How you living State of Hockey legion? Welcome to another preseason edition of live in-game commentary, right here on Wild.com. I don't want to type another word until I wish a Happy Revolution Day to all of the Wild fans in Mozambique. Let loose tonight, y'all!
And by letting loose, I mean park yourself at your computer and do one of two things: 1) Watch tonight's game via live streaming right here on Wild.com, or 2) Follow along to all of the action via live in-game commentary, also right here on Wild.com. Where else would you want to be on a Saturday night? Besides Mozambique of course.
As far as preseason games go, tonight should be a dandy. We've got the hated Dan Jancevski and the Philadelphia Flyers in town tonight, fresh off their appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals last summer. The Flyers had a nice run last spring, but that's due in part because they never had to face a goaltender like Niklas Backstrom
. Backy is guarding the red metal tonight, and if I'm not mistaken, he is locked in like a Top Gun pilot.
Backstrom will be backed up by Flyer-killer Anton Khudobin tonight, which was the plan anyway. But of course, the big news today is that Josh Harding
is going to be out for an extended period with a torn MCL and ACL ligament. Just a horrible stroke of bad luck for Hards, but here's wishing him a speedy recovery.
As for attire, the Wild will once again don the home reds for tonight's contest. The Flyers will wear their brand new road whites, which they are wearing for all of their preseason games this year. The sweaters are white, with bright orange (dang near neon) with the winged "P" on the chest.
Mackenzie Kelly, a member of the Minnesota Wild Kid's Club, gets us going with the "Let's Play Hockey" declaration. And she nails
it. Now let's do this thing.Period 1
18:55 - Zac Rinaldo tries to line up Greg Zanon behind the Wild net, but Zanon only puts his body in front of pucks, not oncoming forecheckers. He sidesteps Rinaldo, who barrels into the glass.17:34 - MIN 1 - PHI 0 - A power play strike for the good guys! "Baby Face" Casey Wellman gets the puck in the right corner and moves toward the side of the net. He sends a perfect feed to the front of the goal for Eric Nystrom. It never gets to Nystrom, instead hitting Joonas Lehtivouri's skate in front and bouncing past netminder Sergei Bobrovsky, or we we will refer to him henceforth, "Bob."
17:06 - MIN 1 - PHI 1 - The Flyers quickly erase that lead. They break the other way on a two-on-one. Claude Giroux carries the puck up the left side, gets Backstrom to commit, and then sends a pass across for Nikolai Zherdev. The once heavily hyped Blue Jacket easily bangs this one into an open net.
13:06 - Who is that number 75 in red down there? Why, it's Eden Prairie's Chad Rau
, who absolutely blazes up the right side to beat a Philly defender to a loose puck inside the Flyer zone. He chips a pass to the slot where Matt Kassian
is all alone. Last year's Houston heavyweight tries to go upstairs with a shot, but "Bob" denies him with a nice blocker save. Still, Rau has got some burners on those boots.
7:03 - The Wild offense is looking rejuvenated after struggling in the first two preseason contests. Marty Havlat has a great opportunity, getting some space on the left wing and trying to zip a quick wrist shot on the short side. "Bob" slides over to make a solid stop.
6:47 - Zanon absolutely lights up pest extraordinaire, Daniel Carcillo against the far boards. Carcillo is incensed, so he takes a run at Marco Scandella
behind the net. Marco may be a kid, but he's built like Terrell Owens, and he doesn't budge an inch when Carcillo crashes into him.
2:07 - That Rinaldo kid looks like a Carcillo in training. He gets a full head to steam and takes a flying leap at Nate Prosser
behind the Wild net, sending both crashing to the ice. Prosser is not pleased, and neither is his partner, Drew Bagnall
. Bagnall tries to get Rinaldo to tangle, but he's not biting. After all, taking an unnecessary run at someone in preseason is absolutely necessary.
0:00 - The first 20 minutes are in the books, and they end with a little melee in front of the benches. Carcillo and Clutterbuck are involved, and Bagnall wastes no time in going right after Danny Boy. They tangle for a bit, but order is restored. That ends what was easily the best period of the preseason for the Wild. There should be more where that came from when we come back from break.Period 2
16:36 - If you're wondering if Scott Hartnell used any part of his summer vacation to cut that grotesque mane of his, wonder no more. He didn't.
14:22 - There is a lot more jump in this Wild team tonight. And one of the players who has really jumped out is Prosser. He has been excellent. After Havlat deftly steals the puck during a Philly breakout, Prosser rips a shot toward the net. It hits traffic and bounces hard to Wellman cutting up the right side. He can't quite settle the puck and pushes it just wide.
