|Kings at Wild: GAME PREVIEW
We have video from James Sheppard, who talks about the game and where he'll spend the All-Star break Mailbag time. Join in the fun by sending your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m trying to make every Tuesday a “Mailbag Day.”
Q: Hi, Ryan. Thanks for the great updates. I know the Wild practice at Parade occasionally. What determines where they practice - Parade vs. Xcel Energy Center? Also, do the Wild have their own facilities at Parade – locker room, training room, etc. I suspect they are a bit more elaborate than the rest of Parade?
Tony in St. Paul
A: Thanks for reading, Tony. Good question! The Wild typically only practice at Parade when there is an event at Xcel Energy Center, whether it be a concert, WCHA Final Five, etc. The Wild has a locker room and training room to use at Xcel Energy Center, and an exercise bike or two. Nothing too elaborate, just because we’re not there that often.
Q: Hi, Ryan. This question is one my husband (Joe) asked me: I have heard that some NHL teams (like the New Jersey Devils) spend the night before a home game in a hotel. Why do teams do this and do the Wild practice this also? I assume this would be done in order to keep home life distractions to a minimum and make sure players were in and out of bed by a certain time.
Katie in Rochester, Minn.
A: Thanks for the question, Katie. It’s a good one! Most teams stay at hotels the night before a playoff game only. The Wild do it for the playoffs. Yes, it’s done to limit distractions, and also to keep closer tabs on players. I haven’t heard of teams regularly staying at hotels during the regular season on the night before home games.
Jan. 20, 2009
The Wild heads into the All-Star break on a down note, 5-2 losers tonight to L.A. Jacques Lemaire was frustrated with his teams energy, and also the massive amounts of turnovers in the first two periods.
Post-game notes are below. The R.S.S. Feed will go on hiatus until Monday, but please e-mail questions for next week to email@example.com.
LW Kyle Calder posted a goal and an assist and rookie D Drew Doughty added two assists, leading the Los Angeles Kings past the Minnesota Wild, 5-2, in front of 18,568 at Xcel Energy Center. D Marek Zidlicky had a goal and an assist, RW Owen Nolan added a goal, C Mikko Koivu supplied two helpers and G Niklas Backstrom made 22 saves for Minnesota, which next plays Tuesday, Jan, 27, at 7 p.m. against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Backstrom will represent the Wild at Sunday’s NHL All-Star Game.
D Marek Zidlicky scored a power-play goal and added an assist, giving him 200 career points (44-156=200) in 348 NHL games. Zidlicky’s goal was his ninth of the season – all on the power play. His nine power-play goals are a new team record for a defenseman, besting the eight that D Brent Burns had in 2007-08. Zidlicky ranks second among NHL defensemen in power-play goals, trailing only Washington’s Mike Green (10). Zidlicky leads Wild blueliners with 25 points (9-16=25) – and 18 of those (9-9=18) have come on the power play. His 18 power-play points are one off Burns’ team record by a blueliner from last season. The Wild fell to 5-2-0 this season when Zidlicky has a goal or at least two points. Zidlicky, who posted three points (2-1=3) last night in Chicago, has posted back-to-back multi-point games for the second time this season.
RW Owen Nolan scored his 392nd career goal in his 1,096th game. It marked his 146th career power-play goal – ninth among active players.
C Mikko Koivu posted two assists, giving him five points (1-4=5) in the last two games, and nine points (2-7=9) in the last six games. Koivu leads the Wild in goals (13), assists (33) and points (46). The Wild fell to 9-3-0 this season when Koivu has two or more points, and 24-7-3 all-time when Koivu has at least two points.
RW Andrew Brunette extended his consecutive games played streak to 499 games, the longest active streak in the NHL and the fourth-longest since 1993, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
G Niklas Backstrom allowed four goals on 26 shots in two periods. Backstrom fell to 2-3-0 with a no decision, a 4.09 GAA and a .882 SV% in six career appearances when playing the second of back-to-back nights.
The Wild fell to 2-6-0 in the second half of back-to-back games this season.
Minnesota went 2-for-3 on the power play, falling to 46-9-6 all-time at home and 71-18-11 overall when scoring two or more power-play goals in a game.
The Wild has lost back-to-back home games in regulation for the second time this season (Nov. 20-22). The team record is three straight home regulation losses. It has been done twice, the last time coming Jan. 9-16, 2006. With the 5-2 loss tonight, Minnesota has now lost back-to-back home games by at least three goals for the first time since Jan. 14 (4-1 to Calgary) and Jan. 16 (6-1 to Ottawa), 2006.
The Kings won in regulation at Xcel Energy Center for the first time since Feb. 10, 2004. The Wild had been 5-0-1 in the last six home meetings, including four straight wins.
Minnesota yielded three second-period goals. It marked the first three-goal period vs. the Wild since the second period, Jan. 10 against Columbus.
Josh Harding leads the Wild out for the third period and will play in goal.
A massive heavyweight bout at center ice between Derek Boogaard and Raitis Ivanans. I remember seeing these two guys go at it back in 2001 when Boogaard and I were with the Louisiana IceGators, and Ivanans played for the Baton Rouge Kingfish. Ivanans once played for one of my all-time favorite minor league teams, the Macon Whoopee.
One last chance for the Wild, which still trails two goals. Jarret Stoll goes for holding, setting up Minnesota's fourth power play. The Wild is 2-for-3.
