section 216. Wild 5 Canucks 2