Following Wild games, Managing Editor Glen Andresen will give the five takeaways that he'll remember from each contest. Tonight, he looks back at an exciting 4-1 win against the Oilers in St. Paul.
That’s how you close out a three-game homestand. Always leave the home crowd wanting more. Even though Minnesota Wild fans got their money’s worth tonight at Xcel Energy Center during a 4-1 win, they saw so much good stuff, they probably didn’t want it to end. After all, nobody wants to remember that it’s only Wednesday tomorrow.
But the Wild turned in one of the most incredible third-period performances since that memorable comeback against the Chicago Blackhawks last January. Third period goals by Kyle Brodziak
and Jared Spurgeon
(his first career NHL goal
) set the stage for one of the greatest all around plays in Wild history, which was finished off by Pierre-Marc Bouchard
. More on that play in Takeaway number two.
But there were all kinds of goodies in the third other than memorable goals. The Wild masterfully killed off a two-man advantage that lasted 1:31. There was plenty of trash talk. And there was plenty of standing up to a team that resorted to more rough stuff once the game was out of reach.
“Well that was an entertaining game, no?” asked Todd Richards. “Really good third period.”Onto the goal
. We’ve seen the Bouchard spin-o-rama before…twice in fact, and both were in shootouts. Nikolai Khabibulin saw it the first time. In fact, he had the best seat in the house when Butch pulled it out for the first time back on December 5, 2006.
But here, he did it during regulation, but what was impressive was the way the play started. Cal Clutterbuck
destroyed Oiler blueliner Tom Gilbert
against the sideboards and then ended up with the puck shortly after. He alertly sent the puck ahead to Butch at the Edmonton blue line where he was laying on a lawn chair and sipping a drink with an umbrella in it.
From start to finish, that has to be the play of the year. I will not let you debate me on this.
And poor Spurgeon. The guy finally gets his first NHL goal
, a huge one at that. And then he basks in the glow of a huge ovation from the crowd when it’s announced. And then it’s forgotten because Bouchard has to pull out his puck-handling wizardry.
I think the kid will get over it, kind of like how he got his first goal taken away in Chicago when it was ruled that Chuck Kobasew tipped it in. After all, it was probably even more special considering it came against his hometown team that he grew up rooting for.
The always even-keeled rookie reacted beautifully to seeing it catch the upper corner, looking at the heavens and giving one strong fist pump toward the air.
Prior to tonight’s game, the Wild sported some new threads, even if it was only for pregame warmups. In honor of the Minnesota National Guard sponsoring tonight’s game, the Wild players pulled on camouflage jerseys, which will be put up for bid on an online auction for the next three weeks
with proceeds going to Defending the Blue Line.
I can’t use the words I want to describe the jerseys because this is a family friendly website, but they rhyme with mad and pass. I loved 'em. The boys looked ultra cool out there in the army fatigues, but most importantly, they did it in support of the men and women who put their lives on the line every day so we can do things like watch Clutterbuck and Bouchard team up for the play of the year.Check out the video
of the guys pulling them on and hitting the ice.
It’s not easy trying to determine the fifth takeaway. You couldn’t go wrong with Havlat scoring
for the third straight game, or Brodziak continuing to come up huge
or Backstrom continuing his dominance
. But seeing as how the Oilers seem to respond to being down late in games, let’s rattle off some stats about Wild vs. Oilers.
The Wild has won the last 15 home games against the Oilers by a combined 55-19 margin, and outscoring them in third periods, 22-4. During the streak, the Oilers have scored more than two goals just once and has led in just three of the games. The home streak is tied for the longest active streak against one opponent in the League, according to Elias Sports Bureau. The only other team with that kind of streak is Nashville, which has beaten Columbus 15 times at home.