Sunday, December 30, 2007

Gm # 38: Wild vs. Oilers

That...was some crazy shit.

The Wild came out ugly against a hungry Grease team, gave up not-one-but-two shorties (season total: 8!), dug themselves a 4-1 hole by the middle of the second period, and somehow managed a 5-4 OT win last night at the X.

Several of us watching the game and griping about it in Russoville, felt that they weren't out of it going into the second intermission after Rolston made it 4-2. On balance they hadn't played THAT poorly, and it IS the Grease, afterall. Sure there were moments of pure boneheadedness (ie Backstrom's brain fart behind the net and then half-assing it back out in front) but they just weren't skating like they believed it was over.

Then Gaby awakens from his post-fiver petit-mort for the third, Burnsie pinches in for the GTG, and Nummy in OT was pretty much a foregone conclusion.

Suddenly, the little moments of brilliance completely outshone the little moments of crap, and Wild fans are happy. Hill diving for (and getting) a puck at the blue line to keep a play alive Parrish getting worked over in the crease for the umpteenth time, etc.

Also, Demitra's borderline hit on Pitkanen resulted in at least one Grease player (*cough*sheldonsouray*cough*) coming completely unglued, which didn't hurt.

Tough loss for Roloson who had to feel like the last guy alive at the Alamo for the entire third period (and OT, for that matter). His amazing save on Fedoruk at the end of the second was justifiably the #1 play of the night on NHL Network's On The Fly highlight show.

*Johnsson's definitely showing some more offense, and he's producing results. That's a welcome change...lets hope he can keep it up.

*Nummelin needs to be in the lineup, and that's not just because of his OT/SO prowess.

*Gaby, maybe as much as ny young player in the league, needs someone to be his mentor. He COULD be a Luke Skywalker, but he's got to tell R2D2 to set a course for the Dagoba system to go find Master Yoda - if he even exists. A five-goal game, followed by 8 periods of ineffectiveness, followed by a great third period - he's a healthy groin and some consistency away from greatness.

All-in-all this could be a defining moment for the Wild...too bad the Sharks are in town Monday night.

CHICKEN LITTLE SAYS: Living for the wakeup call is dangerous living.

POLLYANNA SAYS: Character win.

BOTTOM LINE: Last year about this time the Wild started off on a tear that lasted nearly the rest of the second half of the season. Harbinger or coincidence?

STUD: Nummelin has been fighting to stay in the lineup. Surely an OT GWG can't hurt his cause.

DUD: I know he's getting some good pub, but Dominic Moore is a poor man's SRV - and that's a scary, scary thought. He absolutely craps his pants when he has the puck in the offensive zone - to the point that it's kind of embarassing. He might be a good checking forward, but we've already got like 7 of those on this team.


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