The Minnesota Wild lost to the Calgary Flames in an overtime shootout at the Xcel Energy Center. What surprised me the most about the shootout was that Mikko Koivu didn’t use his signature backhand move on Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff during the shootout. I also noticed that Kiprusoff was coming out of the net to cut the angles, but apparently all of Wild shooters missed that because they all tried to slap shot the puck in as opposed to beating Kiprusoff around on the outside and tapping it in. I am sure Jacques Lemaire will have some shootout pointers at the next practice for the Minnesota Wild team!
I was also shocked to see Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom in the goal, but later heard that Josh Harding had tweaked his groin a bit in practice so Lemaire gave Backstrom the nod just minutes before game time. Backstrom played pretty well and made 29 saves so the next question is who will get to start in the goal on Friday night vs. the Anaheim Mighty Ducks??? My in the state of hockey poll shows great support for both goalies. Why is it that Minnesota always has a starting position controversy? The Minnesota Vikings football team is notorious for having starting quarterback controversies and now the Minnesota Wild with the goalie job? I guess a little internal competition never hurt . . . does it???
Next up for the Wild is another Xcel Energy Center home game against rival Anaheim Mighty Ducks on Friday at 7pm. Once again the game is sold out through the Minnesota Wild and Minnesota hockey fans are forced to pay the big bucks and buy Wild tickets through ticket brokers. There are still some decent ones left!!! Go Wild!!!