Minnesota Wild vs. Dallas Stars: The Morning After

Minnesota Wild 3-1 Dallas Stars

What started off as a game in which the Wild needed a sense of urgency looked ugly for much of the first period. Thanks to a beautiful play by Marian Gaborik they found themselves up 1-0 after the first, even while being outshot 13-6. Niklas Backstrom kept the team in the game by shutting the door when the Stars got shots, but the defense was outstanding, keeping most shots to the outside, and clearing the slot of any rebounds.

In the second period, it was a story of power plays. The Wild took advantage of Dallas penalties twice, both times thanks to excellent plays by Gaborik. On the first, Gaborik made a nice toe drag from the corner, pulling Climie to the side of the net, before taking a little wrister that Climie stopped, but the rebound fell right to Eric Belanger who buried it. 5:30 later, Gaborik again made the nice play to get the shot off before Owen Nolan took the rebound and buried it under the crossbar over Climie's shoulder. Thanks to the power plays, Minnesota controlled the game and totalled 17 shots to Dallas' nine.

In the third period, the Wild tried to step on the throat of a beaten team, but Matt Climie stepped up to the challenge, making several nice saves, including four on the power play to keep the Stars in the game. Fabian Brunnstrom made a fantastic play to bring the score to 3-1, but it was too little, too late as the Wild finished out the game to get the 3-1 win.

Tonight was just another night that proved how important Marian Gaborik is to the Wild. I hate to give Risebrough, Lynn and Leipold a break, but my goodness this season would've been different had Gaborik been healthy.


G A P +/- PIM
2008 - Marian Gaborik 11 7 18 2 2

Look at those numbers. Gaborik is on pace to score 60 goals, 38 assists and 98 points over an 82 game season. Those are Hart-like point totals folks. Yeah, he's hot and injuries are a part of the game, but those numbers are absolutely undeniable. His career totals are 217 goals, 215 assists for 432 points in 500 games, a .86 ppg average. Ahh, what could've been.


Hockey Wilderness Three Stars
  1. Marian Gaborik (1 G, 2 A)
  2. Niklas Backstrom (28 shots, 27 saves)
  3. Owen Nolan (1 G)

Questions to Answer

  1. Is this the last time Mike Modano plays in Minnesota? Originally we thought yes, but he said between periods that he didn't want to go out like this season, so maybe he'll make one more run and try to get on the 2010 Olympic team.
  2. Can Koivu score? Nope. He needs to pick it up.
  3. Do they have a chance after tonight? Need help from Phoenix tonight.
  4. With Schultz out, will Johnsson go over 30:01 TOI? Skoula, Zidlicky and Bergeron all had more TOI than Johnsson.
  5. What's the deal with the concussions? Boards? Helmets? Mouthguards? I wish I knew, but it's not cool at all.

Notes

  • Tonight was Marian Gaborik's 500th career regular season game.
  • Niklas Backstrom made his team-record 19th straight start in goal for the Wild.
  • Marian Gaborik has eight goals and 13 points in nine games and has scored in five straight since returning.
  • Check out the recap by Defending Big D.

Game Highlights


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