*UPDATE* Russo reporting that Queen MAB sustained a LBI, did not make the trip to St. Louis.
Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug.
Tonight, finally, the Wild was the windshield.
This was the most-complete game the Wild has played in a long time, and one of the two or three most-complete games they've played all season. They got scoring from basically each line, really controlled the play and only gave up a 5:3 goal (to former Wild Richard Park.) This was the rare game this season when the Wild didn't force Backstrom to be the difference, though he did his part just fine. Gaborik was more tentative than against the Flames, but maybe, just maybe, his presence (not to mention that goal and assist against Calgary) garnered him a smidge more attention from the Isles, which opened up more space for guys like Veilleux (first goal in forever) and PMB (weak for the first 30 minutes, much, much better in the second 30 minutes.) Also a great game from Cal Clutterbuck, who did exactly what we want him to do all night - hit anything in a non-Wild jersey and create chances.
The Wild carried the play and really didn't give the Isles many good chances at all. They deserved the win, and yet, with the second period set to expire they trailed 1-0 and it seemed like the kind of game where their recent lack of confidence and conviction would have lead to their demise if the Isles could have scored the insurance goal. But Veilleux scored to tie it, and they came back out of the room with a purpose and determination that Wild fans haven't seen much of lately.
No, it wasn't against the Sharks, but it's a win this team desperately needed (especially with Belanger illin') and they got it.
A very nice development for this Wild fan.
Chicken Little says: Do it against a real team and maybe I'll perk my ears up.
Pollyanna says: Nice to see them play like we know they can.
Bottom Line: A good, solid 2 points on home ice. Continued domination of the eastern conference.
Stud: I think scoring your first NHL goal is worthy of a Stud, Colton Gillies. Honorable mention to SRV, PMB and Shep.
Dud: Utterly forgettable game for Zidlicky.