An NHL captaincy is a sign of leadership, of taking the reins and pointing the team in the right direction, of 'manning up' to will the team towards the common good.
Mikko Koivu proved why he was named Captain of the Minnesota Wild tonight, as the Wild came back from a lackluster second period to defeat the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 in the shootout Wednesday night at Xcel Energy Center, before 18,175 less-than-enthused viewers.
The Wild now have a two-game home winning streak (imagine that!) but their admiration of this game won't last long, as they have 3 games in 4 nights beginning Friday night at Scottrade Center vs. the St. Louis Blues.
Wild Offense: OK in the first period, outshooting the Avs 13-4. Good in the third, especially late as the Avs took dumb penalties. Horrible in the second, when the Wild stopped skating.
Wild Defense: Just like the offense. OK in the 1st; horrible in the 2nd; good in the 3rd.
Avs Offense: It's still the Svatos and Stasny show in Denver. They've got two really good rookies also to pair them with.
Avs Defense: When will Adam Foote ever get that chip off his shoulder? Goalie Craig Anderson (UFA from Florida) seems to be the steal of the UFA season this past summer.
Leader: 'The Franchise'. Koivu did not want this team to lose tonight, They didn't.
Lagger: Kim Johnsson. His ill-timed collision at the start of OT with Greg Zanon pretty much summed up his evening.
Stud: Both goalies. Lots of mis-directs, rebounds, tips, and they got almost all of 'em.
Dud: James Sheppard. 4 hits, and how many misses. Had a golden opportunity to put the game away in the last minute, but blew it as he didn't skate well.
(Check back Thursday, as we had to sober up the Assembled Multitude.)
Next: at St. Louis, Friday, Oct. 23, 7:00 PM Central, Scottrade Center. (TV: FSMidwest (in HD), XM Ch. 205. Note: there is no local TV of this game in Minnesota. NHL Center Ice only.)
I was at the game last night. That second Avs goal was brutal: "Here, you skate the puck out." "No, you skate the puck out." Couldn't somebody just flip it out of the zone if they really couldn't skate? More than once during the game, I saw Belanger flat on his stomach trying to push the puck out of the zone. Move your feet! And I think I actually saw Shep nudge an Avs player (can't call it a check) and then apologize. Hurry back, Cal!
That late second period sequence where the Wild couldn't get the puck out of their own zone is an epitome of what this team is going thru right now.
So many guys are just going thru the motions, waiting for the other shoe to drop, that the Wild cannot put together 3 solid periods of hockey.
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