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The R.S.S. Feed: Nov. 26, 2008

by Ryan Stanzel / Minnesota Wild
-- NEWS --


Tonight's game can be heard in the Twin Cities on KBGY 107.5 FM and BOB 106.1 FM.

-- WILD TV --
Jacques discusses the challenges that tonights opponent, the Dallas Stars, bring to the table

* J. Sheppard
After scoring Monday, Shep is less interested in looking back on his goal than he is in building on it. He also reveals his Thanksgiving plans

* K. Foster
Fozzie skated with the team for a bit Wednesday morning, taking another giant step along a very long road to recovery

* Game Preview
Dan Terhaar and Mike Greenlay break down tonights game vs the Dallas Stars

-- W
* PONDcast Preview
Wild Radio's Kevin Falness will have the thoughts of Jacques and others after the skate

-- WILD vs. DALLAS --
All-Time Wild Record: 10-15-4
     * 7-6-1 at Xcel Energy Center
     * 3-9-3 at Dallas

Dallas won the first game this season 4-2 at American Airlines Center (10/29)…Marc-Andre Bergeron and Andrew Brunette scored for Minnesota and Kim Johnsson recorded two assists…Niklas Backstrom suffered the loss allowing three goals on 13 shots…Brad Richards (1-1=2) and Sean Avery (0-2=2) tallied two points each for Dallas…Brenden Morrow, Matt Niskanen and Steve Ott also scored and Tobias Stephen made 19 saves.

WILD CAREER LEADERS: Owen Nolan has tallied 29 points (14-15=29) and 91 PIM in 53 games against Dallas…Andrew Brunette owns 27 points (11-16=27) 33 contests…Marian Gaborik has recorded 25 points (12-13=25) in 26 games.

WILD GOALIES: Niklas Backstrom is 2-4-2 with a 2.56 GAA and a .906 SV% in eight games (7 starts) against Dallas…Josh Harding is 0-1-0 with a 5.45 GAA and a .830 SV% in two contests (one start).

STARS CAREER LEADERS: Mike Modano has recorded 24 points (7-17=24) in 28 games against the Wild…Sergei Zubov has collected 17 points (3-14=17) in 24 contests…Brenden Morrow has recorded 15 points (7-8=15) in 25 matches…Jere Lehtinen has tallied 13 points (7-6=13) in 22 games…Mike Ribeiro has notched 12 points (2-10=12) in 13 contests.

STARS GOALIES: Marty Turco is 11-4-1 with a 1.96 GAA, a .909 SV% and one shutout in 19 matches (18 starts) against Minnesota…Tobias Stephen is 1-0-0 with a 2.00 GAA and a .905 SV% in one start.

CONNECTIONS: Mark Parrish is a native of Bloomington, Minn. and spent two seasons with the Wild (2006-08)… Matt Niskanen (Virginia) and Toby Peterson (Minneapolis) are Minnesota natives...Antti Miettinen played in 238 games during four seasons with Dallas (2003-08)...Martin Skoula appeared in 61 contests with the Stars in 2005-06.
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Nov. 26, 2008

Post-game Wrap-up
This will be quick, because I've got probably another 90 minutes of work in front of me, so I don't have to do notes for Friday, tomorrow. Jacques Lemaire was unhappy with - among other things - the delay on Mikko Koivu's first called off goal. He also thought Marty Turco purposefully pushed the net off the moorings prior to Koivu's second called off goal.
Post-game notes are below.

LW James Neal scored twice, and LW Loui Eriksson scored the game-winner with seven minutes remaining, as the Dallas Stars rallied from two goals down for a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars in front of 18,568 at Xcel Energy Center.

C Eric Belanger tallied a goal and an assist, RW Owen Nolan and LW Andrew Brunette each scored and G Niklas Backstrom made 26 saves for the Wild, which fell to 1-3-0 on a five-game homestand. Minnesota plays host to Tampa Bay Friday at 1 p.m.

The Wild fell to 66-5-2 when scoring three or more goals at home, since the beginning of the 2005-06 season. The last loss came 4-3 on Nov. 4, 2006, against Nashville. The Wild had not lost a game overall when scoring three or more since March 24, 2008, a 5-3 loss at Edmonton.

