The Wild got two points without giving Phoenix one, which catapults them from 11th to 8th in the Conference. Inside the playoff bubble, y'all!
So yeah, the Wild played a really good game. Very shaky at the end, but I'm totally willing to look that over with the awesome 4-goal output tonight. I mean seriously?! Four goals? Now, people are gonna be like, "The anemic Wild offense averages 2.15 goals per game" instead of "The anemic Wild offense averages 2.06 goals per game." It's a great feeling.
Even though the Wild were on their heels in the final minutes, it's great to see the Wild run one of the league's elite goaltenders, and even better to see Dany Heatley smack in two pucks. SPOILER: There aren't any Heatley buyout articles tonight.
So, now that the Wild have won the Biggest Game of the Year, it's time to turn our attention to the Biggest Game of the Year. Yes, the Wild go into Honda Center tonight to face the Anaheim Ducks, who are in first place. The Wild are facing some serious offensive firepower in Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan, Kyle Palmeiri (A.K.A., the Palmeiri that isn't a crybaby), and Teemu "Teesma" Selanne. My guess- the Wild are going to score about the same amount to pull this one off.
But enough of my ramblings. Enjoy the win, hope for another, and hit the links.
Wild scores four goals, moves into top-8 in the West | StarTribune.com- Russo's game blog. Bit of analysis. Some quotes.
Minnesota Wild: Quick start pays off with victory - TwinCities.com- Gamer from the Pioneer Press.
Heatley's pair of goals gives Wild the edge as they hold on for a 4-3 road win over Phoenix- Derek with his excellent (as usual recap)- updates on Graovac and Bussieres, too.
Hitting The Post: Post-Game Haiku Reax: Wild @ Dooshyotes, 2/28/13- A series of recap haikus- complete with many, many uses of the word "douche", but misspelled.
Wild's Coyle gets break, this time, for his high hit on Stajan | StarTribune.com- I loved Coyle's reaction to his talk with Shanahan. Nice to see players get excited about the
Minnesota Wild: Faceoff skills give them an edge - TwinCities.com- A briefing on how the Wild have actually been pretty good at faceoffs. A welcome change from the past.
Ryan Suter Not Holding Up Deal With Minnesota Wild- RantSports- No. This article wasn't selected because of it's awesome quality, but rather, a plea from me to you readers to email this guy to tell him it's not three weeks ago, anymore.
Does Ryan Suter Deserve Norris Trophy Consideration? - Gone Puck Wild- Still no, but Dakota considers the entire season in this article. But just because I disagree with the article (the slow start is still encompassing half the season so far), doesn't mean it's not a good article.
Tending the Fields
Star Wars night at Solar Bears game - OrlandoSentinel.com- I'll leave the pun-heavy responses to you guys in the comments. Not a big enough Star Wars guy to make the best ones, anyway.
Off the Trail
Ryan O’Reilly signs offer sheet with Flames, mercifully ending standoff with Avalanche | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports- Probably the biggest news of the night, as O'Reilly was the biggest name to be not under contract with his team (not named Alexander Radulov, that is), and it's a pretty big deal when GMs are ballsy enough to throw out an offer sheet. Or it was tonight's biggest news, until...
Avalanche match Flames’ offer sheet; O’Reilly prepares for awkward return to Colorado | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports- So there's that. Still big news, htough, as the ugliest and most embarrassing contract dispute is being cleared up, and Colorado should no doubt gain a boost from O'Reilly coming into the team, whom the Avs are going to need to have a prayer at making the postseason.
Fun fact: there’s plus/minus etiquette amongst teammates in pro hockey | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | theScore.com- Justin Bourne, who's killing it lately, gives some insight on player line changing for plus-minus purposes.
Rick Dipietro has struggled mentally over the past few years | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | theScore.com- Another good article on DiPietro (mainly because of Patrick Burke's tweets), who's been given the short end of the stick by the Islanders by being sent to the minors. Not that he hasn't been worthy of it, because of his play/injuries, but I'd rather see him be a free agent, rather than held in Bridgeport for salary cap purposes.
Which NHL Coach (or GM!) Is Getting Fired Next? - The Triangle Blog - Grantland- Sean McIndoe looks at the hot seat around the league.
Unexpected candidates for NHL awards | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | theScore.com- A fun awards article, by virtue of not having the Same. Damn. Names. Over. And. Over. Again.
Us against the fenwick and the world - Battle of California- Yeah, it appears that the Ducks have the same Corsi problem the Wild had last year. Watch the statheads say "I told you so" when the Ducks drop out of first place when Getzlaf, Perry, Ryan, and Selanne suffer injuries.
Stat Nerd Culmination: The Curious Case of Cam Fowler and the Role of Advanced Stats - Anaheim Calling- Cam Fowler doesn't seem to have a Corsi problem, though. So there's that.