If you find a team that plays better in a loss, let me know. Especially that third period. You just wonder how the Wild didn't get one home. I think I counted four posts. A bunch of other awesome saves by Dwayne Roloson.
Jacques Lemaire and the players shared similar sentiments, but they're still disappointed because the two points were crucial. But I think the boys will be feeling good heading into Tuesday's game in Vancouver.
Barring something major, you'll next hear from me Monday. I'm going to make sure the gym is set up for the players in the afternoon, and I'm going to try to enjoy one of my favorite, if not my favorite, cities in the world. It'll be a late one tonight, but its never too late to sit on the patio and watch the boats go by.End 2nd period
The Oilers tend to score goals in bunches, and they got two in the second period - 10 minutes apart. Liam Reddox set up both tallies, tough guy Zach Stortini's fifth of the season, and Minneapolis native Tom Gilbert
's fourth. Dan Fritsche went late for interference, so the Wild will have to kill off 1:28 of an Edmonton power play before trying to come back. The Wild has scored both of its goals on the power play. I won't be back until well after the game, en route to the airport. I think we're all looking forward to a bit of R&R tomorrow in Vancouver. The Wild will have an off-the-ice workout.
End 1st period
A pretty thrilling opening frame, which ended with the Wild up 2-1. A power play goal by Brunette on a rebound - his first goal in nine games played - and then a great finish (pardon the pun) by Antti Miettinen after a nice passing play from Stephane Veilleux
to Peter Olvecky. Miettinen was a guest with FS North during the intermission.
We're still awaiting word on whether or not he will play, but Kurtis Foster
participated in warm-ups in an NHL game for the first time in almost a year. The Wild skated 21 players - all healthy and active players after Derek Boogaard was suspended earlier today by the NHL for five games.
It's Hockey Night in Canada, so they brought a camera in the room for 60 seconds prior to warm-ups. It was supposed to be 60 seconds, but they got another 10 or so out of me. There's a lot of stuff going on here tonight, so my plan will be a blog at the end of each period.
The Wild season ticketholders are here again, and in the rafters. They're actually looking down on press row across the far side. We're almost ready for player introductions. The Oilers skate out through an oil derrick. It's pretty neat.
Saturday, 12:45 p.m. MST
The Wild held an optional skate this morning. About 10 players were on the ice. Kurtis Foster was out there for close to an hour -- Jacques Lemaire said he was "thinking about" inserting Foster tonight. We'll see what happens on that front.
I'm on the second bus -- since media waited to talk to Foster -- and we're en route to the hotel to eat the team meal. It's an extra hour of rest this afternoon, thanks to the 8 p.m. start time.
Saturday, 10:45 a.m. MST
Well, I'm on my way to the rink. Everyone is headed over there, although I doubt every player will go on the ice. Getting everyone to the arena is a good way to make sure guys don't stay in bed too long.
We're on day three of this 11 day adventure. Really flying by...I'm thankful to Aaron Sickman for suggesting I put my room number on my blackberry notepad. By the time we get to Vancouver tonight, I'll be confused, I'm sure.
Just a couple minor issues last night. The loading dock attendant let our bus out and into a lane going the wrong way, to get us out quicker. Traffic around the Saddledome is horrible. Well, two other parking lot attendants didn't like that, and didn't let us merge in the proper lane for about five minutes. I thought I was going to have to go crazy on them.
The flight was good, and we were actually 30 minutes early. The team bus was there, but the sedan we get for the TV folks wasn't. So they waited inside and the car arrived shortly.
A few guys' room keys didn't work at our hotel. That's always a pain after midnight. It's about a 40 minute drive from the airport to Centre City, or 10 minutes longer than our actual flight was.
I'll be back after the pre-game skate. Josh Harding
is expected to get the start tonight on Hockey Night in Canada. Dwayne Roloson has started 17 straight for the Oilers, so I'm sure there won't be a surprise there. The Wild and Oilers are part of a four-way tie for seventh-through-tenth in the Western Conference.