Josh Harding makes one save - and defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron makes two - to stop the Kings' shorthanded 2-on-1.
Sorry, a lot going on here at Xcel Energy Center tonight. Had a couple contacts downstairs I had to see including Tim Dorway to plan our high school media day in February. Got to see two Kings goals, and a big PPG by Marek Zidlicky to get the Wild back within 3-2. Zidlicky's 200th career point, and his ninth PPG this season - a new team record for a defenseman.
And it's back to 4-2 Kings, as Derek Armstrong nets his third of the s eason.
Tempers flare late in the second. Alexander Frolov clocks Cal Clutterbuck, who swatted at a loose puck as Quick tried to cover it. Then, Jack Johnson and Marek Zidlicky briefly dropped the gloves. The Wild gets a power play out of it, thanks to Frolov's high sticking penalty.
End 2nd period
Without Zidlicky, who went off for roughing, the power play did not do much. Shots are 26-14 Kings through two.
The Wild with a good rush early. Back the other way, Mikko Koivu tried to throw a check along the boards at a King, and nearly got linemate Andrew Brunette instead.
The Wild going shorthanded, as Mikko Koivu goes for cross checking in the offensive zone. Koivu was frustrated after he got shoved hard into the boards by Peter Harrold. The Kings are the only team this season to score two PPG in a game versus the Wild.
James Sheppard has really picked up his game lately. Here, he goes coast-to-coast through three Kings, and Jonathan Quick recovers to stop Sheppard's wraparound. The Kings have yet to get a shot.
First shot for the Kings, a wrister from Jarret Stoll from the right circle. Backstrom thought he lost it under the arm, but he held on.
It's 1-0 Kings as Kyle Calder nets his fifth goal of the season. A bone-crushing hit by Jarret Stoll on Kim Johnsson creates the turnover, and Calder skates into the left circle, and with Kings captain Dustin Brown creating a screen, snaps a shot short side by Backstrom.
Wayne Simmonds gets called for hooking, and the Wild goes on its first power play. Two man advantage goals for the Wild last night - both by defenseman Marek Zidlicky. If he gets one tonight, he'll break the Wild's record for PPG by a blueliner in the team's 46th game.
Zidlicky doesn't get the goal, but he gets his 199th NHL point, an assist on Owen Nolan's 146th career PPG. That's ninth-most among active players. Nolan - where else - camped out in the slot, and he first tips Zidlicky's left point blast on net, and then puts his own rebound high over Quick for his 11th goal of the season. Mikko Koivu a fine play keeping the puck in the zone for his fourth point in the last two games (1-3=4).
It's the second offensive zone penalty on the Wild this far, as Colton Gillies gets whistled for high sticking. Jamie MacDonald of Wild.com reminds me the Kings' penalty was also in the offensive zone.
Jarret Stoll wishes he had that one back. Slapshot from the right circle on a cross ice pass on the power play, and he shot it right into Backstrom's glove.
End 1st period
It took awhile for the Kings to get going, but they end up outshooting the Wild 13-8, including four on that late power play. Teams tied 1-1 after 20 minutes.
Danny Irmen is skating in warm-ups, but it is believed he will be a scratch along with Erik Reitz. Craig Weller remains out with a head injury. Denis Gauthie, Tom Preissing and Erik Ersberg are out for the Kings.
It's Niklas Backstrom
against Jonathan Quick in goal. Backstrom is 2-2-0 with a no decision and a 3.77 GAA and a .888 SV% when playing the second of back-to-back games. Quick and back-up Jonathan Bernier have combined to play 18 NHL games. Regular starter Ersberg (35-game "vet") is out due to injury.
The Wild wearing the "road" whites tonight, while the Kings are in their "home" blacks with purple trim.
I meant to write earlier, I watched the actual inauguration today in the Wild player's lounge, with media relations guru Aaron Sickman, box office guru Jon Johansen and Mikko Koivu
. We heard what we could, but Josh Harding
had Barenaked Ladies' "If I Had a Million Dollars" song playing as the guys were getting ready to go on the ice. It was pretty funny.
12:15 p.m. CST
Krys Kolanos, Colton Gillies, Derek Boogaard, Kurtis Foster
, Erik Reitz and James Sheppard went on the ice this morning, along with Josh Harding
. Jacques Lemaire wasn't around, so there's no way to know tonight's lineup.
A couple of TV stations came to get some sound, particularly from Niklas Backstrom
and Danny Irmen.
Talk to you tonight from Seat 51. 10:30 a.m.
I’m about to head downstairs for the Kings skate, which today happens before the Wild pre-game skate. The home team, when playing the night before, has the option to practice at 10:30 or 11:30. With the team arriving shortly after midnight from Chicago, the Wild elected to take the extra hour rest. As it is, only five players are expected to participate this morning for Minnesota. I’ll be back with any news if it develops.
The Wild will have a five-day break for the All-Star Game, not practicing again until Monday afternoon, in advance of Tuesday’s game against Toronto.
Tonight, the Wild looks to win both ends of a back-to-back for the first time in more than a full season (Jan. 10, 2008, at Detroit, and the next night in Chicago). The Kings have been comfortable in their downtown St. Paul hotel for the last three nights.
Tonight’s press meal:
Wildside Tenderloin Chili
Caribbean Chicken with pineapple salsa
Carved beef tenderloin
tri color roasted potatoes