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Minnesota Wild vs Phoenix Coyotes: Game Recap

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Dude. Stop staring. I can't. I know, me either.
Dude. Stop staring. I can't. I know, me either.

Minnesota Wild 3 - 2 Phoenix Coyotes

For Phoenix perspective, please visit Five For Howling

Well now. A victory, on the road and in front of Spaethco. Are we sure that the 2012 thing isn't supposed to happen this year? Despite a poor outing for most of the game from Marek Zidlicky, the Wild powered through, worked hard (Sorry Tom), and came out with a victory. The top line was resurrected and played lights out.

Andrew Brunette opened the scoring with a nice roof shot from in close, out in front of the net. Yes, read that again. In front of the net. How he pulls that off, I'm still not sure, but it still counts, which is all that matters. Taylor Pyatt would tie up the game at the 14:33 mark in the first, after a Wild power play had just ended.

At this point, the Wild could have packed it up and figured there was nothing left to do. They didn't. Brent Burns pinched at put the Wild ahead at the 19:07 mark. Late period goals never mean anything, right?

The second period turned into a lock down battle, with both teams settling in and trying to avoid the dreaded second period nap. Backstrom played well in the period, making ten saves on some good chances for the Yotes to keep his team up by one.

The third opened back up a bit, and the Wild capitalized on a mid-third period power play as Brunette added his second of the game off of a Marke Zidlicky shot that Bruno tipped nicely past Bryzgalov. At this point, the Wild could have gone into the prevent defense, but they looked to keep the pressure on.

As the Coyotes entered the Wild zone late in the third, Cam Barker laid a very nice, very hard hit, and was magically called for tripping. The replay showed Barker's stick hit the Coyote's shin as Barker laid him out. The logic of the referee works like this:

1. Stick hits man in shins
2. Man hit with stick is moving in a forward direction
3. Barker hits man causing two forward momentum forces to converge
4. Man being hit falls backwards due to more inertia coming from Barker's hit
5. Despite a trip in that situation needing to cause the man to fall forward, the penalty is called on Barker

No big deal, it's just another PK. Oh, and the Yotes pulled Bryzgalov to make it 6 on 4. Oh yeah, and the Coyotes scored to pull back within one late in the game. No big deal, Mr. Referee. We don't expect you to ever get it right anyway, right? Right.

The Wild locked it down after that, and pulled out the win. A big win, if for no other reason than it keeps them out of the cellar. It also sets a nice tone headed into this west coast swing. A big win at t time when the team really, desperately, needed a win.

Enjoy it, folks. Tomorrow is another day.

Hockey Wilderness Three Stars

1. Andrew Brunette (2G)
2. Mikko Koivu (2A)
3. Niklas Backstrom (33 Saves)

Five Questions:

  1. Can the Wild build on the small successes they have had and bring out a victory? Sure enough. Good win. Now, build on that.
  2. This is the start of a road trip. What tone will be set in this one? A win is a win. We'll see if they can use it as motivation to beat the Kings and Ducks.
  3. Does Havlat continue his hot streak? Nothing tonight, but everyone has a day off every now and again.
  4. What role does Bouchard play? Still on a line with Koivu Havlat and Brodziak. Solid game. Looks like he is a lock on that line.
  5. With the curse lifted, can SpaethCo find another road victory? It's no longer a curse, it's a winning streak.

BONUS QUESTION: Have you entered to win the free Wild branded Flip Cam? If you haven't, I'm not quite sure what it is you are waiting for. Seems like a pretty simple way to win a very cool piece of technology and then give it to me. Am I right?