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Wild.com Managing Editor Glen Andresen has the day off, so Ryan Stanzel has today's game against the Avalanche, and more, covered. Send a note to Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org
, and don't forget to follow us on Twitter
!4:30 p.m. CDT
It looks like a Black Friday sale out here at our hangar with all this traffic. Both the Wild and Avalanche are flying out to get back to Denver for tomorrow’s game. Since both teams use the same charter company, there are two identical planes sitting on the runway, but with different tail numbers. Part of my job will be to direct guys in the right direction. Wes Walz actually got on the wrong plane briefly last year after this Friday matinee when Tampa Bay was flying home. Old habits die hard.
We had some sandwiches for the players in the locker room, and we’ll get hot food on the plane (chicken parmesan, and roast beef with potatoes and vegetables). We’ll make sure the players and coaches get fed before us media schleps in the middle section. Plenty of time for everyone to eat.
Speaking of, off to dinner at Cherry Cricket tonight. Should be a fun atmosphere at the DU hockey hangout as the Pioneers have a game against Travis Brillowski’s St. Cloud State Huskies. I’ll talk to you tomorrow morning from the pre-game skate.
One final thing – neither Antti Miettinen nor Martin Havlat are traveling with us to Denver. Jaime Sifers is, so we have one extra body for tomorrow’s game.3rd period
Just got news that Nick, our normal bus driver in Denver, is on vacation in Cancun. Preposterous! He did not invite me. Roger will fill in admirably. I'm glad I called dispatch to check - Nick will have a nice voicemail from me when he gets back from Cancun because I called him before I called dispatch.
Owen Nolan has one goal tonight, and he's slid himself into the net twice - once on each end. A golden chance down the middle here, and he's tripped up and steamrolls Craig Anderson. It looked ugly and Anderson went down hard, but he popped back up and stays in the game.
Maybe the biggest ovation of the night comes not from a goal, but a minute-plus of big-time pressure in the Colorado zone by Nolan, Ebbett and Sheppard.
Colorado has been held to three shots in about the last 18 minutes of play. Notes a bit slow to come in the third period as I work on post-game notes and the Big White Binder of Death for travel.
But I will tell you this - Marek Zidlicky goes for tripping, setting up the Avs power play, which is 1-for-3 thus far (same as the Wild).
A good kill for the Wild, which heads to the man advantage with a call on Darcy Tucker.
And there we go, Wild is up 4-3! Nice cross-crease pass from Koivu to Andrew Brunette, who bangs it home for his ninth goal of the season. Marek Zidlicky began the play keeping the puck alive along the far boards. Here's video of the potential game-winner!
The hats are safe - for now, as Chuck Kobasew ripped a shot wide from the right circle off a nice 2-on-1 pass from Mikko Koivu
, with a couple guys trailing on him
with sticks in tow.
End of game
Chuck Kobasew with the empty netter for the hat trick and a 5-2 final. I'll be back from the airport.
Back underway, as Carly the Intern and some other media members enjoy a holiday treat in the Al Shaver Press Box - egg nog.
Milan Hejduk got loose for a mini breakaway but fired just wide off the opening faceoff. This note from PR guru Aaron Sickman: Mikko Koivu
and Eric Belanger combined to go 13-for-14 in the faceoff circleinthe first period.
Another grade A chance for Colorado, but a lunging and sliding Niklas Backstrom
goes far to his right to make the stop on Darcy Tucker.
Wild takes a 2-1 lead! Derek Boogaard with some nice work in the corner, flipping a puck to Chuck Kobasew all alone in front. Kobasew deposited the puck over Craig Anderson for his second goal of the season. For Boogaard, it's his first assist in 39 games played since Dec. 19, 2008, against the N.Y. Islanders. See the pass and goal here
withthe shorthanded breakaway after a Robbie Earl hooking penalty, but his shot goes wide. And then Owen Nolan goes crashing into the net with the help of an Avs defenseman.
Seems like every game between these teams is decided by one goal, and this one may be no different. Colorado answers right back, with Paul Stastny's sixth goal of the season. We're locked up at 2-2.15:02
And now Minnesota on the power play, as Marek Svatos goes to the box.14:00
Chuck Kobasew has found a nice home on the top line in place of the sick Antti Miettinen. Shane Hnidy's point shot hit Mikko Koivu, who corralled the puck and found Andrew Brunette behind the net. Brunette walked just left of the net and hit Kobasew, positioned again all alone in front. Kobasew knew what to do with the puck, as he registers his eight career multiple-goal game. He has one hat trick - against Colorado, Jan. 24, 2006. Wild is up 3-2. Wild.com's Travis Brillowski again with the video on demand here.
Colorado back on the power play after a hooking call to Kim Johnsson. Crowd getting its money worth today for sure!
What a save by Backstrom on Matt Duchene. Got a piece of his blocker, then the pipe, as Backstrom scrambled in the crease.
Both teams skating well which is leading to all these power plays. Here, Ryan Wilson goes for holding, setting up the Wild power play. Kobasew is on the ice.
No power play goal nor hat trick, but I can tell you the Wild power play has scored in three straight games for the first time since Oct. 24-28. The season-high is four - the first four games of the season.
The pipe is kind to the Wild, as Stastny hustled up ice and beat Backstrom but hit the left post.
Bad turnover behind the Colorado net ends up on Cal Clutterbuck
's stick, but Craig Anderson stops him.
Colorado ties it up at 3-3. A faceoff in the Wild zone quickly goes the other way after a turnover, and Chris Stewart takes a 2-on-1 feed from Wojtek Wolski and pushes it under Backstrom for his second goal of the season.
THAT was close. Puck skirts behind Backstrom on a Cody MacLeod shot. As the puck rolled on its side across the goal line (legal), TJ Galiardi actually pulled the puck back away from the net and under Backstrom. They're looking at the replay, but it shouldn't be overturned. Indeed, no goal.
