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Good afternoon State of Hockey legion, we have big news out of the Wild organization today. Wild.com rookie Mike Doyle (me) will be taking over the In-Game Commentary for Glen Andresen, who is on the IR with a strained hammy after celebrating a UMD Bulldog victory over Providence last night. Of course, I celebrated a big 7-5 St. Cloud State win over the University of New Hampshire, but was a little more restrained because, after all, it’s only October. Well, enough about me, let’s get into tonight’s Wild afternoon game in Rogers Arena against the Vancouver Canucks.
Besides the In-Game Commentary, there are other changes in the Wild organization to report. Guillaume Latendresse
will be out of the lineup, replaced by Nick Johnson
. Cal Clutterbuck
will move up to the second line with Matt Cullen
and Pierre-Marc Bouchard
. Johnson will skate with Kyle Brodziak
and Colton Gillies on the third line.
On the blue line, Justin Falk
will make his season debut, replacing Greg Zanon. Falk skated in 22 games last season notching three assists. Mike Lundin
(back) will miss his eight-straight game. Backstopping the good guys will be Niklas Backstrom
for the seventh time this season.
On the other side of the border, and ice, is the defending Western Conference Champion Vancouver Canucks. After falling to the Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals, it looks as if the team has a slight Stanley hangover with a record of 3-3-1. Backup Cory Schneider will start in net for the Canucks. The team’s leading scorers are again the Sedin Twins, Daniel and Henrik. If you think it is hard to tell them apart, try watching the game on my television that still uses dials for the channels and a rabbit-ear antenna.
The Wild will be outfitted in their road whites, while the Canucks will wear their blue third jerseys with the horizontal hockey sitck.
And finally, hopefully we won’t have to hear the Canucks’ new goal song: "Clutch" by Electric Worry. I only know one Canadian band: Bachman-Turner Overdrive. Whenever the Wild score tonight I’m going to rock, “Takin’ Care of Business” and suggest you do the same.
Let’s get crackin.Period 1
17:34 - Icing on Vancouver. Looks like there is a feeling-out phase to this game, which is nice because it is allowing me to adjust to In-Game Commentary.
14:09 - Little sloppy play from both teams, just like that my first post. Reading that back it was terrible. Hopefully the action picks up and so will my commentary.
13:05 - Bang, just like I predicted, Minneapolis native Andrew Alberts takes a roughing penalty on young Brett Bulmer
, driving the Rookie's face into the glass. What did he ever do to you Alberts? He's only a kid. I'm sure Bulmer will remember that. 8:57 - "Takin' care of business, everyday!" Wooo! Just as the Alberts penalty expires, Devin Setoguchi and Dany Heatley play a little give-and-go, and Setguchi goes backhand shelf. Seto's speed through the neutral zone was on display there, along with his scoring touch. That was Setoguchi's third goal on the season.
10:43 - The Wild will get another power play as Baudette native Keith Ballard is called for interference. What's up with the Minnesota boys taking it out on the State of Hockey home team?
7:57 - Vancouver must know the Wild has needed a little PP practice. Weise is hauled off for cross checking Colton Gillies.
6:16 - Marco Scandella
rifles a shot on net with Bulmer in front of the net, replacing Latendresse on the man advantage. The Wild haven't had many chances on the PP thus far, but Scandella's shot was a Grade-A and Schneider was forced to make a big save.
3:24 - Chance for the third line as Gillies puts a mild shot into Schneider's pads. The netminder makes the save but kicks a rebound out to Bulmer streaking down the wing, but he is unable to convert with Schneider making a tough glove save.
2:55 - Vancouver's Weise fires a long shot on Backstrom, which the tender swallows up. The save has the fans oohing and aahing, but nothing comes of it, except for Clayton Stoner
jabbing with a Canucks player, but it goes to a TV timeout and cooler heads prevail.
1:31 - Opportunity for Nick Johnson
, but Schneider is there to make the save. Johnson slashes down the middle of the slot and releases a low snapper. Schneider bobbled it a bit, but nothing comes of it.
0:00- End of the first period. With about a minute left, Ballard had three hits, two against Johnson and one against Darroll Powe
. He must have some family watching the game on FSN. Maybe he has some family reading this commentary. If so, he is getting mentioned on both. Mike Greenlay said he is 'known' for the hip-check and low hits. The hit on Johnson was clean, but Ballard better keep his head up against that line.Period 2
16:51 - We have our first fight of the game as Stoner and Weise have a go. Stoner throws several overhand rights and Weise plays possum for a while before throwing a couple of his own. Stoner lands two more shots before the two tumble to the ice and are separated by the linesman.
