Friday, January 4, 2008

Gm # 40: Wild vs. Stars (2/4)

Odd game. Slow start, the Wild quickly (and efficiently) heated up, cooled off in the second, opened the door for the Stars a bit, then promptly and definitively slammed it shut in the third for a 6-3 win.

Marty Turco was bad - and he got pulled for his efforts, though he did not take the loss. Marian Gaborik sandwiched a disinterested second period inside two scintillating periods. Brent Burns looked like Bobby Orr, PMB showed a little spine, Fedoruk and Hill both stepped up on behalf of felled teammates, Backstrom was solid (other than the second Stars' goal which was baby-butt soft), Parrish stayed hot, Demitra looked sharp...and the Wild finally showed it can play with and beat one of the elite teams in the west.

As nice as the big offensive output in the first was, I think the story of the game was the team's ability to wrest control back for the third period and then close the door. Dallas seemed to pack it in a bit after they didn't get the early goal in the third, and that certainly helped, but the Wild showed that it's not just third period comebacks that they can pull off - and playing with a lead is a good thing.

I don't want to make too much out of this. Now, if they go into Dallas on Monday and win that might be a different story (fat chance, that). But it's now two games in a row against the top teams in the west that we've played better. Encouraging.

*Skoula was scratched last night, and I would have liked to have been in the X to hear the cheering at the announcement. However, some are suggesting that his not being in the lineup was the catalyst for the win. While I think it might have served as a wake up call, I think it's myopic to suggest that it had any more impact than that.

*Schultz looked good wearing that "C". To me he's arguably THE priority free agent for the Wild heading into the summer.

Season series
Overall: Tied 1-1-0 (GF 9, GA 11)
In Minny: Wild are 1-0-0 (GF 6, GA 3)
In Dallas: Wild are 0-1-0 (GF 3, GA 8)

CHICKEN LITTLE SAYS: Still can't put out a full 60. And Carney's looking old out there.

POLLYANNA SAYS: Nice rebound game after getting spanked by those guys. Things may be coming together...

BOTTOM LINE: Two solid points, some pretty goals, gut check successful. And in regulation!

STUD: PMB was everything I want him to be last night. He played big, he dished, he scored, he hit. If he could do that every night...

DUD: Carney was victimized on the last two Stars' goals, and looked older and slowed as the game went along. Maybe part of that was rust from sitting so much lately, but surely not all of it...



Kirsten said...

I realise that Skoula was not the reason for the win, but it certainly didn't hurt that he wasn't in the lineup. Everyone in my section cheered loudly when it was announced that he wasn't going to play. We were looking for him during warmups and wondering "could it really be??". It was a good night.

Nick in New York said...

definitely a night I would have liked to have been at the X.

Kirsten said...

Too bad it was my last. Revenge was in the air.