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 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Of all the games in the Wild season to not be televised by either team, this worked out pretty well. And look at it this way, if you were watching this one on your couch, you undoubtedly would have fallen asleep with your TV on, which is a waste of energy, and nobody needs that. Of course, you would have jolted awake when Marek Zidlicky broke a scoreless tie
with 39 seconds to play. His slap shot that eluded Steve Mason and found the top shelf felt like a Stanley Cup winner, simply because something happened. But, the fact that it gave the Wild two points and the Blue Jackets zero actually is pretty important. The Wild jumped Columbus in the standings with the regulation win, and could overtake Edmonton if they lose to the Los Angeles Kings tonight (they are losing 2-1 after two periods right now).
Really, this game started out with a great pace. The only problem was if you were late to the game, you missed nearly half of the first period. As in all arenas, the Xcel Energy Center ushers prevent fans from walking to their seats while play is going on. The problem was that there wasn’t a single whistle until 13:28 remained the period. There were only four total whistles in the first period, which unofficially lasted about 25 real time minutes.
The period was completely controlled by the Wild, who played keep-away with the puck for the most part and had a slew of glorious scoring chances that Mason turned away. The Wild finished the first stanza with an 11-3 edge in shots, but zero goals to show for it.
The pace slowed considerably in the second, and it probably wasn’t a coincidence that it happened after a lengthy delay caused by a glass explosion. Prior to this season, I don’t remember a pane of glass shattering once at the Xcel Energy Center. It’s already happened twice so far this year.
Fedor Tyutin was playing the puck out of his zone when James Sheppard creamed him. As he was falling, Tyutin’s skate came up and hit the glass causing a shower of shards. Nobody was hurt, but Tyutin was definitely slow to get up, which is understandable when you’ve got glass buried in your hockey equipment. Check out the video here
Zidlicky’s goal did not include an assist from Martin Havlat, which snapped his streak of figuring in each of the previous six goals. Havlat helped set up Guillaume Latendresse
’s second period equalizer in the second period. Mikko Koivu
also assisted on that goal, as he did on Zidlicky’s.
Each team took a total of one penalty all night long, and they actually overlapped, so the Wild had one power play opportunity for 1:10. Needless to say, they did not score with the man advantage in that short amount of time. That makes five straight games that Minnesota has not scored a power play goal. Normally, that would spell disaster, but the Wild is 3-2-0 in that stretch.