C Eric Belanger notched a goal and an assist. He scored his 98th NHL goal in his 498th NHL game. The Wild fell to 13-3-1 in the last two seasons when Belanger scores, including a 10-1-1 mark in the last 12 occasions. Minnesota lost for the first time (9-1-0) in two seasons when Belanger has two or more points. Belanger’s goal came 1:08 after Dallas LW James Neal scored the first of his two goals, the Wild’s fastest answer to an opponent’s goal this season.

LW Stephane Veilleux played in his 300th NHL game – all with the Wild. He became just the eighth player in team history to play in 300 games.

RW Owen Nolan scored his 140th career power play goal – ninth-most among active NHL’ers. Colorado C Joe Sakic leads the way with 205 PPG, entering play tonight.

LW Andrew Brunette scored his seventh goal of the season to take the team lead. It marked his 32nd all-time goal at Xcel Energy Center, moving him into fifth place on the all-time list.

D Martin Skoula recorded his first point of the season – an assist. Skoula’s point was his first in 25 games, dating back to March 24 at Edmonton.

D/RW Brent Burns had one assist, giving him 98 career points (30-68=98). He’ll become just the 13th player in team history to record 100 points. Burns skated in his 283rd game with the Wild, tying Jim Dowd for 10th place on the team’s all-time list.

The Wild surrendered a two-goal lead at home for the second time this season, the other coming in a 3-2 overtime loss to Buffalo Oct. 23.

The Wild scored two goals in the first period, just the second time this season (and the first time at home) that Minnesota has scored more than one goal in the opening 20 minutes.

Dallas has scored the first goal in five of the last six meetings with the Wild.

Minnesota fell to 2-8-3 in the last 13 meetings with Dallas, with one of the two wins coming in regulation.

The Wild has played six straight one-goal games (3-3-0).

3rd period
The Wild has played five straight one goal games, and its eight one-goal wins are just one off Detroit's NHL lead. Another tight game tonight, with a thrilling 20 minutes no doubt left with Wild up 3-2.

Play so far is heavily concentrated in the Wild end.


The Wild's first chance of the period is a dandy, as Benoit Pouliot takes a headman pass and rips a shot from just inside the left circle. Turco sticks his left pad out to make the save and covers up.


Seconds after Mikko Koivu gets robbed by a deflection from a backchecking Stephane Robidas, he appears to score, again. But the net was off its moorings - correct call, but not popular with the Wild fans. The net came off its moorings seconds before with Marty Turco stumbling in front of the net.


Eric Belanger, bidding for a second goal, dekes Marty Turco out of the net but fires wide from a bad angle along the goal line.


James Neal has two goals for the Stars, and he just saved a third. Marty Turco lost sight of the puck - twice - and it rolled along the goal line but never crossed, as Neal poked it into the corner.

I was afraid we were coming to this point. Game is tied 3-3. After all those Wild chances, Brad Richards gets his sixth goal of the season. He had all the time in the world - approximately four seconds I counted - to survey the lay of the land in the right circle before firing a shot over Backstrom's blocker.


Backstrom with a great save on a streaking Mike Ribeiro. Sergei Zubov then has a shot deflected over the crossbar. Super busy here at seat 51. I'm without my proofreader and "notes-sender-outer" Dewayne from our marketing department. So I'll likely be late down stairs to begin with post-game, especially if this game goes extra time.

But we're going to need a Wild rally for that to happen. Loui Eriksson, camped out in front, deflects a Stephane Robidas pass by Backstrom for his team-leading 10th of the season.

The Wild will play the next two minutes shorthanded thanks to a slashing call to Brent Burns. It's looking bleak for the Wild, which hasn't lost in regulation at home when scoring three goals in more than two seasons.

End of game

No last minute heroics for the Wild, despite Mikko Koivu with a point blank shot and then Brent Burns hitting the post in the final 15 seconds. I'll be back with post-game notes

2nd period

You knew I would, and I did. I had some chips and queso, I admit it. And we're happy to report, Marek Zidlicky is back out for the start of the second period. Second period underway.

