Minnesota Wild 1-0 Boston Bruins
New stat! The Wild have scored the first goal in three of the last four games! Yes, those four games have come against three of the best teams in the NHL in San Jose, Detroit and Boston. Yes, the Wild have not lost in regulation in those four games. Yes, it has been a major turnaround since December. Hmm, have anything to do with Mikko getting the C back? Maybe the Gaborik situation being resolved has gotten a monkey off their backs? Maybe Lemaire finally said to the guys that they better skate hard every shift, make smart passes, play well in transition, backcheck and play their roles or they'll be relegated to the press box with Russo? Whatever the reason, I love the results. This is the team from November. This is the team that we expected to see this year. This is Minnesota Wild Hockey.
Hockey Wilderness Three Stars
- Niklas Backstrom (28 shots, 28 saves)
- Marek Zidlicky (1 G)
Manny Fernandez (24 shots, 23 saves)
Questions to Answer
- Apparently Manny was a bit moody talking to Russo, Shipley and Tom Reid. Will the Wild get in his head? Manny only gave up one goal, and looked awfully good stopping 23 Wild shots.
- The Wild have played 3 solid games in a row on both ends of the ice. Will that continue tonight? Absolutely. While they only scored once, it was all they needed against the top defensive and offensive team in the NHL.
- Is tonight the night that the Wild's streak at TD Banknorth Garden ends? No way Jose. The Wild own the Bruins.
- Will Benoit Pouliot perform well while being out of the doghouse for one night? Well, Benny had 10:54 TOI, beating out Colton Gillies' 7:51, John Scott's 9:45 and Craig Weller's 7:27, so Lemaire showed a little confidence in the lad. We'll see on Thursday if it continues. Pouliot still needs to go hard every shift, or he'll find himself back in the press box. Because as Russo said, "Pouliot can be maddening at times to watch because he’s just got so much talent and isn’t doing anything with it — other than turnovers."
- Will we watch Kessel and Wheeler, then look at Mariucci Arena and ask "What if?" Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. While scoreless, Wheeler and Kessel still looked outstanding. My god they would look good in maroon and gold right now.
- The Wild are 10-1-1 against the Eastern conference this season.
- Tonight's loss was Boston's first shutout of the season.
- The Bruins are 0-5 at home against the Wild.
- Marek Zidlicky scored his fifth power play goal of the season. Thirty of his 40 career goals have come on the power play
- Niklas Backstrom got his 5th shutout this season and 14th of his career.
- Backstrom’s has gone 125:26 without giving up a goal. His career high is 142:47.
The Game In Pictures