Welcome to a special Wednesday night edition of live in-game commentary right here on Wild.com. Tonight, I am coming to you live from the Al Shaver Press Box after spending the past five Wild games in lesser press boxes around the West Coast. Oh, how I've missed my beloved perch high above the ice surface at the Xcel Energy Center. As I look down on it, I can see our boys in green, as well as the enemies (Colorado Avalanche) in white, skating around in pregame warmups.
Tonight, Niklas Backstrom
is going to be rejecting pucks all night as tonight's starting netminder. I am just going off what I'm seeing right now in warmups, but he brought his A++ game tonight. My advanced apologies to Avalanche fans out there that are reading Wild.com.
As for those who are not playing, you can cross the following off your rosters if you're scoring at home: Petr Sykora (groin), Pierre-Marc Bouchard
(concussion) and Cal Clutterbuck
(ankle) are out with injuries. John "Hey You" Scott and Andy Hilbert are your healthy scratches.
Also, please give a warm live in-game commentary welcome to Chuck Kobasew, the newest State of Hockey resident. I promised him I'd give him a shout out in live in-game commentary tonight if he promised to score six goals tonight. I held up my end of the bargain. Now it's his turn to prove to us all that he's not a liar.
The Wild is "going green" tonight in their spectacular new third jerseys. It's a classy look, and it brings back memories of the sweaters that the Western Conference All-Star team wore at the Xcel Energy Center in 2004. The Avs are going with the road whites, trimmed in blue, black and burgundy with the snowy "A" on the chest. The Wild will start the game skating from right to left across your computer screen.
Former North Star Carl Wetzel gets us going with the Let's Play Hockey announcement. He's sporting the green jersey, and green means "go." It's go time!Period 1
17:32 - Off a faceoff in the Colorado zone, four players barrel into the circle in pursuit of the puck. They all collide with Thor Nelson, who goes down in a heap. The worst part is the faceoff is blown dead and he has to do it all over again.16:15 - MIN 1 - COL 0 - Tally ho! Brent Burns gets the monkey off his back with a power play goal early on. Off a blast from up top by Mikko Koivu, the Wild's full-time captain, Burns pinches in deep on the left side and roofs the rebound for his first of the year. Nobody has a better reaction to a goal than Burzie, and his smile is especially big considering the slow start he endured
. Click here to see the goal.
10:55 - One of the bright spots for the Wild this season has been the penalty kill, which has only allowed three goals this season and ranks third in the NHL. Greg Zanon hops out of the box here as the Avalanche didn't even get a sniff of a scoring chance on their first power play.
10:23 - Ooh, Benny, look up! On another Wild power play, a bouncing puck ends up on the backhand of Pouliot, but he's facing away from the goal and doesn't notice that Avs netminder Craig Anderson is completely out of his net until its too late. Pouliot does get a shot off, but it deflects off a stick and floats over the cage.
8:11 - We keep hearing that Kobasew is an "energy" guy, and he shows it here as he enters the Colorado zone. He chips the puck around Adam Foote, then draws an interference penalty as Foote can't adjust and has to hold on to the new Wild speedster.
7:35 - Clank! Burnzie just misses another one. With the man advantage, Andrew Brunette gets the puck in his office behind the Colorado net. As he is wont to do, he zips a perfect pass in front to Burns, who is in the exact same spot he was when he scored. He has this one labeled, but drills it off the inside of the pipe and the puck bounces right into Anderson.
2:58 - Burns and Brunette nearly hook up for another one as Burns lets Bruno cut through the back door before putting a hard pass right at his stick. Brunette makes a perfect deflection but Anderson stays with it and keeps it from skipping through his five hole.
0:00 - A nice opening period for the boys in green. After giving up the first three shots in the game, the Wild outshoots the Avs 13-3 the rest of the way. More importantly, the good guys carry a one-goal lead into intermission.Period 2
18:20 - Kobasew again tries to enter the Colorado zone with the puck, but this time he his crunched into the near boards by Avs D-man, Ryan Wilson, not to be confused with Brian Wilson, the namesake of a Barenaked Ladies song.