And it's 3-1 Wild early on in the second, as Martin Skoula floats a shot from along the left boards through traffic and by a screened Turco. There were no fewer than four bodies in the way of that shot. It's Skoula's first goal in 36 games dating back to March 2 vs. Los Angeles.


There haven't been many dance partners for Derek Boogaard this season, but he just found one in Krys Barch. Boogaard landed a hit on Stephane Robidas behind the net, and Barch took offense to it. The pair talked behind the net while play continued up ice, before finally dropping the gloves. The Stars nearly scored on the other end before the whistle blew. Boogaard gets a penalty, but after the fact. The nearest referee didn't originally make the call. Looking at the replay, it was probably the right call. The Stars go on the power play.


Landon Wilson, a minor league veteran playing with the Stars, hits Marc-Andre Bergeron hard into the boards, but clean. Wilson is the son of Stars associate coach Rick Wilson.


Wild goes on its second power play after a minor to Toby Petersen. Owen Nolan has the Wild's PPG tonight, his 140th PPG of his career. That's ninth most among active players. Nolan takes the faceoff on this power play, which features five forwards (Burns, Brunette, Koivu and Bouchard).

And that didn't take long, although this one will be reviewed. Mikko Koivu scores, but they'll go upstairs to check and see if it caught the pipe or the net. Initial replays appear to show it's a goal. But from the overhead, we're not so sure. Is it 4-1 or not?

We're still wondering...Delay going on about seven minutes right now. Players getting antsy, skating around a bit. It's no goal. The Team of 18,000 is not happy. But hard to argue - other than the facat the referee called it a goal and pointed to the goal emphatically at least four or five times.


And the Skoula goal now belongs to Andrew Brunette, who now leads the team with seven. My head is spinning. Let's review. It's 3-1 Wild behind goals from Belanger, Nolan and Brunette.


A nice defensive play by Marc-Andre Bergeron, deflecting a puck wide into the corner as a Star made a back cut towards the net.


Pierre-Marc Bouchard with a couple of great chances in front, but Marty Turco makes a pair of saves.


Some great e-mails tonight from people in the State of Hockey and beyond. Thanks to Howard in Minnesota and Jennifer from UND for checking in!


The Wild go on the power play after a holding call to Nicklas Grossman, who mugged Mikko Koivu as he cut to the net.

Mikko Koivu with a tremendous set up of Marc-Andre Bergeron with a cross ice pass, but Turco makes the save on Bergeron's point-blank shot from the low right circle.

And just like that...the Stars get within one. James Neal gets his second of the game, crashing the net and putting a bouncing rebound past Backstrom. It's 3-2 Wild.


The Stars go on the power play with a chance to tie things up, as Benoit Pouliot goes off for roughing.


Niklas Backstrom with maybe a game saving stop on former Wild winger Mark Parrish, who wound and fired from about 10 feet out.

End 2nd period
The Wild will have six seconds to kill off to begin the third. They talk about the Wild and Stars being boring teams to watch, but anyong seeing this game tonight knows that's clearly not the case. We should be in for an exciting third period.

1st period

We're underway after a rousing rendition of "Let's Play Hockey" from John Goheen, son of the legendary Hockey Hall of Famer Moose Goheen, who is featured on tonight's State of Hockey giveaway mug - the first of five mugs this season. Mike Ribeiro wins the faceoff from Mikko Koivu.


Stephane Robidas runs Mikko Koivu into the boards, but like happens so many times against Koivu, Robidas is the guy falling backwards. Shots 1-1 in the early going.


I've been handed one of the aforementioned mugs. Doc Romnes, Mike Modano, Moose Goheen and Mikko Koivu tonight. Not a bad foursome.


Mikko Koivu rings a shot off the post from along the boards. Not bad precision from 50 feet away.


Brent Burns takes a blind shot through traffic from the mid slot, shocking Marty Turco, who happened to be in the right position to make the save.

The Wild fail to clear the puck out of the zone, and James Neal sneaks into the left circle, takes a pass from Loui Eriksson and puts the puck under Niklas Backstrom for his fourth goal of the season. It's 1-0 Stars, who have scored first in five of the last six meetings with the Wild.

