The Wild hit the ice last night hoping to avenge their most frustrating loss of the season against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
It wasn't looking good for a while. In the second period, the Leafs took a 1-0 lead on a Mason Raymond power-play goal. Once again, despite being out-possessed, out-shot, the Maple Leafs were having a giant horseshoe in their rectums.
Frustration was mounting to a head when Nazem Kadri received his second penalty for a suspendable hit in a night, and the Wild failed to convert on a 5 minute major power play. The Twitters seemed to forget that the Wild came into the night with the league's second-best power play, but that's what happens when you are on your way to losing in frustrating fashion.
But then, the Wild's efforts were rewarded when Zach Parise finally put a puck past Jonathan Bernier. The Wild proceeded to go to a shootout, where they prevailed as Parise and Pominville each potted pucks. So the good guys win, and the frustrating parts will likely be forgotten.
What is fairly frustrating is the previously mentioned Nazem Kadri, who sucks and should probably be thrown in a wood chipper. He blasted starting goaltender Niklas Backstrom in the head, knocking him out of the game with an "upper body injury". And if "upper body injury" feels too vague to you, I can't remember the last time that I saw "upper body injury", and it didn't turn out to be a concussion. So, that's not good. Look at the hit- it's terrible, and uncalled for. He got a minor penalty for it, which is a joke, and enabled Kadri to hit Mikael Granlund in the head later in the game. Gross. Granlund has been a revelation for the Wild, so losing him to any possible injury (especially a concussion) would be devastating for them.
You'll also read about, in some fashion or another, that the Wild didn't respond by getting particularly physical with the Leafs in the face of this. There's the kind of toughness where someone punches you, and you punch back harder. The Wild aren't that team. They're not very big, and don't carry the muscle that can go toe-to-toe with that kind of stuff, not while playing a regular shift.
So then, there's the kind of toughness where someone punches you, and then you do the thing the punches were meant to stop. In this case, it was winning the game. It's not going to get a lot of praise for it, but there's plenty of merit in that toughness.
Get two points. Everything else is secondary.
Oh, speaking of toughness, Ryan Suter played another 36 minutes of hockey tonight. I can barely play Pokemon for 36 minutes, so hats off to that guy.
Oh, and the Wild play the Florida Panthers at home on Friday.
On to the Walk.
Postgame: Was Wild's response to Nazem Kadri's hits appropriate? | Russo's Rants | StarTribune.com- Again, are you soft if you can win the game? The Detroit Red Wings weren't exactly known for taking runs at people.
Wild notes: Coyle bounces back with strong game | Star Tribune- Seeing that kind of resilience from a young player is pretty awesome.
Nazem Kadri steamrolls Niklas Backstrom in Wild crease; suspension coming? (Video) | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- It looked really, really, really bad. Especially considering this happened to a goalie in his crease.
Minnesota Wild: Niklas Backstrom returns, then takes forearm and leaves - TwinCities.com- Hopefully Backstrom will be back soon. It's been shaping up to be a rough year for the Wild.
Wild: Jason Pominville sorry to see Buffalo Sabres' firings - TwinCities.com- Quite understandable that Pominville would be upset to see the GM who drafted him. Especially since until last March, he was the only GM Pominville had known.
Tending the Fields
iowawild.com: Chicago Slips By Iowa 3-1- Those Wild weren't the only Wilds playing tonight. Read all about it. Or...
CHICAGO (3) at IOWA (1) 11.13.13 - YouTube- Why read the book when you can watch the movie- amirite?!?!
Off the Trail
Sabres overdose on nostalgia with Pat LaFontaine and Ted Nolan, but will it work? | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- It's better than trusting the guy you wanted gone with a new rebuild.
This could be turning point for Sabres - Cross Checks Blog - ESPN- Yeah, sure, maybe.
The Quiet Room: Everything you need to know about Steven Stamkos’ injury | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | theScore.com- Very relevant to
my fantasy team the Lightning.
Team USA/Team Canada Olympic Goalie Power Rankings: Week 6 | Home Ice - SI.com- Maybe I'm wrong, and Josh Harding is playing himself into Olympic consideration. But I'm skeptical until there's indication from Team Canada that Harding is receiving strong consideration. Just not enough of a track record, in my opinion.