Minnesota 2 - Phoenix 3
Greetings all, Nathan had more important things to do last night, (congrats on nine years my friend) so, I figured I would pop on in and give a game recap from the perspective of section 210, row 1. Never been in the upper deck before, so this was a good experience. You sure can see the plays (or lack thereof) developing from up yonder. Alrighty...let’s get to it...
Fraud Sellout at the X last night, packed to the rafters...if you are counting the nearly 2000 empty seats. The 'Yotes came in not faring well over the past Millenium versus the Wild, and we were told that on the scoreboard before the game. I felt this was a classic "Dick and Bert" moment, and, well, if you watched the game, you know the kiss of death occured.
The Wild came out Slloooooooowwww, and seemed to lack energy the entire game. The only consistent energy came from the Brodziak/Earl/Clutterbuck. The slow pace of the wild was matched by an equally lethargic attack from Phoenix. I saw more excitement at the prospect scrimmage this past summer. With under a minute to play, the Wild lost Owen Nolan for
tapping a player's ass with the blade of his stick slashing. When the 'Yotes came out on the PP in the second, they scored on a laser from the right side of Backstrom off the stick of Radim Vrbata. 1-0 Yotes. That was all the scoring in the 2nd.
The Wild bounced back with a nice hard working goal from the Koivu/Brunette/Miettinen line. Bruno found a free puck and an open net, and buried it. 1-1 tie. Sadly, as often happens, the Wild found themselves down 2-1 after a horribly played puck at the blue line led to a 2-1 the other way, and James Vandermeer faked the crossing pass and pushed the puck behind Backstrom. Come to think of it, I think it wasn’t so much a misplayed puck, but Kim Johnsson falling down.
With roughly five minutes to play, the Wild once again tried this "scoring" thing, much to the celebration of the fans. It was another classic Andrew Brunette setup from behind the net. Puck came hard around the back wall, Bruno pushed it along, Koivu tapped it back to Bruno who slides it in one motion out to Mittens who buries the puck from maybe 6 feet away. 2-2 tie.
As much rejoicing was occurring, the Wild forgot that the puck being dropped symbolizes that play is resuming, and within 20 seconds, Scottie Upshall takes a rebound off Backstrom and slides it underneath Nik for the 3-2 lead, and eventual game winner. It was a soft, soft goal, and it really took the wind out of the collective sails of the players and the fans.
Neither team was especially good this evening, but the Wild was worse. Please note that word choice…as opposed to the classic cliché of "they were the better team." Sadly, in this case…the wording, as it reads, is more accurate.
Lets take a look at the 5 questions posed by Nathan "Swine-Flu Survivor" Eide…
1. Any chance Danny Irmen can continue the first career goal trend? Well, he did get to wave at his family in the crowd, and I did see him out there…so he was physically present, but sadly…no goal for you!
2. Can Brent Burns continue improving upon his plus/minus? Burns was a -1, so by definition, this is a step back.
3. Will the Coyotes know how to play in front of actual people? They did look a bit puzzled by the breathing life forms on the other side of the glass…but they won, so, I guess they know how.
4. Ilya Bryzgalov is in net. He tends to play very poorly against the Wild (1-7, 3.42 lifetime). Will this trend continue? He played pretty well. Controlled rebounds, didn’t do anything stupid. A very serviceable performance, and got his win at the X.
5. 8 shots against Washington, 0 against Carolina. Which Martin Havlat will show up? Havlat had 4 shots, one was a decent opportunity. The Martin Havlat who likes to carry the puck into the zone and curl also showed up! I think it is time to look at getting him his number back…he clearly feels like "10 less of a man."