The Wild got a pretty rebound goal from Eric Belanger about a minute ago, and now go on the power play with a Landon Wilson penalty. Belanger took a Brent Burns rebound in the right circle and ripped the puck in and out of the net in a hurry for his third goal of the season - 98th of his career. The Wild is 13-2-1 when Belanger has a goal, including 10-0-1 in his last 11 games. Game tied at 1-1, with the Wild's power play going on the attack.

Burns, playing the point on the power play, with a quick one-timer, but Turco makes the save.

The Wild got Owen Nolan to camp out in front of the net and score goals, especially on the power play, and that he does with goal No. 2 of the season. Mikko Koivu, in the right circle, feeds Owen, who is camped out in front of the net. While getting wrestled to the ground, Nolan pops the puck by Turco. Antti Miettinen also with an assist. It's 2-1 Wild.


You don't see a penalty called for a "faceoff violation" very often, but that's what happens here. We're assuming it was for a Brent Burns slash...but no one remembers seeing one of these before. And that's after we had three "closing the hand on the puck" penalties on Monday. Stars go on their first power play. Wild still No. 1 with a 90.4 percent PK rate.


NHL badboy Steve Avery gets tied up with Niklas Backstrom, and falls to the ground, wanting a penalty. Wild fans love it.


Mike Russo of the Star Tribune reports that if a team has two centers kicked out of a faceoff, it's a "faceoff violation" and a penalty. You sure don't see it very often. FOrtunately, it didn't hurt the Wild.


Marek Zidlicky no longer on the Wild bench. We'll try to get an update.

End 1st Period

The Wild came out a bit slow but recovered nicely after allowing the game's first goal. The second period is usually the Wild's best, so that bodes well for Minnesota. It's 2-1 Wild, after one.

Pre-Game Warm-ups
It looks as though Doug Janik is out for the Stars. Virginia, Minn., native and former UMD Bulldog Matt Niskanen will draw into the lineup after being a healthy scratch the last two games. I ran into Niskanen on a Wells Fargo Minnesota Wild Road Tour stop in Northern Minnesota this summer. Steve Ott and Jere Lehtinen are both out and injured, joining captain Brenden Morrow (who's out for the season) and Joel Lundqvist.

The Wild will go with the same lineup as last game, with Craig Weller and Colton Gillies out.

I figure that since I started eating solid food, I've had somewhere in the vicinity of 10,600 dinners. And tonight, loyal RSS Feed readers, may have been the best. No - it was the best. Tortilla soup was great, especially with some shredded cheese. The prime rib was rare but not too rare, the horseradish sauce outstanding. The jalapeno mashed potatoes, I should have had more. And the apple/cherry cobbler with ice cream a perfect way to finish it off. I've vowed to stay away from the popcorn and pretzels in the Al Shaver Press Box tonight. We'll see how that goes.

Adam Sandler making a cameo on King of Queens, which precedes the Wild broadcast tonight on KSTC-TV Channel 45.

I also managed to order a 40 percent off New York Giants replica jersey for the big Giants/Vikings game set for Dec. 28. I went with Eli Manning home jersey. I wanted Brandon Jacobs, but they were sold out.

Quick e-mail from JR in St. Paul. You can get in on the action tonight if you'd like - e-mail to

Q: Ryan:

Thanks for taking the time to do the blog. Certainly is a great connection to the team. Couple of questions for you…

Are the Wild the only team that puts up things like the press conferences, post-morning-skate media scrums w/Jacques, etc. I looked at a couple other teams and didn’t see any content like this?

If the Wild is the only team doing so, hats off to you guys. Helps connect the fans to the teams and to the game. It sure is fun seeing Jacques during the scrums as well as after each of the games. Also, it is fun to see the players and their different personalities. So, again, thanks.

Also, during your staff games, how is Eddie Souter? Does he have any trouble getting by anyone? I know that when he skates with us on Sunday nights he does have some trouble getting around a couple defensemen.
Let us know. 

JR from Saint Paul

A: Thanks for the note, JR, and thanks for some good info on Ed Souter. I miss Ed, our cubes used to be adjoining, but he's on the high class side of the office now. Jamie MacDonald of reports that Ed is "pretty good" - which probably means that your Sunday night league is head and shoulders above Wild employee hockey.

