It was the first time we got a glimpse of this current rendition of the Minnesota Wild and it did not disappoint in entertainment value. On Thursday, as the team headed into Denver to face the Colorado Avalanche, we were unaware that it would be streamed on the Wild’s YouTube page, letting us take into account just what exactly we have going on here.
Matt Boldy lined up with Kevin Fiala and Frederick Gaudreau? Adam Beckman getting a chance to really shine with NHL regulars like Joel Eriksson Ek and Mats Zuccarello? A dream match-up for some key prospects on the Minnesota side of the ice — Marco Rossi did not play — against a tough opponent that decided to play some established stars.
But beyond the young budding stars, there were some post-whistle extra curriculars that spelled out a timeline of hatred and disgust for the other team.
these two teams aren’t big fans of each other. hartman and landeskog at the centre of it after a nasty cross check from kadri pic.twitter.com/cKGoJLTx7T— Hockey Wilderness (@hockeywildernes) October 1, 2021
something REALLY set landeskog off pic.twitter.com/4GjZZT8Acq— Hockey Wilderness (@hockeywildernes) October 1, 2021
landeskog continues to jaw at the linesman from the box pic.twitter.com/7eE26rP1z8— Hockey Wilderness (@hockeywildernes) October 1, 2021
hartman headed down the tunnel, likely to get his bloody nose looked at pic.twitter.com/rF9oGm0rxo— Hockey Wilderness (@hockeywildernes) October 1, 2021
Gabriel Landeskog was clearly pissed and this only furthers the deep rivalry between the two clubs and with these two projected to be battling out within the divisional postseason spots.
Beyond the scuffle, the Wild’s offense was put on display. Bouncing leads between the teams caused by ripe power play opportunities. All of that led to Zuccarello earning three assists and his linemates firing on all cylinders — Adam Beckman was even able to score.
Beckman was initially thought to be on the tier below the Boldy, Rossi, and Addison bunch of prospects, but if he continues showing up and putting the puck in the back of the net — like he has throughout his short playing career — then he can force his way into the conversation to even be featured in the lineup this season. Maybe not right away, but he’s certainly closer than one imagined not too long ago.
In between the pipes, Cam Talbot stopped a good number of pucks, making 22 saves on 24 shots; but it was Andrew Hammond that let the game fall beneath him, letting in three goals on eight shots — yikes. Luckily, they (hopefully) won’t have to rely on him to play meaningful games this season.
It’s hard to determine anything significant from the preseason and especially one that is only the second of six total, but we all know that this is going to be an entertaining-as-hell Wild season and this is clearly the only beginning of a revitalized rivalry.
Prospects, goals, and blood.