So! That was pretty nice, eh?!
And what a win it was. It seemed like the Wild were in the driver's seat in this game, taking a 2-0 lead in a second period in which they were dominating. And then, things started falling apart. A goal with seconds left in the second brought the always-dangerous Blackhawks to within striking distance of a lead of their own, and in the third period, strike they did. They scored within the first minute of the third period to tie the game, and took a lead six minutes later. It was not looking good at that point.
But, fortunately, the Wild were able to come back, and most encouragingly, they did it by using two areas that they identified for improvement. In yesterday's Wilderness Walk, we linked to many stories concerning the Wild's need to improve on the power play, and on producing points from the blue line. From what I could tell, the improvement in the power-play's movement was noticeable, and even if you only read the box score, you could see the impact the defense made in the offense, as Jonas Brodin and Marco Scandella scored the game-tying and winning goals.
The Wild needed this win, too, not only to prove that they could hang with the league's best, but also because they're about to depart from the Xcel Energy Center for a while. 8 of their next 10 games will be on the road, including tough games against San Jose, Anaheim, Colorado, and PIttsburgh.
But first thing's first: The Wild travel to Columbus to take on the Sergei Bobrovski-less Blue Jackets. It's gonna be a busy day, so let's go to the Walk.
Wild goalie Backstrom is relaxed, ready | Star Tribune- Let's hope so, as he'll be starting tonight.
Minnesota Wild: For goalie Niklas Backstrom, a different feeling - TwinCities.com- Being a backup is a weird position for Backstrom, who has been the starting goaltender since Manny Fernandez got hurt in 2007.
Minnesota Wild: Former Gopher Eric Haula brings speed to lineup - TwinCities.com- Haula was pretty impressive tonight, notching an assist, as well as making a nifty play where he intercepted a pass in Chicago's zone and took a nice shot that was, unfortunately, saved by Corey Crawford.
Arbitrary Endpoints: In which I make excuses for Kyle Brodziak’s declining production | Hashtag Hockey- Bob tells us why Kyle Brodziak isn't as bad as we may think he is.
Tending the Fields
First Round Bust: 2014 WJC: Minnesota draft pick Gustav Olofsson makes Team Sweden- This will be the first major chance for most Wild fans to see Olofsson, so that'll be exciting.
Eye on the Future: Gustav Olofsson, Colorado College - SB Nation College Hockey- And for those who haven't seen him yet, here's an informal (but detailed and good) scouting report from someone who saw him a couple of weeks ago.
Off the Trail
Memo to Hockey Canada: P.K. Subban should be on your Olympic team | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- If Canada doesn't want him, on behalf of the United States, I say "We'll take him!"
New York islanders must trade for goalie, Ryan Miller's value, more NHL news and notes | Home Ice - SI.com- The islanders need a goalie so bad they can't even be bothered to have their team named capitalized anymore!
The line that’s saved the Philadelphia Flyers | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- It did not save them against the Wild earlier this week.
Sometimes fighters fight for selfish reasons, not for the good of the team | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | theScore.com- Sometimes, it's to resolve questions like "Who takes the last donut?"
Bylsma: Sharks are NHL’s best, ‘with all due respect to Chicago’ | ProHockeyTalk- The Wild will get to face them on Sunday.
Behind Enemy Lines
Bobrovsky Out -- Time to Unleash the Dogs - The Cannon- It's gonna be tough times for the Beej.