Typically 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 2-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks:
It’s tough to put your finger on why it’s happening, but the Minnesota Wild just can’t find that big goal, and thus, can't find that big win despite playing well enough to do so. That was true again tonight as the Wild built an early 1-0 lead on the Anaheim Ducks, but couldn’t build on it, and eventually fell, 2-1.
Lately, it seems like the first goal has been easy. Once again, the Wild made it look easy on their first power play as Dany Heatley
put a nice tip on a perfect back door pass from Marek Zidlicky. But once again, the scoring was stymied the rest of the night. The Wild couldn’t put the Ducks away, and third period goals by Niklas Hagman and Corey Perry sent Minnesota to its fourth straight regulation loss.
“As the games going on and we’re getting all of these chances…you almost get the sense of ‘Oh no, not again.’ But that’s what we have to fight through,” said Head Coach Mike Yeo.
The Wild getting that early goal is becoming a theme, as is the guy who is getting them. With his goal tonight, Heatley scored the team’s first tally of the game for the 12th time this season. He’s got 19 total markers on the year. His next will be his 20th, which would give him his seventh straight season of at least 20 goals. To get to 30, Heatley has to average a goal every other game.
The Wild placed Brad Staubitz on waivers last week and assigned him to Houston with the reason being that Matt Kassian
has performed well and earned a spot. That can be translated as Kassian brings a bigger body and the ability to square off against the League’s heavyweights.
One of those big boys is Anaheim’s George Parros, the Princeton grad with the stellar ‘stache and the funny tweets. Midway through the first period, these two dropped the gloves and gave the fans an entertaining tilt.
This is not Parros’ first rodeo, and you could see how skilled he was at avoiding the big blows (can’t say the same when he fought John Scott on opening night two seasons ago). But Kassian definitely had the edge and would have earned the decision if they were given.
Kassian was pretty sure he won, considering he gave the “get on your feet” signal to the fans again as he was escorted to the penalty box. It seems that’s become his signature post-fight move. I’m all for it.
The Mikko Koivu
vs. Saku Koivu storyline kind of lost its appeal after the first six or so times these guys went up against each other. But I don’t recall any of the previous meetings featuring those two going after each other.
In the third period, Saku dumped Mikko behind the Anaheim bench as the two battled for the puck. While sitting on the ice, Koivu looked to the referees for a call, and none was coming. That’s when Mikko gets angry, so he jumped up and leveled his older sibling with a big hit, and then gave Saku’s leg a good raking behind the play.
I’m pretty sure their solid relationship will stay intact, but it was interesting to see them actually go at it for a bit.
With a lovely Valentine’s Day crowd of 17,552, the team eclipsed the eight million-fan mark in regular season games. Now, I get that a lot of those eight million people are the same fans from game to game, but just for fun, let’s look at a little comparison to have a little fun (because lets be honest, talking about a fifth straight loss isn’t a whole lot of fun).
There are 146 countries with less than eight million people, and that includes Switzerland, Israel and Libya. We’ve got our own little Wild nation!