It was a glorious night for hockey at the Xcel Energy center tonight. There were a lot of good plays, a lot of firsts, and not very many negative things to ponder with tonights 5-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. Tonight’s game was exactly what Wild fans were expecting/hoping/wishing for all season: A dominate game, lots of Wild goals, and a regulation win.
For all the basic stats people, Wild had 40 shots to the Avs 32. The Wild had goals from Torrey Mitchell, Devin Setoguchi, Jonas Brodin, and 2 goals for Kaptain Mikko Koivu (who scored two goals in one game for the first time since 2011). Ryan Suter racked up 3 assists tonight, which puts him 2nd for NHL defensemen in points. The Wild had 4 guys pull over 20 minutes TOI. Suter led the charge with 24:26, followed by Jared Spurgeon with 23:37, Brodin with 23:30, and Clayton Stoner 21:05. Koivu, Suter and Zach Parise ended the game with +3, and Brodin with a +2.
There were a lot of season firsts in this game. The biggest first hands down was Brodin’s first goal. Wild fans have been waiting for Brodin to score a goal, mostly because that is all that most outside media pay attention to when talking about rising stars. In a bit of a touching moment, Koivu skated right up to the ref after Brodin scored to grab the puck so it could be given to its rightful owner. The second big first of this game was Koivu’s empty net goal. Surprisingly this is the first empty netter that the Wild have scored this season.
The best play of the night by far however, was the goal by Koivu from Parise and Suter. It was such a beautiful goal. Let’s all take a deep breath, and enjoy that goal one more time.
Mikko Koivu Beautiful Goal (March 14 2013) (via Fel0096)
There were a few negative things for the Wild organization and fans alike to ponder over the next few days. The first was Pierre-Marc Bouchard’s lackluster play. There were a few nice moments, but more often than not I caught him coasting to the bench and/or not hustling to be a part of the play at all. You can’t blame him for being cautious, but eventually he/the Wild need to make a decision about his future. The second negative was the fact that Dany Heatley was the only member of the Wild to finish with a negative +/- rating in tonight’s game. Make of that what you will.
- What does the absence of Jason Zucker do to the Wild?
They bounced back very well. The second line definitely missed him though, they really weren’t buzzing like normal with PMB filling in
- Can PMB make his presence felt?
Well, sort of. Only played 11:13, which was the 3rd lowest on the team.
- The loss of Chay Genoway will be huge tonight. What impact will it have on the Wild in this game?
The Wild rallied and scored 5 huge goals to try and ease their pain and suffering
- No Brett "The Hitman" Clark, huh? Can the rest of the guys get over the disappointment?
They certainly struggled, but managed to play like professionals and still do their job
- Can the Wild avoid playing down to their competition?
Surprisingly, this game was the Wilds from the get go. There were a few hairy spots where it looked like they might turn into the Wild of earlier this season and just give up, but they managed to hold on to the lead throughout the whole game. At no point where the Avs really in control of this game.
That’s it for me tonight Wilderness. Enjoy tomorrows day of rest, and be back here by 2pm sharp on Saturday to enjoy a rematch of tonight (hopefully with the same outcome).
And just to leave the post on a positive note, here's another video :)
Jonas Brodin First NHL Goal (March 14 2013) (via Fel0096)