Minnesota Wild 4-3 (OT) Vancouver Canucks
Well, this was a bit of a tale of two games. In the first half, the Wild dominated play, getting two quick goals and controlling the flow. First was MIkko Koivu on a nice backhander down low, then Marc-Andre Bergeron on a nifty play from a great pass from Pierre-Marc Bouchard. Luongo looked prime for a meltdown, and the crowd had turned on the home team. Then, as they sat back a bit, they allowed the Canucks to get back in the game. First on a goal by Ryan Kesler (where I still contend he kicked it in). Then, after a bad game misconduct call on Cal Clutterbuck for boarding, the Canucks took over. It was all Vancouver from that point forward. They dominated play, had a 2 to 1 edge in shots, and took the body on the Wild the rest of the night. After Edler rifled home a power play goal in the third period, the Wild started to bounce back a bit with the score tied.
Unfortunately, after Eric Belanger's goal, the Wild went into a defensive shell, and Vancouver just kept making rush after rush after rush. The Wild tried to get physical, but the Canucks kept powering through. Then, with the Canucks on the power play, from a tripping minor on Brent Burns, Luongo took off for the bench, and Vancouver went 6 on 4. The WIld have had trouble this season defending the extra attacker, and it felt inevitable that they would tie it up. Ryan Kesler made no mistake about it, banging home a rebound over a sprawling Niklas Backstrom with 15 second reminaing in the 3rd. It felt as if all hope was lost.
Luckily though, Daniel Sedin took a bad penalty in the OT, and on the ensuing power play, Marc-Andre Bergeron wound up on a 2 on 1 and missed the pass. Thankfully he had another chance a few seconds later and drilled home a rocket, earning the two points with his second goal of the night. It feels good to hand the Canucks their 8th straight loss.
Hockey Wilderness Three Stars
- Marc-Andre Bergeron (2 G, 1 A)
- Ryan Kesler (2 G)
- Pierre-Marc Bouchard (4 A)
Questions to Answer
- So, which team is it? The one who put up 6 against Toronto, or scratched and clawed to get 1 against the Oilers? Well, for a while they were hot, then they went back into the crapper, but ended up nicely. They're just inconsistent as hell.
- Will Sundin finally get going? If by going, you mean going to the penalty box, then yes. He seems out of sorts.
- Will Mikko Koivu pull himself back up after a horrible showing last night? He played a much better game than last night. I'm happy with his performance.
- Can Backstrom brush off the softies against the Oilers? Well, tonight he didn't look horrible, only let in one marginal goal, and stopped 37 shots, so I'm happy. However, the defense was very suspect tonight.
- Will Alex Burrows try to kill Pierre-Marc Bouchard? He tried, but Cal Clutterbuck took revenge. Burrows is a hack. Bouchard got the last laugh though, with 4 assists.
- The Canucks have lost eight straight (0-5-3) games to fall into 11th place -- just one point behind Minnesota.
- Backstrom stopped all nine shots on the Clutterbuck major power play
- Wild GM Doug Risebrough was furious on the non-reversal of Kesler's first goal. “It’s the new NHL. We don’t mind them kicking it in,” Risebrough said facetiously.
The Game In Pictures