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Minnesota Wild @ Colorado Avalanche: Game Recap

Minnesota Wild 1-0 Colorado Avalanche

The Minnesota Wild get a 1-0 shutout win over the Colorado Avalanche in front of a very anemic crowd at the Pepsi Center. Frankly, if I wouldn't have seen Todd Richards behind the bench actually being interviewed by a Versus reporter, I would've assumed it was a replay of a game under the Lemaire regime.

Nice to see Antti Miettinen get back on the scoring track tonight. He now has seven goals in his last eight games. Someone's looking awfully tempting for Jari Kurri. Niklas Backstrom didn't have to be brilliant tonight, he just did his job and notched his 18th career shutout.

John Scott is already a lock to be a healthy scratch next game unless every other defenseman is injured on the way off the ice tonight. With three minor penalties, all of the either lazy or stupid variety, he could've single-handedly cost the Wild the two points were it not for the great play of the defense and Backstrom. The penalty kill was fantastic (granted the Avs power play looked like the Wild's tonight).

I'm going to leave the rest of the recap to our Denver correspondent. She's a grad student at Denver University by way of the Range and works in the DU athletic department's media relations office and was in attendance at the Pepsi Center tonight and will post her thoughts later.

Not all games include 60 full minutes of hard-fought, fast-paced hockey; however this game didn't include much of it at all. But, in the end, a win is a win; especially when the win is a shutout on the opponent's home ice.

Wednesday night's 1-0 win came as Niklas Backstrom earned his first shutout of the season and Antti Miettinen scored his eighth goal of the season over the Colorado Avalanche.

The two teams battled throughout the game fairly evenly, as the Wild had a total of 23 shots and the Avs ended with 22. However, the Wild did demonstrate their penalty kill ability, as the team finished the night with a total of six penalties.

The crowd support left something to be desired - for both teams, actually. Though it was a Wednesday night, the Pepsi Center was quite bare. Although, not surprising, many of the people in attendance donned Wild apparel, as Colorado is a mecca for has-been Minnesotans.

Truly, the best play of the night came between the second the third periods as two Mini-Mite teams took to the ice in a shoot out. One player scored his goal off a nice-looking deke. As the opposing goalie dove to the right, the young star turned the puck around to the left side past the outstretched goalie.

Let's hope the Wild steps it up a bit as they take on Calgary this Friday. After all, I thought the days of Minnesota's "slow-down offense" were over.

Please read the game recap over at Mile High Hockey

Hockey Wilderness Three Stars
  1. Niklas Backstrom (20 saves)
  2. Antti Miettinen (1 G)
  3. Kim Johnsson (1 A, +1, 31:11 TOI)

Questions to Answer

  1. Can they come out hot and bounce back from a horrible performance in Phoenix? Well, it wasn't great, but they got the 2 points.
  2. With no Andrew Ebbett, who is going to provide his spark? Antti Miettinen got the goal and Koivu provided the spark of offense, but Johnsson was the backbone tonight.
  3. What kind of effect will punishing Martin Havlat have on his play? 9:48 TOI. I think that says it all.
  4. Can the Wild get to Budaj and rattle him? Not at all
  5. Mikko Koivu has been the engine driving this machine, will he continue his excellent play? Koivu was great tonight, both defensively and by making plays in the offense.