Scoring for Minnesota
After a couple lackluster performances at home, Minnesota took full advantage of a team playing its eighth straight road game. Literally.
The Wild survived an initial surge by Vancouver then made the Canucks pay a harsh price for a series of undisciplined plays in stomping their division rival, 6-2, and chasing Bob Luongo.
Kyle Brodziak had a goal and two assists, was one of six different goal scorers and 10 different players who registered points for the Wild, who went a nifty 4-for-7 on the power play. Brodziak's goal was sandwiched in between power play tallies by Guillaume "Thank God I'm out of Canada" Latendresse and Marek Zidlicky. Minnesota out-shot the visitors 17-2 in the second period.
Mason Raymond spoiled Niklas Backstrom's bid for a shutout early in the third, but the drama was wiped away quickly when Andrew Brunette and Cal Clutterbuck struck less than a minute apart. Late in the game, new acquisition Cam Barker scored on, guess what, the man-advantage after Mikael Samuelsson had scored for the Canucks.
Backstrom finished with 27 saves. Brunette, Clutterbuck and Zidlicky each added an assist and Mikko Koivu tallied two helpers.
Danrik Sedin did play in the game, contrary to reports. In fact, Henry was busy losing 19 out of 21 faceoffs. Holy crap.
We won't be needing you, Jeff, but thanks
I don't know if Philadelphia center Jeff Carter made it out to Vancouver by the time this gets posted, but I think he'll be on his way back east. 'Cause, well, Ryan Getzlaf seems just fine for the Olympics.
Getzlaf potted a pair of goals and set up two others as Anaheim destroyed Edmonton, 7-3, out-shooting the hosts 46-29 and earning eleven - that's 11 - power plays.
Oilers goalie Jeff Deslauriers did his best to hold the fort in the first period, making 17 saves, but the Ducks still led 2-1. Anaheim was up by only a goal after two periods at 3-2 before Edmonton's wheels came off in the third. Both of Getzlaf's goals, each on the power play, and a goal off the skate of Lubomir Visnovsky credited to George Parros pushed the lead to three. Visnovsky had scored before the second Getzlaf marker.
Bobby Ryan closed the scoring with a power play goal late in the contest. Saku Koivu, Corey Perry and Scott Niedermayer also scored for the Ducks. Jonas Hiller made 26 saves.
In other action
--Erik Christensen scored a pair of goals and added an assist to lead the Rangers past Tampa Bay, 5-2. During the game, someone proposed to his girlfriend on the scoreboard screen, only to have her not just reject him but also flee the scene of the crime. That's the highlight of the game if you ask me.
Some questions before we continue though: Does the proposer call the team/arena and set up the on-camera question? Are they willing participants in this garbage? If so, why? What does the rejected guy do the rest of the game, just sit there crying into his beer(s) or does he leave? How awkward is the next meeting between guy and girl? Should you feel sorry for him or call him a dope for doing such a dumb thing? And how did this crap start with proposals on the Jumbotron? Can we stop it? Anyway, back to the recap.
--Martin Erat's first goal in two weeks and shootout clincher helped Nashville down Pittsburgh, 4-3. Sidney Crosby scored his 42nd goal. Two highlights from this one. First, national and local writers tried to start a scare in Canada by saying Crosby was hurt blocking a shot, even though he didn't miss a shift. Second was the crowd reaction when Team USA defenseman Brooks Orpik scored his first goal in 112 games. The fans started a "U-S-A, U-S-A!" chant. Frickin' awesome.
--Alexei Kovalev had a goal and two assists in the third period and Ottawa roared back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Islanders, 4-3.
--Patrick Sharp had a goal and assist and Troy Brouwer scored in round four of the shootout to lead Chicago past Columbus, 5-4.
Pat Quinn-ism of the night
None, because the AP didn't bother talking to him. If I feel like it (I won't), I'll check Edmonton papers later. I'll assume they'll talk to the Oilers head coach.
Stat of the night
31 - Assists for Zidlicky, a Wild franchise record for defensemen. Feel free to leave "But look at how he plays defense!" comments.
Quote of the night
"I thought it was huge to get this win -- especially against a powerhouse like Pittsburgh."
Predators defenseman Shea Weber, who scored his team's third goal of the game. I'm glad someone thinks the Penguins are a powerhouse, because I sure as hell don't.
So that's it. No NHL action until March. Not sure yet what the content of this blog will be during that time, though I'm sure we'll be touching on the Olympic hockey in some form. Might do some on other events too. I'm frickin pumped for the curling, I dunno about any of you.
That is if NBC actually shows other events and not just fluff pieces on the 87th best skier from Kenya.