As far as goes...I think a couple other teams do a lot of video content. Both Jamie and Travis Brillowski pride themselves in content, and particularly the video. Travis, I'd say, on average, puts 3 to 3 1/2 hours packaging that all together after a morning skate to post online. While the rest of us are eating lunch, playing hockey, etc. Jamie is always here way later than us too post-game, putting together the front of to look good.

A couple teams, like the Caps, regularly travel "dot-com" types. Washington had two guys with them on this last road trip. Buffalo does similar, but it's tied in with MSG Network.

Thanks for the kind words on the efforts of our web guys. We are still playing shorthanded on for a little bit, so that's why you are stuck with me from time to time as well.
3:45 p.m. CST

Just checking in after a busy afternoon, full of getting things ready for Friday, Saturday, Monday, Wednesday and next Friday, Saturday. Then, alas, four days without a game. Aaron Sickman will be with the team out west while I’m in New York to see my family for “pre Christmas.”

I somehow neglected to mention a funny story from this morning’s pre-game skate. I was in the room where Jacques was talking to eight or so members of the media, and I was just standing there, when all of a sudden my water bottle literally flew out of my hands and landed a couple feet away from me. The top wasn’t all the way on either, so I spilled half a bottle on the rug. I mean, how does that happen? Although I do it a lot. Kevin Falness was the only one who noticed me. He and I both had a hard time concentrating through the remainder of Jacques’ time with the media.

Also, Nick Schultz will soon be featured in the NHL Network’s “Day in the Life” series. They will tape him all day next Friday, Dec. 5. We’ll make sure we let you know when the episode will air. They’ll have Schultz mic’d up for the game, they’ll ride with him to the game in his car, etc. We’re really happy Nick decided to participate. It’s certainly a bit of an intrusion, but it’s part of the NHL trying to get its fans closer and closer to the players and the action.

11:45 a.m.

No Wild home game yesterday ... so there must be a game today, right? Right!

The Stars are in town for a 7 p.m. matchup. Was able to say hi to old friend Mark Parrish this morning. He said his wife and baby are soon flying to Dallas to join him, while his dad and a friend drive the cars down.

Jacques Lemaire told the media that no matter how much the Stars (six wins) are struggling, they always play well against the Wild.

It was an optional pre-game skate. Owen Nolan and Kim Johnsson didn’t skate. You know who did skate with the team, though? Kurtis Foster. He didn’t participate in everything, but told Aaron Sickman and me that Mario Tremblay convinced him to stick around after he was done skating on his own for an hour. Wild TV and the PONDcast will have both audio and video interviews with Foster this afternoon.

There don’t appear to be any lineup changes for the Wild. It will be interesting to see who starts in goal for Dallas.

Marty Turco has a sub-2.00 GAA in his career against the Wild, but Tobias Stephan earned his first NHL win against Minnesota in a 4-2 win Oct. 29 at American Airlines Center. The Stars are without Brenden Morrow, Steve Ott and Jere Lehtinen, among others. They do feature Chris Conner, who is generously listed at 5-foot-8, 180 pounds.

The interesting thing about Connor? He was “Big” John Scott’s roommate at Michigan Tech. Scott is, of course, 12 ½ inches taller than Conner. It must have looked like a shadow was following him around.

I’ll be trying to get ahead on Friday notes, so no one has to spend very long working tomorrow. I will probably update notes after the game tonight.

Last year, I worked 7 ½ hours on Thanksgiving Day, as the day the Wild picked up Todd Fedoruk, and sent down Aaron Voros only to recall him an hour later as he was waiting for a cab to the airport. I wish I had a blog back then -- that was a crazy day.

The Wild also play Saturday, so the excitement of Friday’s game being over at 3:30 is slightly tempered by doing game notes for Saturday.

That’s it for this morning, Wild fans. I’ll talk to you from the press box tonight, before or after I eat the following feast:

Tortilla soup
Spice rubbed and smoked prime rib
Shrimp fajitas
Four cheese jalapeno mashed potatoes
Spanish rice
Apple cobbler with ice cream
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