15:44 - Schneider goes behind the net to play the puck and it jumps his stick. Bouchard is there but just out of his reach and is unable to capitalize.
14:54 - Just when you think the Sedin Twins are sleeping through this one, Daniel (or was it Henrik?) puts one off the outside of the post after the pair cycle in the Wild D-Zone.
10:54 - Vancouver will get its first power play on the night as Brad Staubitz gets called for roughing as he gets his gloves up in front of the Canucks' goal.
8:54 - Backstrom has to make several saves with Alex Burrows in his grill. The Canucks apply the pressure on the man advantage, but the Wild netminder denies three chances from in close.
7:56 - Wild get another PP chance as Volpatti takes a hooking minor.
7:14 - Heatley gets the second of two chances in close. The first is a redirection from a point shot
and the second was on a slot shot after a Setoguchi feed from behind the net.
4:51 - Alexander Edler sneaks down from the right point and fires a low shot on goal, but Backstrom controls the rebound into the corner and defuses a good Vancouver forecheck.
3:48 - Staubitz takes his second penalty of the period.3:32 - Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. Daniel Sedin takes a pass from his bro in the corner and fires one to the front of the net. After pin-balling around, Ryan Kesler gets credit for his second of the year, but this will be reviewed as it looks like the puck banked in off of Nick Schultz's leg. It was reviewed and Daniel gets credit for the power play goa.
1:49 - "You get up every morning, from your alarm clock's warning, take the 8:15 into the city!" Kyle Brodziak responds and takes care of the business after Johnson finds him in front. Johnson spins behind the net, losing the Vancouver defender and passes to Broadziak who one-times a puck past Schneider, who has no chance. Bulmer picks up a second assist on the play.
0:00 - That period everything: Goals, assists, hits, saves and a fight. Wild are playing a solid road game to this point, let's hope they can keep this going into the third. Period 317:54 - Noooooooo! Jannik Hansen scores on a nice backhand deflection. It looked like an innocent play as Manny Malhotra sauced a puck towards the net, but Hansen, slashing though the middle of the ice, tips the puck through the wickets of Backstrom.
14:27 - Those pesky Sedin Twins are at it again as Henrik fires a shot on goal followed by a mad scramble in front of the Wild net. Backstrom drops his stick and is flopping around like a cooked noodle. Falk does his best imitation of an otter as he belly slides into the crease and somehow the puck doesn't cross the line. Sorry folks, the play was crazy and that's the best I can do. Game still tied, 2-2.
8:24 - Vancouver gets a 3-on-2 with Weise firing a sharp angle shot, but again, Backstrom plays a strong angle and kicks a rebound to Scandella who one-hand clears the zone.
3:43 - Wild with an opportunity after a neutral zone re-group you'd draw on the White Board. Heatley settles the puck at center and drops it back to Spurgeon, who one-times a pass across ice to Scandella. Scandella rifles a pass up to Heatley, who goes cross-ice to Koivu. The Wild Captain crosses the blue line and dumps it back cross ice to Scandella, who turns and fires a rocket, but Schneider is there to freeze the puck.
0:31 - Clutterbuck tries to end this one in regulation. After Powe steals the puck at the blue line, he drops it to Clutter, who fires high to the blocker. But Schneider is there for the save.
0:00 - Weird. We're going to overtime. Overtime
3:51 - 3:40 - End to end action. Kesler with some fancy stick work is denied on the door step and the Wild go the other way. Koivu leads a 3-on-2, drops to Zidlicky who finds Heatley in the slot but last game's hero can't get a good shot off.
1:39 - Henrik holds onto the puck like a cowboy wrestling cattle behind the net, for what seems like an eternity, before finding Edler, who tries a toe-pull-and-shoot, but Scandella lays down and blocks the shot.
1:15 - Vancouver is on the power play after Heatley gives a slash on the forecheck. The Canuck stick breaks in half and Heatley is escorted to the box. This is scary.0:20 - Sami Freakin Salo ends it. The D-man blasts a shot from the point and the puck gets through. Looks like Backstrom was screened on the play. Still a pretty good road swing for the Wild earning 3-of-4 points.