Jan. 3, 2009
Postgame, 10:15 p.m. CST
Coming to you from the cozy confines of Tom Reid's car, as Tom, Bob Kurtz and I head to the Wild's charter to Denver.
I didn't make it downstairs tonight after the game -- so we could get to the airport sooner. We'll have to de-ice tonight. We're scheduled to land at around midnight in Denver, and it will take some doing to get there. It may be closer to 12:30. And it's quite the trek (30 minutes at least to our hotel from the airport).
Marek Zidlicky and John Scott will both travel tonight. Zidlicky will get his own room because he's sick.
And that's all I have. We're just about to our hangar. We'll see if we skate tomorrow when we land. I'll be back around lunchtime with an update.3rd period
Holy cow things change quick! Wild gets a goal from Owen Nolan on the power play, and then Antti Miettinen's first goal in 10 games to take a 2-1 lead. This place is going nuts!
I'll be back if there's more news, but I'm hard at work on post-game notes and getting final things in order for the trip tonight.
There goes the Wild's chance at playing its third penalty free game in team history, as Craig Weller goes off for high-sticking. Detroit's power play is 33.3 percent on the road. That's 1-in-3!!!
It will be back-to-back penalty kills. Josh Harding
, getting hammered in front, gets called for slashing Tomas Holmstrom.
Johan Franzen knocks the puck in the net off a rebound off the back boards by Niklas Lidstrom, but referee Brad Meier correctly rules the puck was played with a (very) high stick. They'll call Toronto about this, but I'll fall over in a dead faint if they reverse it. Goal overturne, and not many people here understand it. Post-game notes are in a state of flux. Which isn't good because we have a plane to catch. I'll be back with something from the airport.
An early second period power play goes for naught.
The Wild is all over the Red Wings this period, outshooting them 8-1, but thus far hasn't been able to find the net. I just checked a special website, and our plane is just minutes from arriving. That's good news. I expect a call soon from Jane, our lead flight attendant for tonight through Monday's flight to Boston.
A lot of people will see a 1-0 game and say "boring," but this is a thing of beauty so far. The Wild is skating right with Detroit thus far, and there aren't a lot of other NHL teams that can say that.
Johan Franzen clobbers Mikko Koivu
after the Wild's captain lets loose on a shot. Cal Clutterbuck
went after Franzen before cooler heads prevail. I'd like point out that it's only 8:17, and the second period is almost over.
The Wild is still outshooting the Wings, 19-17. Just how big is that? Detroit has been outshot just three times all season.
Fourth-liners Colton Gillies and Craig Weller both with great chances to get the Wild even after a nice pass from Krys Kolanos. Osgood made a nifty save on Gillies' rip from the left doorstep, and then covered up with Weller whacking away at the rebound.
A slashing call to Daniel Cleary, and the Wild with a late power play, which begins with Belanger between Sheppard and Kolanos. Bouchard and Burns to man the points.
Fifty-one seconds of 5-on-3, spanning both periods, with a delay of game call to Andreas Lilja. The Team of 18,000 is on its feet.
End 2nd period
Another 31 seconds of 5-on-3, and 1:40 of power play time, to try to get this thing even to begin the third. The Wild is outshooting the Wings 24-19 now. Minnesota has outshot Detroit just three times in 28 all-time meetings.
New Hobey Baker Committee Chairman Lance Madson just led us in Let's Play Hockey. Veilleux, Belanger and Miettinen draw the early assignment opposite Franzen, Datsyuk and Holmstrom. Of course the Red Wings also have guys named Zetterberg, Hossa and Hudler.
After a couple good early chances by the Wings, including a breakaway by Henrik Zetterberg, Pierre-Marc Bouchard
scoots out from behind the net and nearly scores.
The Wild is outshooting the Red Wings 5-4 in the early going.
The Wild just kept Detroit pinned in their zone for more than a minute, thanks to Krys Kolanos, Stephane Veilleux
and Owen Nolan.
Multitasking, I just chatted with Nick, our trusty bus driver in Denver year after year. He's all set to pick us up tonight at 11:55. Hopefully it'll be that early. Some snow (that started as freezing rain) coming down now. Our plane is due to arrive from Denver at 8 p.m. That's actually good, because it means it won't have been sitting in the ice/snow most of the day. We'll have to de-ice anyways. With tomorrow's 6 p.m. (local time...7 p.m. in Twin Cities) start, there isn't likely to be much of a morning skate tomorrow at Pepsi Center.
A terrific drive to the net through the right side by Cal Clutterbuck
, getting hauled down in the process, but no call was made.
Detroit takes a 1-0 lead on Mikael Samuelsson's ninth of the season, after one of the Wild's stronger first periods of late. Andrew Brunette turned the puck over at the Detroit blueline, and Henrik Zetterberg raced up ice. Zetterberg lost control of the puck for a moment, chased it down in the corner, and while walking towards the net he fed a perfect pass to a cutting Samuelsson, who ripped the puck past Harding.
End 1st period
The Wild controlled play for six or seven minutes in the middle of the stanza, but trail 1-0. Detroit kept the Wild in its own zone for essentially the last five minutes of the first. Shots 11-8 in favor of the Red Wings.
The laundry is done, the clothes are packed and my bags are in Tom Reid's car for the trip to the airport tonight. My car wouldn't start after a one-day trip in December, it's not going to sit out for a week-plus.
Marek Zidlicky will miss tonight's game due to illness, meaning 6-foot-8 (probably closer to 6-foot-8 1/2) "Big" John Scott" will make his NHL debut tonight against the defending Stanley Cup champs. Scott no doubt watched plenty of Red Wings games during his time at Michigan Tech.Josh Harding
will start tonight for the Wild, opposite Chris Osgood, who has missed the last seven games due to injury. It's his first appearance since Dec. 15. Derek Boogaard and Benoit Pouliot are scratched tonight. For Detroit, Chris Chelios and Brett Lebda are out.
Friday, 11:45 p.m. CST
(Aaron Sickman reporting)
Good morning from the Xcel Energy Center. Everyone but Kim Johnsson and Jacques Lemaire were on the ice this morning for the Wild’s optional practice.
Marek Zidlicky skated with the team today, but Lemaire was not ready to proclaim him ready for tonight’s game. As is normally the case, the final decision on who is and isn’t playing will be made closer to game time tonight.
There was a new face on the ice this morning, too, as John Scott was recalled from Houston last night. Scott has not appeared in an NHL game during his career and Lemaire told media after the skate that he would probably wait a few days before playing him. Josh Harding
appears to be the starting goaltender tonight as he worked with the defensemen in practice while Niklas Backstrom
was also one of the last players off the ice this morning, along with Colton Gillies and Benoit Pouliot. MEDIA NOTES
Be sure to tune in tonight’s game starting at 6:30 p.m. on KSTC-TV for the debut of Minnesota Wild country. The special 30-minute pregame show will include a live interview with Wild President/General Manager Doug Risebrough. Tonight’s game will also be telecast in HD.
Fox Sports North interviewed Marian Gaborik this morning. The interview will air tomorrow night. FS North also interviewed Mike Ramsey and his daughter for a feature to air during Hockey Day Minnesota coverage Jan. 17.