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Glen Andresen's Five Takeaways vs. Montreal

by Glen Andresen / Minnesota Wild

vs. Columbus: March 19

at San Jose: March 17

at Vancouver: March 14

at Dallas: March 11

at Nashville: March 10

vs. Colorado: March 8
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 8-1 loss against Montreal.

With 1:44 remaining in the third period, a deflected puck found a hole in the netting above the glass and landed on the steps between two sections of seats at Xcel Energy Center. A little kid in a Wild jersey went to find it, and so did a kid of about the same size who was wearing a Montreal Canadiens jersey. Guess who came away with the puck? The mini Hab.

It was that kind of night for the Wild, which had its house ransacked by the Canadiens and their traveling band of red, white and blue rabble rousers. On the first shift of the game, former Wild first rounder Benoit Pouliot set up a goal, and the tone was set in an 8-1 Montreal drubbing of Minnesota.

No matter how hard the Wild battled, the Habs would race the other way and find the back of the net. Nobody found the net more than P.K. Subban, who became the first defenseman ever to record a hat trick against the Wild.

“I think we started to press, and it really snowballed and snowballed quick,” said Todd Richards, who didn’t have much to add that wasn’t visible in the result.

Give the Canadiens’ fans credit; they are a passionate bunch. The day after Xcel Energy Center was filled up with green-clad fans from another state that hooted and hollered their team to a WCHA championship, the arena was invaded by fans from another country.

When they took the ice for warmups, the Habs were greeted with a cascade of cheers from a mob of people in Canadiens jerseys that surrounded the Montreal net. And they didn’t stop their cheering until well after the game. In fact, as I type this more than a half hour after the final buzzer mercifully ended this one, I can still hear “Olaaaaaaaay, Ole, Ole Olaaaaaaayyyyyyy!” coming from the concourses.

Just a reminder in case any of those fans are reading…you picked up two points in the standings. You didn’t leave with the Stanley Cup.

This was the first chance a lot of Wild fans had to see Subban, who became a Montreal fan favorite during their playoff run last year. The word is he’s been plagued by inconsistency during his first full season, but he was spectacular tonight.

In addition to his three goals, he picked up an assist and was a +3 on the night. Subban also showed his quirky side.

After putting the Canadiens up 3-0 early in the second period, Subban celebrated like he’d just scored in overtime when he finished a nice rush up the side and tucked one past Jose Theodore. He then went down on one knee, pumped his fist and did a flying leap into the glass.

Some might say it was a bit of overkill for a second period goal in a three-goal game. But that’s also part of Subban’s charm with that youthful exuberance.

The game was over when the Wild was finally awarded a penalty shot, but no matter the score, a penalty shot is exciting. Mikko Koivu scored the Wild’s first penalty shot goal since Feb. 17, 2007, when Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored in Nashville against Tomas Vokoun. Koivu’s tally marked the Wild’s first home penalty shot goal since Brian Rolston against Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo on Nov. 2, 2006. Wild skaters are 13-for-23 all-time on penalty shots.

Nate Prosser made his season debut for his hometown team tonight, and he saw 15:04 of ice time. Amazingly, he was one of only two players that didn’t post a minus (Chuck Kobasew was the other one in 11:26). Prosser is now a +2 in four career NHL games.
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