For Vancouver perspective, please visit Nucks Misconduct.
After several games in this division "rivalry" that have been lackluster for anything other than Canucks points, tonight gave fans a little bit of everything. Violence, bitterness, anger, scoring, shooting, hitting... all around great hockey. This could actually turn into a real rivalry if realignment weren't going to take it all away.
The Wild started the game out right, with a Zach Parise goal on the first shift of the game. As was the case in games past between these two teams, the bottom fell out, and things got heated. Mikko Koivu would take a love tap from Alex Burrows a bit too seriously, would have words with the Hungry One, and three Wild players would wind up in the box. Burrows would take a double minor and take a friend with him to keep it even.
Mike Rupp would dance with Tom Sestito to try to "calm things down," but Zenon Konopka would shortly take a terrible call for chirping a Canuck as the refs tried to assert their presence. To cap off the parade, Matt Cullen would take a slashing call, and the Wild would have five guys in the penalty box at one time, including four of their top penalty killers.
Always a good idea.
Somehow, the Nucks would fail to score on nearly four full minutes of power play time, and the Wild would top of the tank with a goal from Jason Zucker, who seems to be a decent hockey player.
If you were expecting fireworks in the second, you haven't paid much attention to the NHL in recent years. Burrows goes after Koivu, and fans expect Burrows to get a knuckle sandwich from Konopka or Rupp. Instead, Rupp battles Sestito, and the rest of the crew realize that two points are on the line and they need to play the game.
Jared Spurgeon would move the Wild up 3-0, before Chris Higgins would break the shutout for the Canucks. There would be no fights, no war of words... just hockey.
In the third, the Wild would go into a bit of a lull, as the Canucks started to take control. Henrik Sedin would "Stop the puck into the net" by making a non-kicking kicking motion to pull the Nucks within one. Good call by the refs, hell of an effort by Hank, but what a pathetic way to score.
With the game on the line, Charlie Coyle would have a shift for the ages, as he battled through three Canucks then dive to keep the puck in the zone, roll back into the corner, through a shoulder to create some space, and feed the puck the middle of the ice when Parise put home a rebound to grab the two goal lead back.
The Nucks would pull Schneider with around two minutes left, but the hail Mary would not pan out.
Please welcome your Northwest Division leading and third overall in the West Minnesota Wild.
1. Zach Parise (2G, 6 SOG)
2. Niklas Backstrom (
3. Charlie Coyle (Assist, massive shift in the 3rd)
- Kobe is in the house! Can the Wild take advantage of the ineptitude? He did not play tonight, disappointingly.
- How does Hackett look with so much weight on his shoulders? Damn if they didn't start Backstrom, but Backs was very good.
- Wild need some scoring to step up. Who's it going to be? Zucker, Spurgeon, and Parise. That'll do.
- Emotional game for Suter last night. Is there a let down today? None at all. Guy is on fire right now.
- Jonas Brodin. Scoring? Maybe? If there were such things as a fifth assist, Brodin would be the man. Always making the play to keep the play alive, but never any credit on the scorecard.