Brent Burns is making a fist, because he is now an enforcer, apparently. (Photo by Dale MacMillan/Getty Images)
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I'm gonna have to make this short and sweet, I'm on campus right now, after midnight, and security already came by.
The Wild started things out with a bang, scoring two goals in the first 3:25 of the game. Of course, when I found a working feed 5 minutes in, the Wild started the march to the penalty box. That's right, I miss the first 5 minutes, and they score twice. Just another sign. The Wild spent way too much time on the PK, but if there's a team they could allow themselves to do so, it was this Oilers team, who were working on a franchise record by going through 33987 games without a powerplay goal. After the two goals, the Wild had very few quality chances, so it was all Khudobin and the PK for most of the game.
But the third period? Much different. The Oilers started getting some penalties of their own, and things got rather chippy after Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored a magnificent patience goal to make it 3-0. Brent Burns got 10 minutes for hugging Zack Stortini while he punched him a few times. Not smart for Burnsie to be fighting, especially not against someone like Stortini, who is rather used to fighting.
Anton Khudobin played great, nearly obtaining his second straight shutout. Say what you will about Khudobin's style, he gets the job done... Kind of like a certain Vezina-winning Bruin. He also got a lot of help from a strong team defense, especially from Burns, who was just beastly.
So the Wild scored 8 goals, allowed 1 in the last 2 games, but scored 2 , allowed 9 in the previous two. I wish the Wild would quit playing with the collective heart of the Wild fanbase. It's things like this that make the Wild too good for a top pick and not good enough for a playoff spot. It hurts so bad to be a Wild fan sometimes. Anyhoo, I enjoyed this game, as I'm sure many others did, but I enjoyed it because my curse is broken and I witnessed my first Wild win in a month. Hurrah!
I got to see the final two minutes of this game. However, from what I read on Twitter and from the FSN post game, this was a hell of a game by the Wild. A nearly perfect PK, a PP goal, a Gordie Howe hat trick from Brent Burns, and Borat lost his stick and spun in circles. Everything you need to have a Minnesota Wild hockey game.
The big news of the night will be the Brad Staubitz fight with less than five minutes left. While it is honorable to defend a teammate, you have to be smart about it. He took the instigator, and that carries with it some consequences. While the penalty carries an automatic one game suspension, and a $10K fine for Todd Richards, the league will review it, and they can revoke the penalty even after the fact. It has been done before. I didn't see it, so I do not know if they will or not.
The biggest problem with the fight is that it cost the team a second consecutive shutout. Hopefully Bitzy is buying tonight, tomorrow, the next day... Stupid penalty in a game that is on lock down. Simply stupid. Wasn't even a good fight from the replay. Weak.
Hockey Wilderness Three Stars:
1. Anton Khudobin, A.K.A. The Dreidel, A.K.A. Borat, A.K.A. Khudini, A.K.A Dobby the house elf (Shutout streak ended at 141:31 I think, 31 saves)
2. Brent Burns (Gordie Howe hat trick, great defensively)
3. Pierre-Marc Bouchard (Goal, assist)
Eric Nystrom (2 assists, but he missed what should've been a sure goal. Talk about being snake bitten!)
- Can they avoid the emotional let down? Judging by the result? Sure can.
- Will Anton continue to shut the door? Ridiculous. Making the coaches have a very difficult decision to make here.
- The line shakeup had results. Do those results carry over? They do indeed. Gotta ride the momentum.
- How do "The Kids" look for the Oil? I didn't see it, though Pajavrvari broke up the shutout.
- With the Nucks and Avs playing tonight, can we hope the Pepsi Center collapses in upon itself? Three point game, and the Avs won. Worst possible outcome.