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Glen Andresen's Five Takeaways At Carolina

by Glen Andresen / Minnesota Wild
Following Wild games, Managing Editor Glen Andresen will give the five takeaways that he'll remember from each contest. Tonight, we look back at a 5-4 shootout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Today’s 5-4 shootout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes owns the distinction of the most bizarre game of the Minnesota Wild’s 2009-2010 season. The Wild went from looking like a team that didn’t belong in the MIAC for the first period to a team that looked like an Olympic Dream team in the second period. Two players – John Scott and Robbie Earl -- scored their first-ever NHL goals, and one of those players scored twice, and nearly picked up a hat trick.

The Hurricanes snapped their 14-game winless streak in this one, but the Wild should be happy with a point, considering the lethargic first period. At the end of a four-game roadie, Minnesota picked up four of eight points, and was two shootouts away from a six-point trip. The Wild will now play six of their next seven at the Xcel Energy Center.

For a team in need of some scoring punch, it’s a safe bet that Earl bought himself some more time with the big club. Earl started the game on a checking line, but when it appeared that he and Mikko Koivu were the only two players going at full speed in the first period, he got promoted. Earl began playing with Mikko Koivu and Andrew Brunette, and the unit clicked. Earl pulled the Wild to within 4-2 in the second, and then tied the game by putting one on a wire into the upper corner in the third period.  The former Wisconsin Badger and National Champion told the Star Tribune, “I’m in Gopherland now. I love Minnesota.”

As mentioned before, Earl and Scott scored their first NHL goals, and they came 19 seconds apart in the second period.  According to Elias Sports Bureau, the last time two teammates scored their first NHL goals was October 20, 2008 when Drew Doughty and Oscar Moller accomplished the feat. What we may never know is if this was the fastest two goals by guys scoring their first-ever NHL goals, but let’s call it an imaginary record owned by the Wild.

The RBC Center experience consists of tailgating, lots of rock and roll and as Brick Tamland would say, “LOUD NOIIIISSES!” After a Carolina goal, you see dance videos and Ric Flair in a Hurricanes jersey screaming “Wooooo!” One thing I did like was how they took the audio from one of my all time favorite Youtube videos. At the end of the goal celebration, you hear Bubb Rubb say, “The whistle go Wooooo!” and the crowd woooos right along with him. Good stuff.

The Wild will have Monday off before getting back to work on Tuesday for what promises to be a long practice focusing on special teams, followed by special teams work and capped off with special teams discussion. The Wild was 0-for-3 with the man advantage, including two dismal attempts in the first period. But the real backbreaker was the penalty kill. The Canes scored three of their four regulation goals on the power play. The first power play goal came 1:07 into Koivu’s hooking penalty. The second came 11 seconds after a Derek Boogaard tripping infraction. The third Carolina power play goal came just 10 seconds after a Cal Clutterbuck rough.

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