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Greetings loved ones. Let's take a journey. A Friday night online live in-game commentary journey that is. Let me ask you something. Can you think of one thing more fun on a Friday than sitting at your computer and reading my thoughts about a Wild hockey game? Maybe. But what if they are playing the Canucks? Then the answer is a resounding "no." I don't care if you're getting married tonight. You're reading tonight's live in-game commentary because something crazy always happen in a Wild-Canucks game. It's just the way of the world.
Let me ask you one more thing. Are you aware that today is Jonathan Lipnicki's 20th birthday? You probably are, because if it weren't for him, you still wouldn't be going up to people and saying, "the human head weighs eight pounds" or "let's go to the zoo" or "do you know my neighbor has three rabbits?" Now, that kid is 20 freakin years old. He's a year away from drinking his first Bud Light. Too bad he can't have one tonight because he'll want to have a drink to celebrate another Wild win in a few hours.
Tonight's victory will be especially sweet because it will be the first for Jose Theodore in a Wild uniform. He's going to get his first start tonight because Niklas Backstrom
is so hot right now, he'd melt the crease at Rogers Arena. He's going to get the night off, which is all good because Jose has got this one under control.
Colton Gillies will also get the night off as the only healthy scratch. Cam Barker is out with a groin injury, so Clayton Stoner
will get back into the lineup for the first time since October 8 in Helsinki. Pierre-Marc Bouchard
is also out with a concussion.
As for the fashions of both teams, the Wild will wear the road whites for the second night in a row. Typically, that's a fashion "don't" but in hockey circles, it's accepted. The Canucks will sport the home blues trimmed in green and white with the hockey stick on the chest.
It's Friday. It's Wild-Canucks. The second meeting in three nights. It's late at night. This is going to be a fun one. Shall we?Period 1
18:53 - Former Benilde-St. Margaret Red Knight and Boston College Eagle Andrew Alberts takes a long shot on goal that is stopped by Theodore for his first Wild save. That's the good news. The bad news is that Andrew Brunette takes a penalty early one night after the Wild took about 212 in Edmonton.
17:45 - This stop by Theodore is much tougher. He has to get across his crease quickly to sponge up a quick one-time blast off the stick of Daniel Sedin, who scored both goals against the Wild on Tuesday.
12:41 - Mercy! The Sedin line starts getting crazy with the puck, just playing keepaway from the Wild defenders. Nobody in a white jersey can even find the puck it's being flinged about so much. Theodore makes one nice stop on former Michigan Wolverine Jeff Tambellini, and then another shot is deflected up and over the glass.
10:56 - Stoner has a shot from the point blocked by former Ohio State Buckeye Ryan Kesler who races the other way on a two-on-one with former UMD Bulldog Mason Raymond on his left. Justin Falk
is the defender back on the play, and he forces Kesler to have to make a saucer pass and Raymond can't connect on it.9:00 - MIN 0 - VAN 1 - The Canucks are finally rewarded for their early domination. Jannik Hansen rolls behind the Wild net and feeds Raffi Torres at the bottom of the left circle. Torres doesn't have a lot to shoot at, but he punches one on goal that somehow squeaks between Theodore and the post. Eventually, Theodore was going to give up a goal, but I was hoping it wouldn't be until February or March.
8:57 - Right off the draw, the gloves are off and we're ready to go. Stoner and Guillame Desbiens drop the gloves at center ice. Stoner is all about the haymakers and he connects on a few, while Desbiens is having less success. Stoner finally drops Desbiens to the ice and lands one more as he falls on top of him. Gotta give the decision to Clayton, who really just wants to fire up his team right now.
3:20 - While defending in his own zone, Mikko Koivu
collides with ref Justin St. Pierre and plants the zebra right on his kiester. Maybe that was some payback from St. Pierre and Dave Jackson calling all those penalties last night in Alberta.
0:00 - Thankfully, a dismal first period comes to an end with the Wild only down a goal. Minnesota has gotten zip going offensively, but that's nothing a little break and rehydration can't take care of.Period 2
19:46 - Here's some pep in the step. On the power play, Matt Cullen
and Brunette work a quick give-and-go and Cullen gets right in on former Boston College Eagle Cory Schneider. Cullen's bid to go upstairs is stopped, but he gets hooked from behind and the Wild will have a two-man advantage.
19:05 - Marek Zidlicky unloads with a blast from the point that zips through everybody and loudly clanks off the post.15:32 - MIN 0 - VAN 2 - The Wild's early effort in the second yields nothing, and the Canucks come back the other end and light the lamp. Alberts drills a shot from the point that Theodore stops. The rebound pops right to Kesler in front and he shovels a backhand toward the empty net. The puck is going in anyway, but it looks like it nicks Raymond's shin guard on its way in. It doesn't matter who gets it. All that matters is Minnesota finds itself down two now.
12:34 - Brent Burns steps up and crunches Daniel Sedin against the sideboards, although he does it too late after Sedin gives up the puck. Burns is going to the penalty box, but it's not necessarily a bad penalty to take. Any time you can get a Sedin to start thinking he's got a little less room out there or he's going to get blasted, that's a good thing.
5:12 - Chuck Kobasew races into the Vancouver corner with Aaron Rome. Kobasew tries to deliver a hit, but he gets the worst of it and goes flying back-first into the endboards.Period 3
17:32 - Falk fires a long wrister on goal with Antti Miettienen and Brunette on the doorstep, but neither can find the rebound. Good to see guys getting to the net, however.
16:38 - I won't be sad to not have to see the Sedin's for a spell. Henrik skates up the left side and makes a shoulder fake to get Greg Zanon to slide to the ice. Once Zanon is out of the frame, Henrik makes a sick spin move and whips a backhand on goal, but Theodore comes up with a big stop.
10:53 - On a Canuck power play, Alexander Edler sends a wrister toward the goal. It looks like Kesler gets a tip on it and puts it right off the cross bar.8:55 - MIN 0 - VAN 3 - Here's your backbreaker. With the Wild having mounted little in the way of a charge, a three-goal lead looks like a 10-goal deficit at this point. Edler makes another great play from the point, faking a shot and then sending a pass to a wide open Manny Malhotra. I question Malhotra's ability to see or think normally after his comments regarding the Rick Rypien incident, but is able to make contact on the pass and fire it past a helpless Theodore.
8:01 - The Wild finally tests Schneider on the power play, but he passes it. Bruno gets the puck all alone in the high slot and then sends it to the right circle for a huge one-timer by Mittens. Nothing doing. Schneider slides over and snuffs it out.3:24 - MIN 0 - VAN 4 - It appears the Canucks are a better team than they showed a few nights ago. They are making this one look easy, much like the Wild did in St. Paul. Hansen enters the zone and then floats a pass toward the front where Malhotra cuts in, fights off a check and chips it past Theodore.
2:35 - MIN 1 - VAN 4 - The shutout is wiped out. Koivu wins the battle in the corner and the puck is picked up by Guillaume Latendresse behind the Vancouver goal. He dishes out to Mittens, who rips a shot up high. Schneider gets his glove on it, popping it up in the air, but it lands just inches over the goal line.
2:20 - MIN 1 - VAN 5 - Time to end this one. One of the Sedins sends a home run pass up the middle to Tambellini right at the Wild blueline. He's got nobody in front of him except Theodore and he beats him cleanly for his first of the year. Uncle.
0:00 - That's going to do it. Not much in the way of extracarriculars, and not much in the way of fun for the Wild. The boys get out of Vancouver and head back to St. Paul for a five-game homestand starting Monday against the Kings.