Calgary Flames 3-2 Minnesota Wild
Well, the prodigal son has returned, and has done so by providing the offense the team has been so desperately needing. He and Andrew Brunette both returned with great performances tonight. What? Brunette hasn't been out of the lineup? Are you sure? That was Owen Nolan? Huh, could've fooled me.
Anyway, while it was nice to see Marian Gaborik's triumphant return to Xcel Energy Center ice, it would have been even better if anyone else would have attempted to score tonight. Yeah, PMB took 5 shots, but certainly didn't get the most of his opportunities, Veilleux had 4 shots, often as a result of added pressure on the defense because of the presence of #10, and Mikko had 3 shots, but couldn't find the back of the net. They need to snap out of whatever funk they're in before they get too far behind. We're now 30 games into the season, and they are out of a playoff spot. Clearly in the Northwest division they aren't out of the race by a long shot, and yeah, they did get the 1 point tonight, but they need to get their act together and play a tighter game with more transitonal chances, or they're going to be chasing a playoff spot instead of fighting off would-be spoilers.
Rumor has it that Derek Boogaard returned to his old self tonight. I'd love a tale of the tape on that fight. Anyone interested??
Well, that's about it. Share your thoughts in the comments, and we'll see you Friday night for the New York Islanders.
Hockey Wilderness Three Stars
- Daymond Langkow (1 G, 1 A)
- Marian Gaborik (1 G, 1 A)
Andrew Brunette (1 G, 1 A)
Questions to Answer
- With Burns finally back to the blue line, can the defense shore up the problems they've had the last three weeks and provide some offensive punch in breakouts and counter attacks? Well, aside from Zidlicky costing them on the game winner, the defense wasn't horrible and produced 6 of the 24 shots. Still, it would be nice to get back to giving up 2 goals a game.
- We know Gaborik will have short shifts, but will he get into the flow of full-speed? 1 goal, 1 assist and he provided the spark the offense needs. If he's 100%, he's clearly the best offensive player on the roster.
- Better defenseman, Brent Burns or Dion Phaneuf? Phaneuf may get the press and the starlets, but I contend that Burns is a smarter, more skilled twp-way defenseman. Plus he has snakes.
- Can the Wild stop Jarome Iginla? YES! They broke Iginla's streak against the Wild.
- Will the Xcel crowd boo #10? Shockingly he received a loud ovation from the crowdwhen he came onto the ice for his first shift.
- The Wild are 1-5 against the Northwest division.
- Gaborik's previous multipoint game came on April 3 at home against the Flames.
- MIikka Kiprusoff beat the Wild for the 20th time in 29 career starts