We knew that things might be a little loose for two teams with very little representation at the All-Star Game coming off the break. Both teams looked sluggish from the opening faceoff, but as coach Mike Yeo said before the game, the team that found their game first would likely be the winner. Your Minnesota Wild were, in fact, the first team to do so, showing a little jump a couple of minutes into the first period and culminating in a beautiful Nino Niederreiter goal off a Justin Fontaine rebound. The goal snapped Nino's drought, which dated back to Dec. 17th. (17 games)
Speaking of the doghouse, tonight's hero was the other young gun that has been banished to the 4th line, Charlie Coyle. Chowdah Chahlie buried the game winner on a fantastic individual effort by taking away a pass in the neutral zone and starting his own breakaway. He carried the puck past the goal line with three defenders converging on him and reached back to tuck it between Viktor Fasth and the goalmouth as his momentum carried him by. If you haven't seen it - don't worry, it should turn up on Sports Center, YouTube and this week's Goals Gone Wild.
The Wild came away with 2 very important points as several teams they are chasing lost including the Winnipeg Jets, Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche. However, they will need to get their game together quickly as tonight's opponent is not as worthy as the upcoming games against the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks. The game goes in the 'W' column, but still left plenty of room for improvement.
We start the Walk with an Ode to the team we wish we could play every game for the rest of the season:
Yeo looking for more production from No. 2 power-play unit | Russo's Rants | StarTribune.com
Hard to do when they get 35 seconds on the ice per PP
Can the Wild save its season? | RandBall | StarTribune.com
It can, but will it? We've all been asking that.
Ryan Johansen, Erik Karlsson and Zach Parise named NHL 'Three Stars' of the week - NHL.com - News
#OneOfUs is a Star this week
Wild: Devan Dubnyk uses all-star break to move - TwinCities.com
How Doobie stayed sharp during the break
Stanley Cup Odds for All 30 NHL Teams After the 2015 All-Star Game - Bleacherreport.com
Not good for the Wild.
Tending The Fields
Iowa Scene: Wild’s Dumba notches All-Star Game assists
Dumba put his stamp on another All-Star exhibition
On The Frozen Pond
Off The Trail
Martin Brodeur to retire, join Blues front office - CBSSports.com
Martin Brodeur is retiring from the NHL as a player and will join the St. Louis Blues front office.
Mike Richards of Los Angeles Kings clears waivers - ESPN Los Angeles
#RichardsWatch is over and Russo can come back on Twitter.
Islanders F Kyle Okposo out 6-8 weeks with upper body injury - CBSSports.com
#OneOfUs is out for a while.
Trade: Pens acquire Lapierre from Blues for Goc | ProHockeyTalk
Both players are unrestricted free agents after this season.