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 4-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers in the club's Home Opener.
Scoring on power plays is easy peasy. That’s the only assumption I can make after watching the Wild pump in four power play goals on six man advantage situations in a 4-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers. What I don’t understand is why the Wild couldn’t convert on the other two for crying out in the night. Even when the team wasn’t scoring, the power play unit was making perfect passes. Matt Cullen
looks like there’s no place he’d rather be than on the point with the puck on his stick. Martin Havlat, who didn’t register a point was playing catch with Marek Zidlicky so much they looked like Brett Favre and Randy Moss.
The Wild has now scored seven of eight goals on the power play this season. I can’t say the Wild will average four power play goals a game every night, but I can expect it, can’t I? I don’t ask for much.
In the second game in Finland, Koivu looked at times like he as a professional playing in a Mite game. He seemed to just take over the game at will, and he did that again tonight when the Wild suddenly fell behind by a goal in the second. First, he found himself open and buried the tying goal off a perfect Matt Cullen
feed. Then, he bullied his way to the net to punch in a Marek Zidlicky rebound. Then, on the insurance goal, he won yet another faceoff perfectly back to Matt Cullen
. Koivu finished the night with three points, marking his ninth career two-goal game and 15th three-point game. The club’s leading scorer the last two seasons is pacing them again with five points (2-3=5).
J.J. Daigneault, Christian Matte, Mike Matteucci, Peter Bartos, Aaron Gavey. While those players might be on the bubble for the Hockey Hall of Fame, they’ll always hold a special place in the hearts of Wild fans. Those players, along with 33 others will forever hold the distinction of being part of the Wild’s 2000-2001 inaugural team.
Before any of the festivities began to kick off Year Ten, the Wild paid tribute to that inaugural team with a video to the tune of 10,000 maniacs, “These Are The Days.” That song always gets to me. What up Duluth East Class of '97 video producers?
There were highlights featuring Scott Pellerin, Marian Gaborik, Lubomir Sekeras, Wes Walz, Darby Hendrickson and all the rest. That group truly was the perfect team to represent our state in Year One. It was great to see six of them back in the building and recognized before the game. Jeff Nielsen, Antti Laaksonen, Cam Stewart, Brad Bombardir, Hendrickson and Walz were all on the Wild bench and received ovations from the crowd. The biggest cheer was undoubtedly for Walz, who endeared himself to Minnesotans for his work ethic and passion.
Considering the Edmonton Oilers are still ahead of the Wild in the standings and have three future super studs in Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi, we don’t have to feel bad for them. Last year…maybe. This year, we can be happy that Minnesota has now won 14 straight games against the Oil at Xcel Energy Center.
Other than the win, perhaps the best news of the night was how good Andrew Brunette looked despite being hampered this week by a hip flexor injury. Bruno made a perfect set up of Antti Miettinen’s opening tally, and he added another on Koivu’s game winner by battling in front of the net.