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 shootout loss to the Dallas Stars.
We’ll all feel pretty silly if we see Mike Modano skating around for 82 games with an NHL team next year. But for a moment tonight, it was okay if we had the same reaction we had during the end of Old Yeller, or when Muhammad Ali lit the Olympic torch at the 1996 Summer Olympics.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE TRIBUTE TO MODANO
Watching Modano watch highlights of himself from his North Stars days was nice. Seeing the crowd give him a prolonged standing ovation as he visibly teared up and raised his stick repeatedly are not only why sports are great, are why sports are great here in Minnesota. Then, the majority of the 19,106 stuck around after the game and watched Modano emerge from his locker room after the game wearing a North Stars jersey and skating to center ice.
I’d be willing to bet that many of the same fans who recognized what this man did for hockey here in Minnesota and the United States, were fans at Target Field last weekend who recognized what Jacque Jones meant to Twins baseball and the fact that the team wasn’t contracted. Sure, our city hasn’t won a championship in 19 years, but I’ll take our fans over any in the country. And plus, that drought is going to end in October.
Tonight was supposed to be about the #9 in white, but our #9 in red was pretty awesome too. While the former might never be back, the latter should be around for a long, lone time.
In the span of just over four minutes, Mikko Koivu
pocketed his 21st and 22nd goals of the season to establish a career-high. Koivu finished the season with 71 points on 22 goals and 49 assists, the third-highest total in franchise history.
The only good thing about missing the playoffs is seeing some of the team’s future stars in action. When it comes to Casey Wellman and Nate Prosser
, the future continues to look bright.
CLICK HERE TO SEE WELLMAN'S FIRST NHL GOAL
Wellman actually earned the loudest cheers not for Modano after scoring his first career NHL goal in the third period. When the graphic on the Jumbotron reminded fans that it was indeed his first goal, the fans erupted again.
As for Prosser, who was playing in front of his family for the first time in a Wild sweater, it was another strong night. He finished the game a +1 in 18:19 of ice time.
Before the game even started, the Wild made news when it was announced that the team would host the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. I know! I never saw it coming either. My jaw was agape as NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly made the announcement at a pregame press conference today.
While this means more work for my Wild colleagues and I (cue the sad violinist), it will be a great weekend for fans. I’ve been lucky enough to attend one draft in Vancouver and will be at this year’s in Los Angeles. It is really a great event, filled with activities for hockey fans that can’t get enough in the summer.
Finally, I have to say that Kari Lehtonen made the best non-save I have ever seen tonight. He appeared to steal Koivu’s first goal with one of the most magnificent sliding glove saves you will ever see as Dallas tried to kill off a two-man Wild advantage. Originally, Lehtonen was credited with the save, but Koivu demonstratively pointed at the goal, which helped force a review. The replay clearly showed Lehtonen’s glove going over the line with the puck in it. Still, it was an amazing effort to behold.