Following Wild games, Managing Editor Mike Doyle will give the Five Takeaways that he remembers from the contest. Tonight, he looks back at a 3-2 overtime loss against the Boston Bruins:
If “deserve” was the name of the game, the Minnesota Wild would walk out of Xcel Energy Center with two points tonight. However, it’s hockey and the Wild comes away with a single overtime point against the Boston Bruins.
On the second night of a back-to-back for both teams, Minnesota outshot Boston, 37-25, and controlled much of the play. However, a 35-save performance from goaltender Niklas Svedberg and a Loui Eriksson goal gave the B’s the extra point.
It looked like luck was finally on the Wild’s side, scoring on a fortuitous bounce midway through the third period to send the game in overtime. However, Eriksson squeezed the winner past Wild netminder Niklas Backstrom 1:30 into the extra period.
Two members of the Minnesota Wild hit milestones tonight. Ryan Suter and Jason Pominville each played in their 700th game. Both players’ impact on the Wild has been evident, helping the team to the playoffs in both seasons since coming to the State of Hockey.
Tonight, they hooked up on the game-tying goal to force overtime. Suter pinched in at the point and, just trying to knock the puck towards the net, banked it off Pominville’s skate and in. Just like they drew it up. Sure, it wasn’t the prettiest goal of his career, but they don’t ask how, they ask how many. Both players have put up a whole lot of points in their respective careers.
Suter has had a stellar career to this point, entering the National Hockey League with the Nashville Predators in 2005-06. Suter has amassed 332 points (51-281=332). Since 2008-09, the 29-year-old ranks first in the NHL in time on ice (26:14) and is fifth in scoring amongst all blueliners (35-226=261).
In parts of 10 seasons with Buffalo and Minnesota, Pominville has notched 546 points (226-320=546). In his first full season with the Wild last year, the 32-year-old led the team in scoring with 60 points (30-30=60).
Gordon Bombay: Quarter of an inch the other way and it would’ve gone in.
Charlie Conway: Yeah, but a quarter inch the other way and you'd have missed completely.
* Clank *
Last night in the first period against the Chicago Blackhawks, Kyle Brodziak hit the post about as squarely as possible. The result: the puck bounced away from the net and the attempt wasn’t even registered as a shot on goal. Missed it by a quarter of an inch. Tonight, Brodziak went a quarter of an inch the other way, post-and-in for his fourth goal of the year.
Brodziak’s goal reminds us that hockey is a game of inches, as there were a number of times the play could’ve gone the other way. First, Brett Sutter won a wall battle against Bruins defenseman Zach Trotman to retain possession and chip the puck to Brodziak. Next, Brodziak slipped the puck just through B’s forward Gregory Campbell’s legs. Finally, the Wild forward pulled a toe-drag move around Boston blueliner Dennis Seidenberg’s stick before firing a wrister off the post and in.
* Ping *
The Wild had more chances than Robert Downey Jr. in the second period, but were unable to crack Svedberg. Minnesota’s funniest, if not best, chance came after a sniper took out Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton. The B’s blueliner had the puck at the offensive blue line and tried a spin-o-rama. However, Hamilton tripped over his own two feet like he was amidst a night of Downey-Junior-ing.
Zach Parise picked up the loose puck and raced the other way on an odd-man rush. He dropped the puck to Suter, whose Grade-A shot was blockered away by Svedberg. The netminder kept his defenseman from making the rounds on the Internet and year-end Not Top 10 lists.
This just in: Zdeno Chara is a large man. Confirmed: he’s a mean dude, too. The Bruins’ defenseman looks like the Mountain, while the rest of the players on the ice look like the Red Viper.
Spoiler alert: Things do not go well for the smaller man when the two throw down in the Game of Thrones Season 4.
However, the Wild didn’t back down when facing the behemoth. In the third period, Parise and Chara were tangled in the Bruins’ end and Nate Prosser came in and had words. Later, Jason Zucker got into it with the big man in the corner. If I were on the ice with the giant, I would’ve run for the hills like a frightened villager. Obviously, I’m pumped for the fifth season of GoT.