With all the buzz about the Minnesota Wild returning to Anaheim to play the Mighty Ducks, you would have thought last Sundays game was a playoff game, not just an early season match-up between two Western Conference rivals. The Wild played a hard-fought game and came away with another road victory, beating Anaheim 2-0.
"Everyone knew that they felt like some things happened last year they didn't like, and I'm pretty sure they had this game circled on the calendar," Ducks defenseman Sean O'Donnell said. "They played a pretty solid game and physically rose to the challenge, but we expected that from them after last year's playoff."
Brian Rolston and Mark Parrish scored second-period goals and Wild "back-up" goalie Josh Harding posted his third career shutout with a career-high 37 saves. I have to admit I was a little nervous that Lemaire put Harding in for this big rival on the road match-up, but Harding’s stellar play making abilities quickly put my mind at ease.
There were plenty of on ice squirmishes and it’s no surprise that this game had more penalties than any of the other Wild 2007 match-ups thus far; 20 penalties, including six 5 minute majors for 3 on ice brawls. Wild Enforcer Derek Boogaard and the Ducks Brad May got into a hostile shoving match and even mild tempered Nick Schultz took on Ducks star Ryan Getzlaf, but the main event came at 5:36 of the second period between Boogaard and George Parros, who won on a TKO.
Minnesota's 5-0 start leaves the Wild as the NHL's only team without a loss! Did you hear that? The Minnesota Wild are undefeated! The ONLY team in the NHL to be undefeated this season! Minnesota is the State of Hockey and the Minnesota Wild are out to prove it.
Want to read a great Wild vs. Anaheim rivalry piece? Click here.