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 4-3 overtime win over the Detroit Red Wings on Friday.
First off, I’ll start with an apology. I got a little predicion-happy today on various Wild.com pieces that I wrote. On the View from the Lighthouse blog, I sensed a two-goal game for Casey Wellman, including the game-winner. Later, during my in-game commentary, I called for two more goals from Brent Burns. I also called for a Wild win, but my prediction was a blowout victory going away, and not a nerve-wracking comeback/overtime triumph.
I would take the blame, but I’m writing the column so I’m going to pass the buck on to: 1)Wellman, who only had an assist, 2) Burns, who was spectacular but was only good enough to score once, and 3) the whole Wild team, who looked primed for a blowout after a 2-0 lead, but settled for a thrilling 4-3 overtime victory over the Detroit Red Wings.
So, on behalf of the Wild players, I will say, “sorry,” but you’re just going to have to settle for the outcome that you got.
When John Madden poked home a Marty Havlat rebound for the biggest goal in his short Wild career, my thoughts were: huge two points, unbelievable comeback in a haunted house for the Wild and I need to pack up my stuff so I don’t miss the bus and get left behind at Joe Louis Arena with rats the size of my Labrador Retriever.
I don’t know what Madden’s first thought was, but he showed his class in the following quotes after he learned of the death of Pat Burns, his former coach.
"He knew my personality, and not too many people can charm into that. Grabbed me right as the season started and made me feel good about myself and about my game and made me feel important to the team."
"I watched him when he coached the Toronto Maple Leafs, being a Toronto boy, and he had Dougie Gilmour and [Dave] Andreychuk and Wendel Clark, and I always wanted them to win a Cup. When L.A. beat them that one time, I hurt just as much as they did when they went out. When we all won the Cup together in Jersey, it was nice."
"Pat and I got along great. It was just a great time we had in Jersey, and he was probably the best coach I ever had. I know he was very ill. Maybe a month ago, there was that false report that he passed. Of course he made a joke about it. He said, ‘Not yet.’ He’s always had a fighting spirit."
There’s a reason that Cal Clutterbuck
is a fan favorite in Minnesota. We all love the hits. We all love the willingness to play through injury. And we’re starting to love the scoring prowess, which was on display again tonight when he notched his team-leading seventh goal of the season.
But what gets overlooked is how smart of a player Clutterbuck is at the ripe, old age of 23. Just look at the goal he scored to put the Wild up 2-0 in the second period. When a long lead pass to spring him on a breakaway was a little too far out of reach, Clutterbuck did the next best thing. Knowing he would easily be the first player to the puck, he started glancing over both shoulders to let everyone know he was looking for a trailer to pass to. As soon as he got the puck in the corner, he whipped it right at the net, and somehow picking the two open inches between Jimmy Howard’s leg pad and the post. The puck dropped inches over the goal line, and everyone on the arena was wondering what just happened. But not Clutter. He’s getting good at this game.
One thing the Wild needs is a player to come up with that big goal in a tight game. That’s what Koivu provided with his tying goal at the 18:37 mark to force overtime, and I realized something. Koivu needs to be angry at Swedish people, and he was definitely angry tonight.
In the third period, he had two confrontations, and both were with Sweden natives. Everybody knows the Finns and the Swedes have a fierce rivalry when it comes to hockey.
In his first confrontation, Koivu came together with Tomas Holmstrom and the two shoved each other. Not long after, he and Henrik Zetterberg battled behind the Wild net, and after a whistle, Koivu skated right up to him and had a few harsh words. On his next shift, Koivu buried the Nick Schultz rebound, which was great. I did think it was a little much when he skated to the Wild bench, grabbed a massive Finland flag and started skating around the rink with hit while singing the Finland national anthem.
Okay, my memory might be a little fuzzy and that might not have happened, but I’ve got a good feeling about Koivu’s upcoming performance tomorrow night against the New York Rangers. Their goalie is Henrik Lundqvist – a Swede!
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