10:46 - There's a save for Anton Khudobin. While sitting on the bench, he alertly gets his waffle glove up to stop a flip from Brad Staubitz and floats out of play.
10:23 - Bagnall has finally had enough of Rinaldo's shenanigans. Rinaldo crushes Andrew Brunette against the sideboards with the puck about 40 feet away. Bagnall sees this (of course the refs do not) and he makes a bee line for Rinaldo and tackles him. The gloves go flying, but the referees unwisely jump in before Bagnall can speedbag his face. I have a feeling that Bagnall isn't going to cool down while he's in the box. He wants Rinaldo in the worst way.
7:48 - Welcome to MInnesota Matt Kassian
! That's one way to win this crowd. This was only a matter of time as tempers have been boiling here in the second. First, Stabitz has some words with Matt Walker, and then Kassian quickly jumps in to face Walker. While Kassian completely pounds on Walker, Carcillo (believe it or not) is running around trying to start something with Staubitz. Those two don't drop the gloves, but who cares? We're too busy watching Kassian destroy Walker. The crowd gives him a rousing ovation as he skates to the box after dropping Walker to the ice for the second time. Carcillo is going to get a two, a 10 and a game misconduct for being a lunatic.
6:00 - Currently, there are four Wild players in the penalty box - Bagnall, Brent Burns, Kassian and Staubitz. That's a lot of beef.
3:35 - In the span of five seconds, Braydon Coburn rings two shots off the post during a Philly power play. The Flyers have had a lot of time to work with the man advantage tonight, which is odd considering they've been running around like their hair is on fire for nearly 40 minutes.Period 3
14:48 - Wellman has a blast of speed up the right side and gets a step on the Philly D. He puts a shot on goal, that is stopped by "Bob." The rebound pops right out to Eric Nystrom, but he can't connect on the bouncing puck.12:46 - MIN 2 - PHI 1 - Now that's how you do it. Brunette gets the puck in his office and looks for someone open in front. That someone is Chuck Kobasew, and he punches in Bruno's perfect feed from about four feet out. For the first time this preseason, the Wild has multiple goals in a game. Nice to see Chuck get one too. As you may already know, I'm predicting big things this year from the former Boston College Eagle.
9:00 - MIN 2 - PHI 2 - This time, the red piping helps out Coburn. He gets the puck at the right point and crushes a shot toward the net. It appears to glance off of Darroll Powe in front, and then off the pipe and in. One theme this preseason is the Wild have given up a goal shortly after scoring one of their own. It's something they'll look to rectify in the next week.
5:19 - A nice showing by Chad Rau
in his preseason debut at his hometown rink. He makes a nifty move to get in on "Bob," and puts a quick shot on goal. Kassian tries to follow up on the rebound and puts it just wide.
1:11 - Another great shift by Rau and his line. They pin the Flyers in their own and repeatedly hold the zone, drawing hearty cheers from the crowd.
0:34.9 - Oh my! A John Madden rush leads to an opportunity for Clutterbuck to unleash a rocket from the high slot. He beats Bobrovsky cleanly, but rings it off the crossbar.
0:00 - We've got some extra hockey coming your way. You're getting your preseason money's worth, and remember, live in-game commentary is free...for now.Overtime
3:55 - After Backy covers up a loose puck on a flurry in front, tempers flare yet again. This time, it's Hartnell and Zanon exchanging some blows. Koivu is also in there mixing it up.
2:38 - Because this is a must win, Philadelphia is going to take a time out.
2:00 - Here we go! Zanon absorbs a high stick from Zherdev, and the Wild will have a man advantage for the duration of OT...if they need it.
0:54.5 - It's a shooting gallery in the Philly zone as Brunette, Clutterbuck, Havlat and Burns start ripping shots from everywhere imaginable. "The Bob" is hanging tough, stopping everything sent his way.
0:00 - The power play can't find the net, and we're going to decide this one in a shootout.Shootout
The Wild is going to lead this one off, and it will be Koivu getting the first crack at it. He doesn't want to give away too many secrets in the preseason, so he just uses the shot at the five-hole, and he's denied.
Claude Giroux gets Philly's first attempt. He skates in slow, then tries to skate really fast, but loses control and never gets a shot off.
Havlat will be next for Minny. He puts a great move on "Bob" but the Philly keeper lays the left pad down and makes a huge save. Here's Zherdev, who wrists one past the glove to put Philly up one.
It's up to Wellman to keep this game alive. He tries a toe drag, but "Bobby Boy" sticks it away and gives Philly the win.