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 3-2 win over the New York Islanders.
Owen Nolan scored a highlight reel goal last week in Tampa Bay by doing some dancing and diving. But let’s make like the lead singer of Cypress Hill and B. Real for a bit here. Nolan isn’t exactly getting carded these days when he orders an adult beverage, and most of his goals this season are going to be similar to the two he scored tonight – not pretty but effective. Nolan scored one goal with hustle to the corner coupled with putting the puck in a perfect spot by banking it in from behind the net. His second came as a result of being aware of the play before it happened. Nolan saw that Eric Belanger had a chance to hold the zone on a clearing attempt, so he lingered back by the New York net. Sure enough, Belanger found him with a high pass and Nolan calmly gloved it, placed it and deposited it.
The Wild is expected to send down both Danny Irmen and Nathan Smith on Saturday morning. There really isn’t a lot to be read into this. Minnesota doesn’t play another game until Wednesday night against Boston, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense to keep those two up with the big club. It’s a very real possibility that they both return to Minnesota by Wednesday, unless some of the Wild’s injured players get healthy.
In years of working in the Al Shaver Press Box I’ve seen some rather famous celebrities and athletes. As an intern, I was even given the task of going outside the arena and sitting in former Twins manager Tom Kelly’s running car as he did “Let’s Play Hockey” so he could leave right after he was done. However, I had never done what I did on Friday night, and that was get my photo taken with someone famous. Well, I couldn’t pass up on a photo op with the most famous five year old in hockey, Josh Sacco. You can have your Suri Cruises and your Shiloh Pitts US Magazine. For my money, I want the kid that can memorize a two minute Herb Brooks speech
and nail the Let’s Play Hockey declaration that even our Governor couldn’t handle. Josh, or Lil’ Herb Brooks, lived up to the hype and delivered the Wild’s best opening video tease of the year. Relive it right here.
The Wild and Islanders don’t play each other often, but there seemed to be some bad blood in this one. Nathan Smith, who was called up from Houston today, dropped the gloves on his first shift. Shane Hnidy went toe to toe with former Minnesota State Mankato Maverick, Tim Jackman, later in the period. That wasn’t all. Cal Clutterbuck
was stirring the pot like the Wicked Witch of the West, as was New York’s Jon Sim. Both agitators were all over the rink and wreaking havoc. Even Mikko Koivu
and Kyle Okposo exchanged pleasantries at center ice.
After the win, several Islanders were slow to leave the rink as they glared at celebrating Wild players.
Tonight’s win was a nice distraction from the bad news, and that is injuries. While they all vary in severity, it’s never good to have six players miss a game because of injuries. Brent Burns missed his first game of the season with what was termed as an illness. Burns skated in today’s morning skate, but something happened between then and the game.