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The Official Site of the Minnesota Wild

The R.S.S. Feed: April 4-5, 2009

by Ryan Stanzel / Minnesota Wild
Postgame


Just a quick wrap-up, as it's a short ride to the airport.

Anyone nationwide who wasn't familiar with Niklas Backstrom before, certainly is after this game on NBC. He was phenomenal. Several breakdowns on the game-winner.

Wild will skate at Xcel Energy Center on Monday, in preparation for Tuesday's game against Dallas at Xcel Energy Center. That game is on VERSUS.

Second period

Clutterbuck started the comeback with a goal, and his hustle, along with Peter Olvecky, led to the Wild's game-tying goal by Marian Gaborik.

Clutterbuck landed a huge hit to help cause a turnover, while Olvecky won a puck battle in the corner. Clutterbuck got just enough of a pass to Gaborik, whose shot somehow made it through Osgood, and six other Red Wing legs.

Big third period ahead, obviously. Nick Schultz hasn't been on the bench for the last 10 minutes. I'm awaiting an update downstairs.

Here's the update: Schultz (eye) will not return.

First period

Did the tide turn late in the first? Just after back-to-back unbelievable stops by Backstrom, Clutterbuck takes advantage of Chris Osgood playing the puck. With Veilleux pressuring Osgood, Clutterbuck threw the puck at the retreating Osgood. The puck skidded under his elbow and into the net for Clutterbuck's second goal in as many games and 10th of the season. Can't wait to hear what it sounded like with the microphone.

The Wild was very unfortunate on the first Wings' goal. Nick Schultz tried to rim the puck behind the net, and it hit the referee and dropped at Henrik Zetterberg's feet. Kim Johnsson was going to fetch Schultz' pass, so Pavel Datsyuk was all alone in front to deposit the pass past Backstrom. You've got to hope this game isn't decided by that goal. Backstrom was irate.

Datsyuk's second goal was much prettier, after some precision passing. He deked a defenseman and Backstrom down and top shelfed a shot for a 2-0 lead.

The Red Wings penalty kill is sponsored by the U.S. Border Patrol. Pretty nifty. We saw them sponsor the Zamboni in Grand Forks when we were there for training camp.

We also saw a marriage proposal at the first timeout (she said yes), and then they got a nice seat upgrade.

Pregame

I have done a thorough search of Joe Louis Arena, and there are no octupi to be found. The Wild had best not allow a goal, just to make sure.

A woman in front of me in the press box is wearing a personalized, autographed Howe jersey. I am too clumsy with food to ever wear something that valuable.

NBC will do quick hit with Marian Hossa right before the puck drops. The faceoff will be at 37 past the hour. Generally, it's at :08 past the hour. So, essentially moved up a minute for NBC.

The house announcer just butchered the Wild starting lineups -- I believe it's Koivu between Miettinen and Gaborik. But I could be wrong.

Sunday, noon EDT

Lineup update: John Scott and Krys Kolanos are out for the Wild. That means Kurtis Foster moves back to defense, after playing forward Friday, and Colton Gillies draws into the lineup for the first time in quite some time. Also, Peter Olvecky draws in for Craig Weller. How do you match speed? With speed.

Sunday, 10:15 a.m. EDT


The players are wrapping up breakfast (although some ate up to two hours ago) and we're getting ready to board our bus to Joe Louis Arena.

Many guys took cabs over to the rink this morning, wanting to get there a bit early. There are so few matinees, at least in the Western Conference. And this 12:37 p.m. local time puck drop is earlier than what most of these players have seen.

Did you know the old Tiger Stadium is standing? Well, part of it anyway. The grandstand, from 1st base to 3rd base, is still up, and it's across from the hotel. They tore the rest down, then someone apparently bought it, and said it must stay up because it's historical. It looks like it's on its last legs. Fun sight to see out the window, though.

I'll be back closer to gametime, once I get a feeling of the Wild's lineup. One thing I do know, it'll be Niklas Backstrom versus Chris Osgood in net.

Saturday, 3:30 p.m. EDT

The Wild just wrapped up an intense 40-minute practice, preparing for Sunday's nationally televised game on NBC. Gametime in the Twin Cities is 11:30 a.m. CDT.

Carlos, the NBC producer, came to practice along with Hall of Fame broadcaster Mike "Doc" Emrick. They talked to Jacques Lemaire, Doug Risebrough, Cal Clutterbuck and Marek Zidlicky. Tomorrow, Pierre McGuire will do a brief bench interview with Lemaire at the 10:00 timeout in the second period. In addition, Clutterbuck will wear a mic. Also, check out NBC's feature on Niklas Backstrom during one of the intermissions. They interviewed him at the All-Star Game.

One more game-related tidbit for you. You can listen to Doc Emrick's recent interview with KSTP-AM's Matt Thomas, previewing the game, here: http://www.am1500.com/ondemand/od_mattthomas.shtml.

We're only traveling with 38 passengers on this trip, between five and seven fewer than usual. With a TV crew, we usually carry six extras on the flight, slightly less when we are on KSTC. We'd be even lighter, but Wild owner Craig Leipold is on the trip along with his son, Connor.

Connor is on spring break and, for a school internship, is helping out the equipment staff. You should have seen his eyes light up when he was given his per diem envelope.

I'm trying to get most of our ticket list into the Red Wings by the end of practice. With the early start time, I don't want them to have to do too much for us in the morning.

It's a nice, sunny day in Detroit with temps in the mid 50s. It was an uneventful trip in, but it's neat because you pass over some mammoth car testing tracks, some road courses, etc. Another sight: the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, which was  parked across from some Final Four fanfest festivities by Joe Louis.

Talk to everyone tomorrow. I'll probably be filing an update after each period; there's a lot going on with the Wild's second ever appearance on NBC.


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