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 win over the Calgary Flames.
I’m pretty sure the rink dimensions at Xcel Energy Center are the same as the other 29 arenas, but for whatever reason, the Wild has been dominant at home and dormant on the road. The trend continued this week, as the Wild won two games at home, then lost back-to-back games on the road, and then capped off the week with a 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames.
The Wild is a different team when it’s in front of 18,404 fans cheering for them. They hit harder, shoot harder and seem to compete harder. Some have speculated that the Wild would need to win all 11 of their remaining games to have a shot at the postseason. One down, 10 to go. Oh, and five of them are at home.
Before I get to any more hockey, I’ll use this space to send best wishes on behalf of the entire Wild organization to Daymond Langkow. In one of the scariest moments seen at Xcel Energy Center, Langkow was wheeled off the ice on a stretcher in the second period.
While battling for position in front of Josh Harding
, Langkow fell to the ice right as an Ian White slap shot was whizzing toward the goal. The puck appeared to hit Langkow directly on the back of the neck. He went down, and stayed down for a long time as players from both teams huddled around him while he was being attended to. Langkow got a hearty applause from the crowd and the players, and early indications are good. The word from the Calgary PR staff is that Langkow appears “fine” and “has all movement.” He is undergoing X-rays at a local hospital.
It's on to happier news, including the sudden re-emergence of Chuck Kobasew. On March 12, Kobasew was a healthy scratch for the first time this season after going 19 games without a goal. He never seemed to be the same player after a significant injury.
But on Tuesday, Kobasew lit the lamp. Then, he did it again on Friday. Tonight, he put two including the game-winner, giving him four goals in the last four games. Now, we just need Kobasew to start letting loose after scoring these goals. In this writer’s opinion, he’s too calm after finding the net. I’m dying to see him break out the moonwalk or something.
I’m not sure if Greg Zanon is all there in the head, and I mean that in the most respectful way possible. If this guy was on the Nike And 1 Mix Tape basketball tour, he would be knows as “Half Man, Half Amazing.”
The guy is reportedly playing through a broken ankle. Not a broken fingernail, or a broken pinky. A broken ankle. Yet, he would not come out of the lineup today, and he would not come out of the game despite laboring on several occasions. At one point, Zanon crashed the net and tried to redirect a shot with his skate that held the broken ankle. Again, something isn’t right about that, but it sure resonates with his teammates, as well as his coach.
“He battles,” said Todd Richards. “For what he deals with, he continues to play the same way.”
Finally I’m at the fifth takeaway, and I didn’t know if I would ever get here. This game was looooong. There was a lengthy stoppage for the Langkow injury. Then, there was a problem with the door on the Wild’s penalty box, which took another 10 minutes to fix. Then, Cam Barker went down after smacking his head against the end boards in the third period.
But if everybody is going to be okay health wise, I think we can put up with a few delays.