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The R.S.S. Feed: Oct. 29, 2008

by Ryan Stanzel / Minnesota Wild
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Oct. 29, 2008

Dallas rookie goalie Tobias Stephan gets his first career win, making 19 saves in a 4-2 win. It started early, with Brendan Morrow scoring just 13 seconds in - the fastest goal ever against the Wild to open a game. Minnesota gets a goal from Andrew Brunette and Marc-Andre Bergeron but a late rally comes up short. Aaron Sickman should have the Wild on a bus by 10:35 heading for the airport.They will screen at the arena tonight to save time (they don't go through bags then), and if they're lucky, they'll in the air by 11:15 and on the ground in Minneapolis by 1:45. No matter how you shake it, it will be a short night for the Wild, which will finish off its first back-to-back of the season against Montreal on Thursday at Xcel Energy Center. We'll see you there!

3rd period
We get ready to drop the puck on hopefully a big third period rally. This just in from Aaron Sickman: Dallas Stars media relations guru Jason "Stretch" Rademan (one of our favorites) is a Philadelphia native. He was at Game 5 of the World Series. Or should I say part 1 of Game 5. Two days later, the game is finished, he's in Dallas watching the Stars and Wild, instead of watching his hometown team celebrate.

I just spoke to Cookie, our Friday flight attendant. I'm not sure who Aaron has on the trip home tonight. Cookie is already in Minneapolis, flying the Sacramento Kings tonight after their game against the Wolves, but will be back with the plane tomorrow to take us on the trip Friday. Cookie and her fellow (do you use the term fellow if its three females?) flight attendants will be dressed up for Halloween on Friday. I know a bit about their costumes because I had to arrange some props, but I can't wait to see the full get-up.


With Dallas on the power play, Josh Harding makes a diving save on Mike Ribeiro's rebound attempt which was trying to skid over the line.

And the Wild with a third power play tonight. A must score I'd say against rookie goalie Tobias Stephan, whom I am very familiar with because he was the Iowa Stars goalie while I was in Houston.

No goal light, but a goal for the Wild! Andrew Brunette scores his fourth of the season. His centering feed goes off Stephan's legs and into the back of the net. Sixteen minutes are more than enough, two more and we could be looking at overtime. It's 4-2 Dallas.


Give the Stars some credit protecting their rookie goalie. The Wild still has just one shot in the third period and 17 in the game. Dallas is packing it in a bit. But if the Wild's third periods against lately are any indication, anything can happen late.


There aren't many breaks in play but here we get one as Marc-Andre Bergeron's left point blast ricochets over the glass. We have just made contact with's Jamie MacDonald, due back tomorrow after a two-week honeymoon in Maui. He's got a lot to do before tomorrow, considering he's still in Maui, awaiting a flight to Oahu before taking the red-eye to Seattle and then MSP. We'll make sure the coffee is hot and caffeinated for Jamie at the game Thursday.


A brief shoving match between Benoit Pouliot and Mike Modano, but nothing more than that. And no good scoring opportunities and it's getting late for the Wild.


If the Wild is going to do it, it's got to be now as Mike Modano goes to the box for hooking. Two goals in 91 seconds. Probable? No. Impossible? Not with a possible 6-on-4 advantage. For now, Josh Harding stays in the net. Dallas will obviously be able to try to hit the empty net without having to worry about an icing call if and when Harding exits.

End of game
It's just not the Wild's night, as Dallas made the two-goal lead stand down the stretch.

2nd period
It's Josh Harding's turn the rest of the way. Those goals weren't all Niklas Backstrom's fault, but Jacques Lemaire inserts Harding for the first time this season.


A tripping call to Marc-Andre Bergeron, so the Wild will go on penalty kill No. 24 of the season.


Josh Harding saves the penalty kill streak, and very likely the Wild's chances in this game, on a redirection in front.


Taking care of some other business, and in the meantime Steve Ott scores to stop the Wild's penalty kill streak at 24. Dallas defenseman Mark Fistric just blocked a shot on the power play - with his chest - and was helped off the ice. Wild still on the power play trying to get within two heading to the third.


Andrew Brunette had a great chance from the right circle on a one-timer but he misfired into Stephan's chest with an open near post.

End 2nd

The Wild will be shorthanded to start the second period again with a cross-checking penalty to Brent Burns. The Wild averaged under nine penalty minutes in the first seven games, but already have five minors for 10 minutes tonight.

1st period

Aaron Sickman tells us that Tomas Mojzis and Colton Gillies are tonight's scratches. We already knew Erik Reitz, home with the flu, is out.  The Wild start the Brunette/Koivu/Miettinen line, along with Marek Zidlicky and Kim Johnsson. Niklas Backstrom in net.

And we have a new team record, but it's not the one the Wild wanted. Brendan Morrow fires a bouncing puck from the right circle and beats a stunned Backstrom for his fourth goal of the season. That's the fastest goal ever to start a game against the Wild. The old record was 16 seconds, set by Andrew Cassels for Columbus on March 15, 2003. Let's right the track quickly. Things have a way of going out of control in Dallas, where the Wild hasn't won in its last eight. 1-0 Dallas.


