Following Wild games, Managing Editor Mike Doyle will give the Five Takeaways that he remembers from the contest. Tonight, he looks back at a 2-1 win against the Florida Panthers:
It was a special night at Xcel Energy Center and it had nothing to do with the $4 12-ounce Bud Lights as a part of the Guys’ Night Out promotion. The difference in the game: special teams. The Minnesota Wild converted on a power play goal, a second period tally from Zach Parise that held up as the game winner, while the Florida Panthers went 0-for-5 on the man advantage. The Wild killed two crucial third period Panther power plays and has now erased 22 straight opponents’ man advantages in its last eight contests.
The old saying is that your netminder has to be the team’s best killer and Devan Dubnyk was on again tonight. With the team shorthanded, he was out challenging and making his 6-foot-6 frame look as big as a barn blocking the net. In total, the netminder made 26 saves and earned the game’s Second Star.
The Sun Cats sure don’t like the Minnesota cold. The team still hasn’t won a game in regulation at Xcel Energy Center, one of only two teams to never win a game in Saint Paul (the other: the Washington Capitals).
After going 12 games without a goal, Jason Pominville scored for the third straight game tonight. If Jason Pominville was snake bitten for most of January, the forward must’ve rubbed a lucky rabbit’s foot in early February. His first period goal was redirected off his skate and into the net. The call on the ice was a good goal, but watching his celebration, he sure didn’t act like a player who thought the goal would stand up.
From the NHL’s situation room:
Video review supported the referee's call on the ice that the puck deflected off Jason Pominville's skate and into the Florida net in a legal fashion. According to Rule 49.2 "A puck that deflects into the net off an attacking player's skate who does not use a distinct kicking motion is a legitimate goal."
By letter of the law Pominville didn’t make a “distinct kicking motion,” which technically made the move legal. Yeah, and technically Jonny didn’t use a kicking motion when he used the Sweep the Leg Move on Daniel, either. Do you have a problem with that?
Yesterday, the Minnesota recalled forward Stephane Veilleux from its American Hockey League affiliate, the Iowa Wild. The forward was sitting on NHL game number 499 for just over three months while in Iowa. Well, tonight he finally reached the milestone, 500th game. The 33-year-old is the captain in Iowa and talked about his role in helping teach the younger players how to be a pro every day, something he’s been able to do with hard work. With Veilleux, you know what you’re getting night in and night out: effort.
If Veilleux were Buddhist, in his past life he probably would’ve been a dog that wanted to play fetch all day long. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a player with more energy. Regardless of how many shifts he might get in a game or how long he’s sat on the bench, when he gets on the ice, he only has one gear: full speed.
In Monday’s Takeaways, I wrote about how Marco Scandella is willing to drop slap-bombs from the point without regard for opponents’ well being. Well, in the third period of tonight’s contest, Scandella unloaded a high heater that nearly took off goaltender Roberto Luongo’s head. Okay, that might’ve been a bit dramatic, but it did almost make him lose his goalie helmet after first it ricocheting off his shoulder.
Maybe we should call Scandella’s slapper The Guillotine and him The Executioner. If that shot hurt Luongo, with all his goalie equipment, imagine what it could do to a shin pad or a smaller piece of equipment. No thank you. I’d be a flamingoing fool if I saw the blueliner winding up at the point.
If you were at the arena tonight, you saw a cheeky gag during the final stoppage in the second period. The folks in game operations, with an assist from the organization’s creative department, ran a video of Great Moments in Wild History according to Brian Williams. Of course, the NBC Nightly News anchor is making headlines for a fabricated story. So, the crew took photos from key points in the organization’s history and photoshopped Williams into the images. Who knew that the anchor signed with the Wild on July 4, 2012 and scored “The Goal” to win Game 7 against the Colorado Avalanche in 2003?
In an unplanned event, the T-shirt gun Nordy Wild, the best mascot in the NHL, uses to fire giveaways to fans broke down. So, like a trooper, he started throwing the shirts into the stands like Uncle Rico chucking a steak in the face of Napoleon Dynamite. Somebody let the Twins know, Nordy has a cannon for an arm.