Thanks to a last minute invite, I got to head down to the X to watch the Wild play a rare game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. We met some nice Leafs fans last week in Vegas, and as they bluntly told us, “our team sucks.”
This was the type of game the Wild is suppose to win (and usually don’t). I still hold the theory that if the Wild get in to the playoffs as the number 8 seed, they will win the cup. They can beat the best teams in the west and have dominated almost every eastern team they have played this year.
The Maple Leafs are struggling right now, but I don’t imagine that will last too long. Check back in a year or two and see what Mr. Burke can accomplish in the fish bowl that is Canadian professional hockey.
Thankfully, the Wild took advantage of poor Justin Pogge. The minor league goaltender was up for only his second NHL start and knew he was going to be sent back down tomorrow. Stats in this game were misleading: Toronto had more shots on goal (28-21) and dominated face-offs (60/40), but poor Justin let in six goals and was serenaded with the sieve chant by the team of 18,000.
A few other notes:
- Fans received boxes of Hot Tamales on the way out that had a donation request for the Salvation Army’s HeatShare program. Text “Army” to 90999 to donate $5 to the program.
- There were a ton of empty seats (and lots of ads on Craigslist today with very low prices). I’m beginning to think that the Wild are buying seats to keep the sell-out streak alive (just like other teams are doing to earn their league revenue sharing money).
- Boogaard just couldn’t get Brad May to dance tonight, despite multiple invitations. Probably a smart move, Brad, but wow do you look bad when you run away.
- Clutterbuck is starting to become our own little mini-Ovechkin: skates all over with passion, hits everything in sight and now is displaying a nice scoring touch. Nine hits tonight.
- Johnsson was a +4. When was the last time we had anyone be a +4 in a game? Nice job, Kimmy! Can you teach some of those skills to Skoula before you get traded?
- The Bethel women’s hockey team was selling game programs tonight and several of their players sat next to us after the first period. Nice kids.
- New singer tonight for both of the national anthems – I believe her name was Lauren Redpath. This blog says she auditioned to be the singer in 2007, but I’m not 100% sure this is the same person. Her last name was Redpath, but she looked different to me.
- Congrats to Andrew “Iron Man” Brunette today on his 500th consecutive game. After running into him at The Nook a few years ago and seeing him crash knees first into the boards four games ago, I would have never guessed he’d make it to this milestone intact. Too bad the Wild didn’t make a bigger deal out of it tonight.
The Wild’s next game is at Edmonton on Friday night (8PM on FS North, no HD), followed by another away game the next night in Vancouver (9PM on FS North, also no HD). That will be followed by a four game home stretch against the Ducks, Preds, Oilers and Avs. We’ll be there for two of those four, so stay tuned for more full Hockey in Minnesota blog entries.
I’d also like to thank all of the new people following us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/hockeymn). I really enjoy getting other people’s quick hockey updates via Twitter and hope you like our little contributions to the online Minnesota hockey community too.Originally published by DK on January 28, 2009 at 2:32 am