Steve Ott, returning off an injury absence, trips up James Sheppard deep in the Wild zone, a penalty you don't want to take if you're Ott. It's the WIld's first power play. Minnesota is clicking at 25 percent this season - third in the NHL.

That power play percentage increases, as do the Wild's chances in winning this game as Marc-Andre Bergeron's blast ties things up at 1-1. No one creates as much torque on his stick than the diminutive Bergeron, who takes a pass from Eric Bergeron deep in the right circle and fires. He absolutely stuns Tobias Stephen - making his second career start - with a laserbeam over the goalie's shoulder, Bergeron's second goal of the season.


I'm dealing with some issues to the NHL Game Notes system, which is nothing new. It wouldn't be a problem if not for the back-to-back games. I hope to get back on shortly, but we'll see. The Wild is in the midst of hopefully its 23rd consecutive penalty kill. About 30 seconds left.


Loui Eriksson has a great chance for Dallas at the right doorstep, but he tries to create some more room for himself and go behind the back with the puck. He looses control, and Brent Burns clears the puck away for the Wild.

The Stars take a 2-1 lead. Or do they? A failed clearing attempt by Kim Johnsson, and Brad Richards banks the puck off Backstrom into the net. Steve Ott and Johnsson were both there as well, but the goal goes to Richards. The goal light didn't immediately come on, but it's indeed a goal.

An update - Steve Ott did get a piece of that centering pass by Brad Richards, so Ott gets credit with the goal.

It's 3-1 Stars as this time Brad Richards does get the goal. The Wild really back on its feet. Minnesota allows less than two goals a game, and has yielded three tonight in the first period.


Things are looking up, Wild fans. The hometeam still down 3-1, but I have gotten into the game notes system, so the game can go on tomorrow. I have a feeling that good luck will follow for the Wild, as well.


Could this be a game-changing save? Puck wizard Mike Ribeiro flies in alone on Backstrom, who makes a save on the lefty's forehand-backhand attempt. A goal there would have made it near impossible to come back.

End 1st
Mercifully, the first period is over for the Wild, who will try to catch their breath and come back with a better second period, down 3-1.

6:45 p.m.
Stanzel here. I had a busy day with Mr. Sickman on the road. I began by moving cubicles 10 feet to a spot with a nice window view (okay, 1/4 of a window view) of the Mississippi River and Harriet Island. I'm further from the kitchen but closer to Deb Hanson's treat bowl on her desk.

I then worked on game notes for tomorrow, which as everyone knows by now is the Koivu vs. Koivu as captain match-up. A neat little chart I came up with is below. I also sent out a couple of releases that will help Wild fans throughout the entire Upper Midwest get Wild over-the-air games.

I'm about to have some dinner and ready myself in front of the television for a night of blogging and finishing game notes for tomorrow. There's a side bet tonight on who will be in bed first tonight, Aaron Sickman flying back from Dallas, or myself. The hockey world will be watching tomorrow (we think at least), we want to make sure everyone is informed.

I'll be back at gametime. Feel free to e-mail me at

Settle in and watch Wild Live on Fox Sports North beginning at 7 p.m. It's a 7:30 p.m. start in Dallas tonight, which does not help the back-to-back situation. Best case scenario, your Wild players are in bed by 2:30 a.m. Home teams always have the option of having their pre-game skate at 10:30 a.m. or 11:30 a.m., so the Wild chose (and rightfully so) to sleep in an extra hour and have the Canadiens go first tomorrow.

Mikko   Saku
25 Age 33
6-2 Ht 5-10
200 Wt 187
6th overall in 2001 Drafted 21st overall in 1993
210 GP 735
38 Goals 179
92 Assists 422
130 Points 601

1:45 p.m. (Aaron Sickman entry)

Had a late dinner last night with Brian Hutchinson, who was the original person behind Brian now works for a marketing company here in Dallas. It was nice catching up with him. Despite being tired and behind on sleep I was able to stay up and watch The Shield at 11:00 p.m. I love that show. Was able to sleep in a little bit this morning, as I didn’t have to get my two boys up and ready for daycare.

All 22 players took to the ice for today’s morning skate at American Airlines Center so it appears Burns and Miettinen are good to go tonight. The only person not on the ice was Jacques Lemaire who watched practice by himself in the corner of the arena. Marian Gaborik skated by himself after the Wild’s morning skate under the watch of Don Fuller.

Looks like Minnesota will face Tobias Stephan in net tonight and Niklas Backstrom will make his eight straight start for the good guys. Fox Sports North will be doing a warm up interview with Antti Miettinen and a pre-tape interview with Virginia, MN native Matt Niskanen for their broadcast tonight. Solid lunch today at the hotel, good meat sauce and soup. Only issue we had was the 12:45 bus left a little early leaving a few players and staff behind. After a few phone calls a second bus stopped by to pick up the remaining folks.

USA Today’s Kevin Allen is going to do a story on Mikko Koivu’s strong start so I need to get Doug Risebrough on the phone with him after he arrives in Dallas this afternoon. Time to check some of my emails and start working on Wild Week.
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