Lots of news and notes out of this one. Nice to see the offense explode around Marian Gaborik, who netted four points, including two goals. Two big days off before another back-to-back, this one in Calgary and Edmonton.
The rest of the news will have to wait, as we're nearing Republic Airport in Farmingdale.
The Islanders Ice Girls just presented the colors. Wild starts Nolan/Fritsche/Miettinen up front, and Johnsson/Zidlicky on the blueline. For the Islanders, Yann Danis is in net. It's a tight squeeze in the press box, I'll do my best with updates.
An early power play for the Islanders, after Marek Zidlicky couldn't find the puck in his skates at the blueline, causing a backchecking Eric Belanger to pick up a hooking minor.
The penalty expires, and Joel "The Wrecker" Rechliz drops the gloves with fellow rookie John Scott. Scott has the length on him, and wins the bout because of the long arms. They went at it for about a minute. Scott's jersey has been taken to the room for repairs.
Nate Thompson crushes Pierre-Marc Bouchard
into the boards. Butch is slow to get up, and Stephane Veilleux
accosts Thompson at the whistle. Cooler heads prevail.
The hit inspires the Isles, who score off the faceoff. With Mike Iggulden providing a screen in front, Bruno Gervais fires a wrister by Backstrom, and it's 1-0 New York.
The Wild tie things up on Marian Gaborik's second goal in as many games (his fifth of the season), this one a tap-in from the near post after Zidlicky found him in front from the right corner.
Minnesota takes the lead on the power play when Antti Miettinen sneaks a one-timer from close range past Danis on the power play.
A busy intermission, as legendary Stan Fischler of MSG interviewed Owen Nolan, while FS North went with new NHL hits record-holder Cal Clutterbuck
. They came off the ice right after each other so I just yelled their names, and sent one in each direction. The interviews take place pretty much side-by-side here.
A good second period by the Wild. This game leaves you thinking "What if?" Gaborik was healthy all year. But he's healthy for the final 10, and you hope this is the type of game that can propel the Wild moving forward. But it's not over yet. A big 20 minutes left.
I've received an e-mail from Cookie, our flight attendant. The plane has arrived in Farmingdale so I'm happy about that. Paid for pizza, as well as beverages for the coaches ($160).
Only one lineup change from last night, as John Scott draws in for Kurtis Foster
. Who is fine, by the way, after taking a tumble into the boards (and then a skate near the head from the referee).
It's an interesting setup in the press box here. We were assigned seats in the second row, with elementary school type fold-up desktops. That's where Kurtis Foster
and Craig Weller are currently sitting. Weller has a pen in his hand, and I want to ask him what he got on the pop quiz. Also to our left, Wild President/GM Doug Risebrough is on the headset with Bob Kurtz, doing color commentary for tonight's game. Eerie scenes all over the place. Right behind me, is a blown up newspaper article commemorating Pat LaFontaine's fourth overtime goal in the playoffs against Washington, whose goalie was current Wild goalie coach Bob Mason.
Our plane is en route to Farmingdale, where we will fly out of tonight. Much closer and easier than any of the major metropolitan airports. We are due in back at MSP around 12:30. The time change helps. The Wild is scheduled to skate at 1 p.m. at Xcel Energy Center tomorrow.
Wednesday, 11:45 a.m. EDT
Ten Wild players just wrapped up an optional morning skate at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Everyone came to the rink, but not everyone stayed. Jacques likes having guys go to the rink to make sure they don't sleep the day away. Got to get the legs moving.
We tried to get on the ice a bit early, but it's a brand new sheet of ice here that was still setting. The circus recently wrapped up here so they took the ice out. We'll see how the ice is tonight. The Islanders didn't skate here this morning.
Because it was an optional, it's hard to know tonight's lineup. Josh Harding
was the only goalie on the ice this morning.
It was smooth sailing getting here last night. It was weird checking into a hotel before 2 a.m. We got here at 11.Cal Clutterbuck
has a new fan - my mom, who got her picture taken with him after the game last night.