Let the Red Wings have all the Swedes. I just want the Finns.
Wild forwards Mikko and Mittens continued one of the most profound campaigns of northern aggression against the south east since Generals Sherman and Grant were rampaging through the area some 145 years ago.
If Mikko and Mittens are Sherman and Grant, then I guess that makes Bruno Maj. Gen. George "Slow Trot" Thomas (that's so perfect, there's no way I could have made that up.)
The three of them - currently the Wild's de facto top line - have accumulated seven goals, ten assists and seventeen points in the last two games. The only thing left to do is get Bruno an honorary Finnish citizenship and then it's a clear path to world domination (not to mention facilitating a catchy nickname for the line.)
And the Finnish fun doesn't even end there! Goalie Nik Backstrom was again as good as he needed to be - turning aside twenty-four Panthers shots - particularly in the early going when the Wild was a little slow out of the blocks.
Nice debut from Tomas Mojzis - albeit on the wing instead of his natural habitat on the blueline. He picked up an assist on Mittens' first goal. And it was an eventful night for Derek Boogaard, who garnered his first fight of the season (generously scored a tie, although it should be pointed out that Wade Belak waited until Boogey was at the end of his shift to engage him), but also tallied his first point (an assist on Johnsson's second period goal) in a long, long time. Boogey also tossed a sucker punch at Nick Boynton that, frankly, was disappointing. Don't talk about how you're all about The Code and then resort to that bush league crap.
Benoit Pouliot offered up a demonstration of heart, balls and skill with his first goal of the season. But it also created a frustrating juxtaposition with his indifference at other times. Respect is earned, kid. Time to grow up and show us some consistency.
Even though the Panthers aren't much better than the Thrashers, this win was more satisfying. Maybe it just felt more like a hockey game, what with the fisticuffs and rancor between the two teams.
Now it's over to Tampa Bay for a reunion with Wes Walz.
Chicken Little says: That wasn't terrible.
Pollyanna says: You have to win these games, and they did!
Bottom line: Good, solid team effort. Two points is two points.
Stud: If we can keep someone from doing a Nancy Kerrigan on Mikko this season, we'll be in good shape.
Dud: Not my favorite game from SRV. He was on the ice for both Florida goals, looked like a lost puppy on the PP, and didn't really do anything to distinguish himself positively.