For enemy perspective, please visit Copper and Blue.
Well now, that was fun. After the blackout was unexpectedly lifted, Wild fans had a chance to see the team play their first preseason game of the year, and the HW crowd had a chance to roll around in the mud that is a fresh new hockey season.
The game was a mixed bag, as we have come to expect. The Wild were dominant in the first period on
Gerald Jared Spurgeon, Gerald Jarod Palmer, and Pierre-Marc Bouchard goals. Nikolai Khabibulin had no answer for the Wild, and the Oilers team looked out matched and out classed as the Wild gave up few solid scoring chances and controlled the play well.
Josh Harding played well in his 30:51, giving up just one goal before handing the reigns to young Matt Hackett halfway through the second period. Ah yes... the second period. A time in which every Wild fan knows it is time to simply go get a drink, have a smoke, maybe do some light mechanical work. The team was invisible in the second, continuing a disturbing trend from last season. That will need to stop, and fast.
By the end of the second period, the Wild found themselves tied at three, and lost on the same ice sheet they once owned. The Hockey Wilderness crew, however had just found its groove. If you missed the comment section tonight, you missed a good time. Preseason nothing. They were mid season form, folks.
When the third period started, the Bunz jokes were in full force, and the Wild and Oilers had figured out how to play hockey again. The game tightened up a bit, and the scoring chances stopped. Late in the game, Gerald Jared Spurgeon added his second goal of the game, this one the game winner. A sick wrist shot from the blueline that got through unseen.
All in all, a good game, a nice start to the preseason, but they certainly have things to work on. Matt Cullen had two assists, and was buzzing all night. He must read Hockey Wilderness. If he plays like that all season, that second line is going to be disturbing for other teams to plan against.
The defensive corps was solid tonight, save for Tyler Cuma and Jordan Hendry. That pairing was beat too many times for the coaches to be comfortable putting them together again. They really were the one glaring weakness in this game. Time for some one on two time with Rick Wilson.
A win in Edmonton, and a trip home. Training camp goes on.
Please, Canada... stop drinking beer through straws. It's just embarrassing.
Hockey Wilderness Three
Gerald Jared Spurgeon (2G, GWG)
2. Anton Lander (1G, 1A)
3. Oilers PA guy. (Thanks, Gerald)
- How will Josh Harding look in goal? Harding looked good. Loose, fast, agile.
- Will any of the guys fighting for a spot step up? Matt Kassian did, although we didn't get to see it.
- Will the "top" line show any flair? Oh yeah. Love it.
- Will the wrecking ball line be willing to throw hits in a preseason game? Powe threw a dirty hit. He needs to lose that right now. Wild fans won't deal well with that all season.
- How nice is it to have a game thread on the site again? It was wonderful, Spam Whoopie Gerald-buns.