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 5-4 overtime win over the Nashville Predators.
In terms of beauty, the Minnesota Wild’s 5-4 overtime win over the Nashville Predators wasn’t exactly a Picasso. It was more of a finger-paint by a blindfolded golden retriever. But that doesn’t mean a blindfolded dog covered in paint isn’t fun to watch. For your entertainment dollar, Wednesday night was a barrel full of monkeys featuring plenty of goals, saves, hits, pipes and hoopla. Yes, that’s right, hoopla.
A deficit turned into a lead, which turned into a deficit, which turned into a nail-biting tie, which turned into a fantastic finish for the artists formerly known as the Mo-Bros
. The Wild has now won three in a row, picked up at least a point in each of the last five (4-0-1), and jumped from 15th to a tie for 12th in the West, at least for tonight.
In a sign that there is at least one hockey god, the Wild got a fortuitous bounce off the same goal that had four Wild shots bounce off the post. The game-winner actually hit the side of the post before bouncing into the slot for Andrew Ebbett’s lay up.
What can you say about these new guys –Ebbett and Guillaume Latendresse
? Ebbett connects for the game-winner in overtime off an assist from Latendresse, and Latendresse scored a beaut late in the first period. Both provided energy and Latendresse delivered some key hits, including one that started the play that led to his goal
. If you’re keeping track, Ebbett now has two goals in four games and a shootout tally. Latendresse has two goals and an assist in his last two games. The guy he was traded for, Benoit Pouliot, has yet to play a game for the Montreal Canadiens.
When the starting lineups were introduced tonight, Cal Clutterbuck
received the loudest ovation. There is little wonder why. The guy is just a pure hockey player that gives the fans what they want. He showed it in one play
. Deep in the Nashville zone, he plastered Kevin Klein, causing him to lose the puck to Kyle Brodziak
(two assists by the by). Clutter goes right to the net, Brodziak hits him and number 22 buries it from in tight for his fifth of the year.
During intermission, I visited with a buddy and his brother. His brother mentioned how he’s in the market for a Wild jersey and is thinking about a Clutterbuck sweater. My friend said no. I told my friend he’s an idiot. Nobody plays harder and is more fun to watch than Clutterbuck. Buddy’s bro, if you’re reading, buy the sweater.
Is Steve Sullivan due to retire any time soon? I mean, the guy’s 35. That’s retirement age, is it not? Sullivan scored a goal and three assists tonight, which put his career total against the Wild somewhere around 422. At least, that’s what it feels like. Sullivan actually has 25 points (9-16=25) in 23 contests against Minnesota, but my goodness, he’s entering the Geoff Sanderson-Jarome Iginla-Sedin twin zone of just exploding against the Wild.
My fifth takeaway (the pipe stuff) got pushed into number one because I had to mention Mikko Koivu
’s tying goal, and more importantly, his celebration. After a total of nine seconds, all five Wild players touched the puck ending with the captain’s finish. He then jogged in place, which isn’t a full on “running man” celebration, but it’s as close as we’ve seen in years. If you’re wondering what in the crap I’m talking about, you can get a good sense of it by watching Mike Eruzione’s goal
against the Soviets (although there isn’t a great angle of it). Now, compare that to Koivu’s jog today
. It will take some work, but I think the Wild can bring back the lost art of the full on “running man” celebration.