End of 2nd period
Thankfully, we all get to catch our breath after that. Four goals in a wild second period, but it seemed like more. Memorable finish on tap, I'm sure of it.
Jaime Sifers (healthy) and Antti Miettinen (flu-like symptoms) are out for the Wild. Kyle Cumiskey, Chris Durno and Brian Fahey are scratched for Colorado. Starting for Minnesota are Zidlicky, Zanon, Latendresse, Brodziak and Clutterbuck. For the Avs, it's Scott Hannan and Kyle Quincey on the blueline, and Milan Hejduk, Paul Stastny and David Jones.
Underway after a rousing Let's Play Hockey intro from the U.S. Men's Olympic Curling Team. If you haven't curled, you're missing out.
Bad news, Northwest Division, if Latendresse and Clutterbuck play on the same line. Expect bone-crushing double hits like Chris Stewart just took along the boards, when the pair converged on him. Stewart took a couple pushes at Latendresse, but cooler heads prevailed.
Scary moment for Niklas Backstrom
, as an out-of-control Cody McLeod trips in the crease and goes up and over Backstrom. All is okay, however.
Defenseman Kyle Quincey makes it 1-0 Colorado. Matt Duchene, in the corner, finds a wide open Quincey between the circles. Quincey fired high blocker side over Backstrom for his third goal of the season - second against Minnesota. The Wild was caught with four skaters below the faceoff dot.
Wild gets an early power play as David Koci goes for charging. Derek Boogaard had a couple words with Koci, an oft-fighting partner, before heading to the bench.
The man advantage lasts 66 seconds, as Chuck Kobasew is called for slashing. Some always entertaining 4-on-4 up next.
Cowboy up! Owen Nolan, selected first overall by Quebec (now Colorado) many many many New Moons ago, fires from between the circles after grabbing a rebound in traffic of a Greg Zanon flip on net. It's Nolan's seventh goal of the season - one off Andrew Brunette's team-high. We are locked up at 1-1. Wild.com's Travis Brillowski is all over it. Click here to see the goal.
The Avs' 54-second power play is over, and we are back to 5-on-5.
End of 1st period
Tame ending to the first period, which ends with Wild and Avs tied 1-1. Shots are 11-9 for Colorado.
All 21 players on the Wild active roster are on the ice for warm-ups, so we'll have to see who the healthy scratch it. Colorado has added Chris Durno and Brian Fahey from the AHL's Lake Erie Monsters for today's game. Adam Foote has been placed on IR. It looks like Backstrom vs. Craig Anderson in the nets.
Was waiting on the paperwork to be filed, but we can now let you know that defenseman Jaime Sifers has been recalled from AHL Houston. He flew in this morning. We'll have to wait until gametime to see if he will play. I'm about to send the release out.
About to head downstairs for the much-talked about brunch, but first this news in: Brent Burns and Martin Havlat have both been placed on injured reserve. The move is retroactive to the day they got hurt, and IR is for seven days, so either guy can technically play whenever he is ready. The Wild is at 21 players on the active roster. Antti Miettinen (flu-like symptoms) appears doubtful for this game, so everyone on active roster, including Latendresse, should play.
Back from dropping stats, clips and game notes by our coaches offices. The coaches are heavy into video clips of the Avalanche. The injury bug is contagious to the PR staff - the mother of all paper cuts on my left pinky.
Martin Havlat is on the ice now. He remains sidelined by a strained hamstring, but is working out there by himself now, under the watchful eye of strength and conditioning coach Chris P-W and assistant athletic trainer John Worley.
I need to remind everyone coming to today's game to Park Smart
! Lots of traffic downtown with the Hmong New Year celebration as well as Winter Wonderland in the complex.8:30 a.m.
Greetings from Seat 51 in the Al Shaver Press Box, likely the earliest I've ever been in my perch up here. But it's not every day we get a 1 p.m. start time. Actually, it's once a year, this Black Friday.
I'm watching a couple Avalanche players and coaches on the ice, assuming one of them is Adam Foote, who is working himself back from injury.Guillaume Latendresse
arrived in town yesterday and is expected to suit up today. The Wild placed Brent Burns (concussion) and Martin Havlat (hamstring) on IR. The move is retroactive to the game in which they got hurt, so as soon as they are healthy, they'll be eligible to play.
The "crew call" for the TV trucks was 8 a.m. this morning, so Carly the Intern was here before that to start making copies. We need to have everything printed and copied by 10:30 a.m.- the time the press dining room opens.
Always a favorite press dining meal this day after Thanksgiving. You remember Robert the Intern from last year, the one who nearly concussed a co-worker in employee hockey...he put away more brunch items than anyone in history one year ago today.
The Wild will leave immediately after the game today, as will the Avalanche. Both are flying to Denver, where the teams will face off Saturday evening. Because of the earlier start today, we likely won't be in as much of a hurry to get out of here, but we'd still like to get in the air ahead of the Avs. I'd like to get in as early as possible, because I plan on hitting the Cherry Cricket tonight as well as tomorrow. My favorite burger joint, in the world, as featured on Man vs. Food. If you're ever in the Cherry Creek neighborhood of Denver, make sure you check out Cherry Cricket.
I'd like to give a shoutout to RSS Feed fan Danielle, who recognized me in an elevator lobby an hour after the game Wednesday night and said hello. Danielle, that is RSS Feed Fan of the Year category. So if any more of you see that Dwight Schrute lookalike (I will never live that down Josh Harding
, even though I look nothing like him), feel free to say hello. And no, Danielle, it's not creepy...
Time to organize my BWBOD (Big White Binder of Death) with flight manifest, hotel rooming list and other things needed on the road.