Uniondale, L.I., N.Y. -- The curse of the Tri-State is over.
The Minnesota Wild, led by Marian Gaborik's two goal, two assist night, thumped the hapless New York Islanders 6-2 Wednesday night at Nassau Coliseum, ending the Wild's season against the Eastern Conference at 12-5-1.
Andrew Brunette and Owen Nolan each contributed a goal and two assists to the effort, while defenseman Marek Zidlicky, much maligned recently in this blog, came around and added three assists to the evening.
The Wild now have off until the weekend, with back-to-back games at Calgary and Edmonton on Saturday and Sunday, in what could be the Wild's last attempt to gain meaningful points against teams which could keep the Wild out of the playoffs.
The Wild faithful were well-represented at this game also, with several hundred Wild fans attending amongst the small crowd of 13,332 at the Coliseum. Your blogger even had an Islanders' T-shirt, the giveaway inbound for tonight's game, thrown at him after the Wild's third goal.
Update -- 5:30 PM CDT Thursday
Well, now, that was an interesting night last night, wasn't it? Clutterbuck telling off Okposo, John Scott taking a recent Islander call-up (Rechlitz) to school, and general mayhem ensuing after Miettinen tries to go thru an OPEN DOOR to the dressing room, and gets cut-off en route by Comeau. Yeah, we understand the Isles are trying to show that they belong, that they want an NHL paycheck; but isn't part of the deal showing that you have some personal restraint on the ice?
Sorry about the computer problems, folks; when you pay the hotel prices we do, however, one thing we expect is free Wi-Fi (at least) Internet access. My wife and I are quite adamant about this. When we don't get it, we go somewhere where they do. For example, I did Wednesday's short start of the game story at a Dunkin' Donuts outlet near MSG. I couldn't stand the rap music they had blaring on in there any more, so we did other things and moved on.
Same thing for this game. The Marriott-Long Island next to the Coliseum is a very nice hotel, but the only free Wi-Fi is in the main lobby area. So, I did what I could, and moved on. Hence, this update.
Anyhow, the looks on Okposo's face was priceless when Cal went after him; the 'What? Me?' which no one was buying. Gaborik was the Gaby of old but with one twist; he actually did go in front of the net, looking for rebounds. Owen Nolan must be rubbing off on him.
And with that, we turn to the multitude...
Chicken Little: See? See? What did I tell you? Even with Gaby back, Koivu is the straw that stirs this drink. And where is he now?
Pollyanna: Aw, shut up and enjoy a blowout for a change, Chicken Little. At least this blowout's going the right way!
Bottom Line: If the Wild had lost this game, after what they almost did the night before at MSG, that probably would have been the end for 'da boys' for this season. They came thru with flying colors, against an Islanders team which is about to hit rock bottom. The Isles are in such disarray, they gave T-shirts to everyone who came thru the gates. They were only supposed to be for children. The size they gave out? Adult small.
Stud: Gaborik. Two goals, two assists, he really put on a show for all to see. Honorable mention: Brunette, Nolan, Zidlicky, Skoula (he put a few actual hits together last night) and Clutterbuck, who now has broken the all-time NHL 'hits' record.
Dud: Was there one?
Next: at Calgary, Saturday, March 28, 9 PM Central (8 PM Mountain) Time, Pengrowth Saddledome. (TV: FSNorth, CBC, NHL Network-US; XM NHL Home Ice, Ch. 204)
WRT (happy to be home)