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 Detroit Red Wings.
It’s getting tough to come up with different angles to talk about on this little dealio we call Five Takeaways. Maybe that’s because so many of these games are taking on the same pattern. A slow Wild start. An early 1-0 deficit. A tie-game before a two-goal deficit. A crazy late rally.
Unfortunately, the pattern that is also developing is these games are ending in Wild losses. Tonight’s was a deflating 4-3, eight-round shootout loss to the Detroit Red Wings. Minnesota did pick up an important point, but he Red Wings picked up the more important second point, and built a rather healthy seven-point cushion over the Wild in the Western Conference standings.
The Wild has won 14 games after coming from behind this season, and four of those were after trailing by at least two goals. Neither of those numbers changed after this one, but the excitement of these late rallies is definitely worth the price of admission.
When the Wings scored two goals early in the third to build that two-goal cushion, the feeling in the building was, “There’s no way.” This is Detroit. The Wild’s not going to come back in every game. Plus, the Wild just didn’t seem to have it, especially in the lackluster first period.
Sure enough, in the span of one minute, Martin Havlat and Andrew Brunette scored, and it was game on. This building just refuses to churn out a clunker of a game for Wild fans this season.
Brent Burns had solid return to the ice after missing 29 games with a concussion. Burns saw 13:36 of ice time, which certainly isn’t much by his standards, but Todd Richards said he’d be limiting Burns as he eases back into the lineup. Burns posted an even rating and somehow was not credited with a shot on goal, yet I clearly remember a wrist shot that he took in the first period that Jimmy Howard stopped. It could have been a storybook return for the energetic defenseman when he got a chance in the sudden death shootout. In the fifth round, he had a chance to score the game-winner, but Howard snuffed out his attempt.
“That’s a positive sign for us,” said Richards of Burns’ solid night.
Other than Burns, the other storyline coming into the game was Josh Harding
making his first start at Xcel Energy Center in over a year. Harding had to be brilliant in the first, and he was, making 10 saves on 11 shots, and only allowing a Todd Bertuzzi breakaway snipe.
His night was short however. Harding didn’t come back to the ice, or the bench, after the first period. After the game, Richards said he injured his hip on an early breakaway by Darren Helm and a follow-up save on Patrick Eaves. That play came with about 15 minutes to go on the period, so Harding was playing through pain for the rest of the time he was out there.
It’s tough to recall three goals in one game that were as ugly than the three (Earl's goal
, Havlat's goal
, Bruno's goal
) the Wild scored tonight. Robbie Earl got the Wild on the board by getting pushed into the crease and colliding with the puck as it caromed off the backboards and floated over the net. That goal was subject to a lengthy review and the goal stood.
Havlat’s goal came after Kyle Brodziak
lunged for a loose puck in the slot and whacked it toward the crease, where Marty was standing. The puck hit his skate and went in. Again, it was reviewed, and held up. Brunette’s goal was the only one that was shot in with a stick, but that was only after Bruno reached up and gloved down a pop shot by Shane Hnidy before whacking it in.
By the way, I know we already have “Big John Scott,” and I know he’s relatively small in stature, but is there any way we can start calling Robbie, “Big Earl?” It would call to mind what was perhaps Will Ferrell’s greatest role in his illustrious career; that of “Big Earl,” the dragon-obsessed career criminal
, who had classic lines like, “Mazel tov, buddy. They grow up so fast.” And “You’re a very convincing dragon.”
Who’s with me? We could play those clips on the Jumbotron every time Earl scores a goal! I say someone should start a Facebook page to get this thing off the ground.