The Wild stuck to the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last season with a 5-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks tonight. This was the first home loss for the Blackhawks this season, which is interesting considering the Wild also gave the hawks their first loss last season (SO loss).
This really could have gone either way. The Hawks are a very good team, but between good penalty kills (WHAT?!) and the best goaltending I've seen from Niklas Backstrom in awhile the Wild put a decent beat down and walked out with 2 points.
Backstrom thoroughly deserves the 1st star of the team tonight. He kept the team in the game and made saves that had people going out of their mind with excitement.
Jason Pominville, with two goals including the game winner, in his 600th NHL game had a fantastic night. This is why he was signed to his extension, and why the team desperately needed him.
Mikael Granlund came up huge again tonight as well. Both of Pominville's goals came from fantastic set ups by Granlund. It feels like a broken record at this point, but he looks like a completely different player than last season. Personally, I cannot wait to see how he progresses as the season goes on.
The march to the penalty box continued, and if this had been any other team besides the Blackhawks, the score might have been the other way around. Yeo absolutely has to get it into the heads of these guys that they've got to start playing cleaner. It's going to cost them more games.
This was a great win for the Wild. Hopefully the team can carry this momentum home with them, since they host the Hawks at the Xcel Monday night.
1. How many times will we hear "Former MN Wild draft pick/Local Minnesotan Nick Leddy"? I think I may have died of alcohol poisoning in the first 5 minutes
2. Can the Wild manage to continue their puck possession stats? I'm going to defer to Ger on this one. I haven't had time to check the fancy stats sites tonight
3.Could the Wild maybe, kinda, sorta, possibly find a way to stay out of the box? And if they do have to go, could it maybe not be the top penalty killers? PLEASE? Oh good god. Not a chance.
4. Does Dany Heatley light the Hawks up to show maybe he really did have a great game? Negative ghostrider
5. Do we hear at all about Corey Crawford's "weak glove side"? I saw two mentions about it on twitter. Maybe this thing has died finally