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Nov. 8, 2008
Headed back to hotel on the bus. A shame to lose one of the best games the Wild played all year. Roberto Luongo was outstanding. So too was Niklas Backstrom
Jacques Lemaire took a couple licks at the Vancouver media after, mentioning how hard it was to score with five Vancouver players at the blueline. "They say we trap," Lemaire said (paraphrasing). He also said what a great game it was to watch, and maybe they should go get some worse goalies if they want 7 goals a game.
We'll take an 8:15 bus to airport in the morning and be home around 3:00. I'm on my last suit, my last shirt, my last pair of socks, so it must be time to go.
Team likely has sunday off, and I'm likely to have Monday off. I'm sure someone at Wild.com will update you Monday.
End of the 2nd
The Wild largely outplayed Vancouver in the second period, but Roberto Luongo has been magnificent. With seven minutes left, he somehow kicked his left skate out to block Pierre-Marc Bouchard
's rebound of a deflection. Luongo also stopped Andrew Brunette on a breakaway, before finally sliding post-to-post to rob Bouchard again in the waning seconds.
I got Colton Gillies for Hockey Night in Canada, and Team 1040 talked to Bouchard.
Regardless of the outcome, a good trip for the Wild playing without three of its top players all four games. However, five or six points would taste much better than four.
End of the 1st
Tonight's game is sponsored in Vancouver my Mexico tourism industry, and in the first period they even gave away a trip to Mexico. There's a mariachi band playing behing Roberto Luongo, although the mic didn't work so we couldn't hear them.
The mic is back...wondering if we can turn the band off now.
The Wild down a goal after one after taking three minor penalties. Niklas Backstrom
was outstanding, and was helped out by a shot that hit the pipe.
Minnesota will have 1:54 of a power play to begin the second period.
Kevin Gorg interviewed Colton Gillies, who with skates may have been a foot taller. Quipped Gorg prior to camera rolling: "I should have brought a milk crate to stand on."
Be back after two
6:15 pm Pacific Time
Nov. 8, 2008
Minnesota at Vacouver
9 p.m. CDT
-- Broadcast info --
Wild Live | 8:30 p.m. CDT
* Game preview
-- GAME NOTES --
MINNESOTA WILD VS VANCOUVER
All-Time Wild Record: 21-13-11
* 12-7-4 at Xcel Energy Center
* 9-6-7 at Vancouver
* 2-1-1 at Xcel Energy Center
* 3-1-0 at Vancouver
* WILD CAREER LEADERS: Andrew Brunette has notched 46 points (14-32=46) in 48 contests against Vancouver…Owen Nolan has tallied 36 points (17-19=36) in 52 games…Marian Gaborik has recorded 30 points (17-13=30) in 35 matches.
* WILD GOALIES: Niklas Backstrom was 5-0-1 with a 2.02 GAA, a .931 SV% and one shutout in six starts last season and is 7-1-3 with a 2.03 GAA and a .928 SV% in 12 lifetime appearances Vancouver (10 starts)…Josh Harding lost both starts against the Canucks last season stopping 30 of 37 shots faced.
* CANUCKS CAREER LEADERS: Henrik Sedin has tallied 28 points (5-23=28) in 44 games against Minnesota…Daniel Sedin has recorded 27 points (9-18=27) in 42 contests…Pavol Demitra has scored 10 points (5-5=10) in 14 games.
* CANUCKS GOALIES: Robert Luongo was 2-4-1 with a 2.87 GAA and a .886 SV% in seven starts last season and is 6-11-4 with a 2.94 GAA, a .892 SV%(tied with Colorado for worst career SV% against any NHL opponent) and one shutout in 21 career starts against Minnesota … Curtis Sanford is 3-2-0 with a 2.63 GAA, a .905 SV% and one shutout seven career appearances against the Wild.
* CONNECTIONS: Willie Mitchell spent parts of five seasons with Minnesota (2001-06)…Pavol Demitra skated with the Wild the last two seasons (2006-08).
I'm all set with my "poppy" for Remembrance Day, although there were some anxious moments when I stuck the pin in my chest. But I'm better now.
No wireless inside GM Place, and I'm having issues with getting hardwired, so we'll go with once a period updates tonight, posted by Wild.com's Travis Brillowski.
This is a unique building in that the press box is actually on the same side as the players benches and locker rooms. Much less walking for me, which is ok because between last night and this afternoon, I've put seven hours of walking around downtown Vancouver on my feet.
Colton Gillies is here, it remains to be seen if he's playing or not. Twenty-one tickets for the young man tonight.
I'm about to escort the Hockey Night in Canada camera into the locker room for the alotted 60 seconds, and then I'll join FS North's Kevin Gorg on the bench for his interview with Pierre-Marc Bouchard
and Benoit Pouliot.
I'll be back after first period.
11 a.m. Pacific
A note before the onslaught of Vancouver media hits the locker room after the skate. Roberto Luongo and the Canucks have two straight shutouts. Tonight's game is nationally televised in Canada as part of Hockey Night in Canada. It's also on in the Twin Cities on FS North.
My wireless card doesn't work in Canada, and there's no wireless at GM Place. I'm going to try to find a cord to hardwire tonight, or else you won't be hearing from me in game.
The biggest question from many local media tonight appears to be does Colton Gillies play after being scratched the other night in Denver. Kyle Turris, another local kid, sat in the press box for Phoenix here two nights ago, with 100 people in attendance. Gillies bought 21 tickets for tonight and had dinner with his parents last night at a local fishhouse.
After the skate yesterday the guys who skated changed at GM Place. Mario Tremblay, Bob Mason and I talked with the caterer for Trans Siberian Orchestra, which played here last night -- 75 shows in 11 weeks. Three weeks in, they haven't repeated a meal. That's amazing. Some places they can't cook in the building, instead in a tent in the parking lot. Yesterday's offering was champagne salmon and pork tenderloin.
As for me, I walked around downtown Vancouver for four hours last night, using the free hotel umbrella before it broke. Tom Lynn's broke too.
This afternoon, I'll call the folks who will help is get through customs tomorrow. We'll all be in a hurry since it's been 10 days on the road. I'll remind the guys tonight not to have liquids in their carryons. When coming back from Canada, we go through security at the main terminal. I'll also fill out the flight info on the customs forms which Amber gave me on the flight Thursday.
One last thing...the Olympics are here in 15 months and there's still a lot of work to do. We saw the Olympic Village being built on our way back from practice yesterday. They're still expanding roads. Many parts of downtown are impassible due to construction cones.
OK, the Wild about to hit the ice. I'm going to send our ticket list and watch the skate. Pavol Demitra back on the ice for the Canucks this morning, but he's not ready to play yet due to a rib injury.