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Can the Wild play the Flames every night? I mean that sincerely. While the lot of us would be fast asleep half the time, the Wild would almost certainly be atop the the Western Conference. Two games against the Flames equates to seven goals for and only two against. Not bad, right?
Oh, who am I kidding? Trade Backstrom! Trade Havlat! Trade Koivu! Trade them all, with all of this solid play, they clearly are not earning their paychecks.
The Wild tonight we the Wild we expect to see on most nights, to be honest. They came out hard and fast, were dominating and winning battles. Then they scored and the pressure almost disappeared. The second period nap kicked in, with the Flames tying the score in a period in which the Wild spend far too much time it their own zone.
Between periods, Pierre-Marc Bouchard did an interview with FOX Sports North, saying that Backstrom was keeping this team in the game. Clearly he meant to say that Backstrom is over paid and unimpressive. Maybe Butch can't read the memos people are giving him. He clearly doesn't understand that Backstrom neds to do more than just keep them team in the game. Bax should be scoring the winning goal as well. Duh, Butch.
Once the third period started, the Wild figured it out again, turned on the jets and never looked back. After an absolutely filthy goal from Havlat, who the Wild "would love to be rid of," the Wild put their foot on the throat of the Flames and pressed firmly until they turned blue. The Killer instinct was shown, and the Wild would put in two more to cement the win.
Miikka Kiprusoff was off the whole game, dropping pucks, out of position, giving up juicy rebounds. His team was also sloppy, as they fanned on shots and clearing attempts. At one point, the Flames power play gave up so many turnovers and short handed shots against, they looked awfully similar to the Wild.
Once again, the Wild were outshot, but they found a way to win, and to win big. It's a regulation win, against a division opponent. Don't plan the parade just yet, but it is worth noting that this could technically be the beginning of a run. Yeah... or not.
Hockey Wilderness Three Stars
1. Niklas Backstrom (34 Saves, 1 GA)
2. Martin Havlat (1G, 1A, strong defensive effort)
3. Marco Scandella (1A)
- Impressive showing two nights ago. Can they build off the win? They sure can. Two game winning streaks are nice. Let's see three.
- Backstrom had strong support in the last game. Does that continue? Only gave up one goal, and Brent Burns was almost laying on him when it was scored. I would say, yes.
- How will the defense look with three rookies in the lineup? The defense looked much, much better, though the Flames certainly helped them out.
- It is nearly impossible to keep Iginla off the score sheet. Can the Wild pull it off again? Not tonight. Iggy the Wild slayer.
- Did Adrian Dater really suggest the Wild would "love" to be rid of Havlat? He really did. Amazing.