This was a game that had some juicy storylines (ie Koivu playing in the 'Couv for the first time since Mattias Ohlund broke his leg) but in the end it came down to hard work and a big effort from Butch. Oh, and Koivu earned a measure of revenge with the GWG.
This was one of the Wild's best efforts so far this season. They set the physical tone, and kept it up. They were flying offensively and playing smart defense. Apart from leaving some juicy rebounds (which were cleaned up adroitly by the defense for the most part) Nik Backstrom played very well - and really looked like the Backstrom from last year. Todd Fedoruk continues to show value beyond his now-limited pugilistic abilities.
Koivu was on fire in the first period and I would not be surprised if his effort - in all zones - inspired the rest of the guys to some extent.
All in all, a good effort, in a building the Wild has had some real trouble with over the years.
Overall: tied 2-2-0 (GF 10, GA 13)
In Minny: tied 1-1-0 (GF 4, GA 5)
In Vancouver: tied 1-1-0 (GF 6, GA 8)
CHICKEN LITTLE SAYS: Still giving up too many shots (40).
POLLYANNA SAYS: Butch showed than he CAN play with the big boys (literally).
BOTTOM LINE: A solid two points in regulation against a division foe - in their building.
STUD: Butch. As previously stated.
DUD: Hard to say he really played poorly, but Belanger was a -2 on the game.