16:22 - The fans love this! In his third game back from a concussion, Derek Boogaard drops the gloves at center ice with David Koci. The two engage in a long staredown before engaging. Koci immediately tries to get a grip on Boogey's jersey to hang on for dear life, but the Wild behemoth shakes loose and pounds Koci to the ice twice. Koci gets up twice, but again Boogaard staggers him and living by the code, lets Koci free rather than completely rearranging his face.15:35 - MIN 1 - COL 1 - Tie game. Backstrom stops a shot from Ryan O'Reilly but the puck gets lost somewhere in his equipment and he can't locate it. As he drops to the ice, the puck pops loose and agitator Darcy Tucker pokes it in to square this thing up.
8:50 - Nick Schultz and Martin Havlat play hot potato (or as Dan Quayle might call it, hot potatoe), as they enter the Colorado zone. The zip passes back and forth before Havlat whistles a one-timer just over the net.
6:30 - The Avalanche have a three-on-one as they kill a penalty, but O'Reilly ignores the two teammates on his left and elects to shoot one that misses everything up top.1:53 - MIN 1 - COL 2 - You could see this one coming from a mile away. The Wild's line of Belanger, Pouliot and Kobasew, along with Burns and Schultz was on the ice waaaay too long as the Avs worked the puck around the Wild zone at will. The Wild had several opportunities to clear, but either fanned on attempts, or turned the puck over. Finally, the Avs take advantage as Kyle Quicey jumps on a Cody McLeod rebound and puts the Avalanche on top.
17:43 - Backstrom did bring his A++ game tonight. He makes another spectacular save on a fast-rising one-timer from former Michigan Wolverine, T.J. Gagliardi.
13:48 - Are you kidding me? Somehow, this game still isn't tied despite a golden chance for Havlat. With the Wild on the power play, Brunette steals the puck along the near boards and finds a wide open Havlat on the other side. Havlat has the whole net, but either he puts it off the side of the post, or Anderson makes the save of all saves. Either way, the Wild still trails by a goal.
11:34 - Craig Anderson can't be faded. The Wild is buzzing right now, but he keeps making stop after stop. He somehow gets a toe on a deflected Greg Zanon shot, and then gloves a one-timer from the slot off the stick of Koivu.4:51 - MIN 2 - COL 2 - Cue Joe Satriani! We're all tied up as the captain has all hands rising on deck. On another Wild power play, Koivu camps out in the slot and puts a perfect redirection on a pass from Antti "Mittens" Miettinen. Even Super Craig Anderson can't stop this one as it finds the top shelf and brings this sellout crowd back to life. Let's be honest, we needed this.
1:24 - The new guy is almost the hero. Kobasew takes a Greg Zanon shot right off his upper body and the puck deflects just wide of the net.
0:05.8 - An Xcel Energy first! We've got a shattered pane of glass! As Schultz carries the puck through the neutral zone, he takes a hard check along the boards from David Jones...SMASH! The glass shatters all over the ice and the scorer's table, and the entire crowd stands and cheers. What a mess we have here as the ice crew is shoveling up glass and Doc Fuller is checking out the guys at the table to make sure they are okay. The hit wasn't vicious, but it looks like Schultz catches the glass in just the right spot to send the shards flying.
0:00 - The ice cleanup is finally over, and we are going to oooohhhhvertime. Wild fans are getting more hockey for their money this season. Two home games so far, and two overtimes. We call that bonus hockey!
2:21 - Zanon is taking target practice at his own teammates. He gets the puck at the point and sends a wrist shot toward the goal with Pouliot camped out alone in front. The puck hits Pouliot right in the kiester and deflects away.
1:01 - Probably not how coaches teach youngsters, but Burns makes a no-look poke check on Kyle Cumiskey just as he's about to let one fly from about 12 feet out.
0:00 - Bonus bonus hockey! We are going to our first shootout of the season.Shootout
It will be Koivu, Havlat and Zidlicky shooting for the good guys, and shooting first.
It will be Svatos, Hejduk and 8 for the bad guys and shooting second.Koivu is up first and he roofs it over Anderson who tries to deck the pads.
Svatos is up for the Avs, and he loses control of the puck and it trickles wide.
Havlat looks for a two-goal advantage, but he loses the puck and never gets a shot off.
Hejduk tries to sneak one in the five hole, but Backstrom denies him.
It's Zidlicky for the win...but no! Anderson makes an unbelievable deck pad glove save on the shot labeled for the top shelf.
It's up to Wolski, and he misses! Wild win! Wild win! Go crazy! Minnesota!