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 shootout win over the Edmonton Oilers
I’ll be honest. I feel unqualified to comment too thoroughly on tonight’s shootout win because I had my head spinning in the Twittersphere for tonight’s Wild TweetUp, which I will comment on later.
For one period, I didn’t hear a lot. For two periods I heard a lot of groans signifying near misses for the Wild. I heard one huge cheer for Matt Cullen
’s goal, and quite a few cheers for some Niklas Backstrom
But I did watch the shootout intently, and while I’m not a huge fan of them, I don’t think we could have asked for a better night for a shootout win.
I almost like it when Niklas Backstrom
has a hiccup now and again. There’s few other positions in sports that are more scrutinized, yet give so many chances for the player to come back with a “How you like me now, punk!?” Niklas Backstrom
probably did hear the doubters following his brilliant performance in Ottawa that was unfairly criticized because he gave up three goals in the shootout. The guy made 41 saves prior to that for crying out in the night, and maybe that’s what Mike Yeo reminded him when he went to talk to Backstrom prior to tonight’s shootout starting.
Backstrom probably also heard the groans that went up when Jordan Eberle roofed one over him in the first round of the shootout. Backstrom persevered.
“I was really happy for him,” said Yeo. “Because it looked like he said, ‘you’re not beating me.’”
Seriously, what happened to Cullen on Tuesday night in Ottawa? He can’t have too many more of those games without a goal or his chances of an 82 goal season will go down the crapper. At least he redeemed himself with his second period goal in which he decided not to hit Clayton Stoner
on a two-on-one and roofed a wrister. That turned out to be a good decision.
It was also a good decision for Yeo to shake things up a bit in the shootout and have Cullen leadoff, rather than Mikko Koivu
who usually holds that role. Cullen now has two goals in two shootouts as well.
Cullen’s third goal of the year was his third even strength goal of the year, which was as many as he had all of last season. Five of his goals last year came on the power play and four were shorthanded.
Cullen had 12 goals all of last year, and now he’s one quarter of the way there. It’s going to be quite a spike up when he tops 80 this season.
For the first time, tonight’s live in-game commentary on Wild.com was predominantly controlled by the Wild fans on Twitter. There were some beauties, although some were unprintable, yet got plenty of laughs up here in the Al Shaver Press Box.
Anyone who had a tweet published on the commentary will be given two tickets to Saturday’s game against the Red Wings. Oh, and they’ll be in a suite, and probably feeling more important than the rest of us.
A few of tonight’s best: The Oilers are tackling better than the Vikings #wildtweetup (@ck17173)
The difference between my fantasy team winning and losing this weeks PIM category is Bouchard. Who saw that coming? #wildtweetup #iamagenius (@TonyFnAbbott)
I was going to say something about Guillaume Latendresse
but twitter limits you to 140 characters. #wildtweetup (@heavy)Pierre-Marc Bouchard
and Brad Staubitz both returned from suspension tonight. Bouchard didn’t score, which is news in and of itself. The guy owns the Oilers. Even more surprising was how he was denied by Nikolai Khabibulin (who was outstanding) in the shootout. Of course, Bouchard has beaten him twice with a spin-o-rama move, but this time, he didn’t try to get cute.
Despite the zero on the scoresheet, Bouchard’s return gives the Wild that added dimension on the second line. Now, if he can just keep from being such an animal out there on the ice, he should be fine.