Minnesota Wild 5 - 3 Dallas Stars
For Dallas perspective, please visit Defending Big D.
You're welcome Chicago.
Todd Richards said it best tonight, it's a "bitter sweet feeling." The game was as intense and as fun a game to watch as there has been all year. Richards called it "Game 7 for Dallas," and the fans at the X made it feel like one, too. As loud as this place has ever been, you would have thought the Wild were the ones playing to make the dance. Instead, the Wild win, send the Blackhawks to Vancouver, and the fans finally got the show they deserved all year.
This wasn't an easy one on anyone. The Wild did not dominate the game, and Dallas put up an impressive fight. At every turn, though, the Wild battled back. Down 2-1, they scored two and leave the second period tied. They fight through the third period and finally take a 4-3 lead, and locked down the defense a little bit. The empty netter was an exclamation point from Pierre-Marc Bouchard, and believe me, the fans celebrated it like a Cup-clincher.
There were so many big performances from the Wild tonight. Colton Gillies played out of his mind hockey, then said he was excited to go back to Houston and "win a Cup." Jared Spurgeon, who was also re-assigned tonight, had his fourth goal of the year, and looks every bit the true NHLer. Brad Staubitz also scored his fourth tonight, and played physical all game, and said of ending Dallas' season "If you're going to go, it's good to bring someone with you.
A gutty, proud performance from the Wild tonight, for a fan base that needed it more than the team may ever know. We are all left with one nagging question that cannot and will not be answered. Where the heck was this effort all season?
Todd Richards is definitely on the line of being fired, the team is not in the playoffs, and while this game felt good to watch, and to see the effort, the number of questions surrounding this team is innumerable. It will be an interesting offseason, that is the only certainty.
For now, the season ends on a positive. This was an amazing game, and the Wild gave the fans what they deserved. While it was a little late, it sounded to me like the fans appreciated it nonetheless. Thanks for a great season, Wild fans.
Oh, and again... You're welcome Chicago.
Hockey Wilderness Three Stars
1. Greg Zanon (1A, +4)
2. Mikko Koivu (2A)
3. Brent Burns (1A, +3)
- Will Drew Bagnall continue to impress? He wasn't as much of the story tonight, but he was solid again.
- Can the Wild find a hero for a final win? Indeed. One hero in particular, no, but the whole team pulled this one out.
- Last game of the season, Twins playing, anyone around? Huge crowd at the X, big crowd with the Chi-town bandits here at HW.
- What, exactly, do people love so much about summer? I hate summer. It's hot, there is no hockey. What a stupid season.
- Are there any answers to the questions at hand? None. More questions than there will ever be answers, I am afraid. We'll try to answer some during the (barf) summer.