Minnesota Wild 5 - 2 Vancouver Canucks
Please get the enemy perspective at Nucks Misconduct.
It doesn't get much better than this, Wild fans. Save for a slow moving second period, this game had everything.
The first period was all Wild. The Wild jumped to their first 2-0 lead since mid-November on goals from Kyle Brodziak and Mikko Koivu within the first three and a half minutes. The Wild controlled play at both ends, and played well on the power play. The only mis-step came after Owen Nolan took a boarding penalty after shoving Ryan Kesler into the boards from behind. On the ensuing power play, Kesler made Nolan pay for it, scoring the Canucks first goal of the game.
In the second, we had a collective flash back to Jacques Lemaire hockey, as the Wild looked to be sitting back and letting the Canucks come to them. They were out shot 14-4, and took four minor penalties. Alexandre Burrows, fresh off his $2500 fine for "Conduct detrimental to the NHL," scored just shy of the 16 minute mark to tie the game. It was a rather uneventful 2nd, but a roughing minor to Derek Boogaard and Darcy Hordichuk would prove to be a bit of foreshadowing.
Entering the third tied up at two, there was no predicting what was about to happen. The Wild had been flat for 20 minutes, and the Canucks have out scored their opponents in the third. Just over a minute into the third, Antti Miettinen decided he had enough and put in a PPG on a Daniel Sedin induced power play. Owen Nolan added an ugly, bouncing goal at 7:50, and the rout was on. Miettinen added a second, very pretty, goal about a minute and a half later.
With the game in hand, it was time for the 'Nucks and the Wild to settle some scores, and throw some fists. First, Boogey and Hordichuk decided to finish what they started, but Boogey fell down, got up, and pulled Hordichuk's jersey over his head. Being a truly old school enforcer, Boogey left Hordichuk alone, and the linesmen broke it up. Boogaard went to the box, and Hordichuk went to the locker room with a ten minute misconduct tacked on.
Being the disappointment that it was, the above scrap was not enough to settle the bad blood on the evening. John Scoot and Alexandre Bolduc danced just 17 seconds after the Boogaard / Hordichuk under card was settled. In what can only be described as an epicaly one sided beat down, John Scott fed Bolduc the largest helping of fist he has ever had. Hockey Wilderness proprietor nathaneide was at the game and reports that Bolduc went down the tunnel, leaving his dinner on the floor as he went.
Finally, just six seconds before the five minute mark (and suspensions and fines kick in) Sheriff Shane Hnidy made it clear to Tanner Glass that backing into Niklas Backstrom late in a game would simply not be accepted. Hnidy and Glass traded punches, but Hnidy got the best of him.
66 PIMs and a final score of 5-2 Wild. As I said above. It doesn't get any better than this.
Hockey Wilderness Three Stars:
1. Antti Miettinen (2G, 1A)
2. Niklas Backstrom (29 saves on 31 shots)
3. John Scott - I could have (and should have) gone with Koivu here, but man... that was one hell of a beat down.
Five Questions to Answer:
1. Can the Wild stop Henrik Sedin? No points, a -2 rating, and a puck off the ribs. Not a good night for Prince Henrik.
2. Any chance the refs can gang up on Alex Burrows? There was some joking when Burrows took a late penalty, but the game was out of hand already. It was a good call, too.
3. Will Marty add one more game to his streak? Not tonight. And only 12:10 TOI. Hmmm... didn't really notice that. Likely held out late in the game to prevent stupidity?
4. Will the Wild extend their winning streak over playoff teams to 4? Yes, and in a beautiful manner, I might add.
5. A 6:00 start at a home game? How unbelievably ridiculous is this? I'm not looking forward to missing over half of the first period because of this. From my watch, you missed the entire first period. Making concessions to America's hat doesn't seem to be the best idea for our fearless leader. It's alright though. You got to see the third, and that is all that matters.