Following Wild games, Managing Editor Glen Andresen will give the five takeaways that he'll remember from each contest. Tonight, he looks back at a 4-2 loss to the Dallas Stars.
The Minnesota Wild needed these two points. The Wild didn’t get them. Despite a huge shot advantage and possessing the puck for about 75% of the game, the Wild left Dallas with a familiar feeling after a 4-2 loss. That’s 12 straight losses at the American Airlines Center. Not since March of 2003 when Willie Mitchell set up Wes Walz in overtime has the Wild known what it’s like to congratulate a goalie in Texas.
And speaking of goalies, there’s Wade Dubielewicz, the surprise starter tonight. With Nik Backstrom dealing with the flu, and Josh Harding
aggravating his hip injury, the Wild started a goalie not named Backstrom or Harding for the first time in 234 games. The last time was March 6, 2007 when Manny Fernandez made his final start in a Wild uniform.
As for Doobey’s performance…well, it wasn’t his best night in a Wild uniform. He gave up four goals on 18 shots, although it’s tough to fault him on any of the Dallas goals, one of which was a tip and three of which were snipes by snipers. Brad Richards, Mike Modano and Jamie Benn know how to finish, and they did.
If you thought you’d seen Cal Clutterbuck
’s best NHL hit, you didn’t unless you were able to get tonight’s VERSUS broadcast (sorry DirecTV subscribers). Clutter had a nice hit on Jamie Benn, but the one that will go on his highlight reel for the rest of his career was the one he laid on Richards in the second period. In his own zone, Richards was flat-footed and reaching for the puck when Clutter nailed him with a hit that made Scott Stevens’ mashing of Paul Kariya in the Cup Finals look like a tickle fight. Of course, when you lay out a team’s best player, you’re going to have to face the consequences, otherwise known in Dallas as Steve Ott. Ott took exception to both of Clutter’s big hits and they fought twice. We’ll be kind and say that Clutterbuck didn’t exactly win either bout.
What kind of Groundhog Day present do you get for the team that has everything, except for success on the road? How about a month-long homestand? The Wild’s upcoming five-game homestand is really only going to last a little over a week, but it will be immediately followed by a two week Olympic break. Hopefully that’s enough time for the Wild to forget the fact that it struggles away from Xcel Energy Center.
What has gotten into Mike Modano? This guy is supposed to be on his last legs and more of a face of the franchise than an on-ice contributor. Apparently, the former North Star still has some gel in that hockey hair and some mustard on that howitzer. Modano buried the game-winner tonight, and now has seven goals in his last 10 games. If a Team USA forward goes down in the next two weeks, is Modano going to be the first to get the call?