The Minnesota Wild beat the Phoenix Coyotes at the Xcel tonight 3-1. It was the first game back on the home ice for the Wild after the horrible Friday after Thanksgiving debacle vs. the Blue Jackets that caused Wild fans to boo their team off the ice, perhaps the first time in franchise history (I can’t be sure of that fact, but it could be true). The Wild put together a solid road win in Nashville and despite a couple of bad practices; they looked good on the ice vs. the Coyotes.
It was the young guys that stole the show at the X. James Sheppard slipped a goal past Ilja Bryzgalov and Aaron Voros had two assists. Coach Lemaire even noticed the young players stepping up to the plate (or the blue line if you are an absolute hockey nerd and refuse to use baseball terms), he let them out of practice earlier than the veterans and he told the media:
"The kids again," said Wild head coach Jacques Lemaire. "They did a great job. They go in front of the net. They bang. They get pucks at the net. They do the dirty work all the time every shift that they go on."
Stephane Veilleux put the second goal between the pipes for the Wild and Marian Gaborik picked up the final goal. Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom improved to 5-0 against Phoenix after stopping 21 of 22 shots. The Blues are next and they are a much tougher team, but the Wild have what it takes to win, they just have to keep it all together. Go Wild!