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Looking back, how does one describe Monday night’s Game 6 action? Thrilling? Beautiful? Fabulous? Let’s go with all of the above.
Facing a win-or-go-home situation the Wild used a commanding third period effort to upend the Avs 5-2 and force Game 7 tonight. So in anticipation of tonight’s action, let’s take a look back at the best Game 6 fun.
To start, the Wild’s video virtuoso Dusty Peterson was down on the bench in the final minutes of the game and caught the players in the closing moments and, subsequently, an inside look at the postgame locker room.
Photographer Brace Hemmelgarn was in the building for all the action and caught this postgame exchange. I think it’s safe to say Darcy Kuemper’s expression sums up everyone’s feelings on the night. Speaking of Kuemper, he shared this tidbit with the media after the game. So if anyone is questioning his experience, don’t worry about it; he’s been there before.
Finally, Tom Powers of the Pioneer Press captures the night’s emotional experience. While we can’t give you a decibel rating for how loud it was in Xcel Energy Center when Zach Parise scored the go-ahead goal, I can tell you that I wasn’t able to talk to Mike Doyle, who was sitting inches to my left, even while shouting. We simply couldn’t hear each other as the crowd drowned out all our words.
PARISE ON THE EYES
There’s no denying the State of Hockey has a love affair with Zach Parise. Ever since he signed here the expectations were raised. While he’s worked hard in each and every outing in a Wild sweater, a new chapter was added to the love affair Monday night as Parise got his stick on a rocket of a shot from Mikko Koivu and tipped it past Avs netminder Semyon Varlamov.
The goal was like a defibrillator, bringing the Wild and crowd back to life — not to mention extending Minnesota’s season to at least one more game.
Naturally, Parise was the subject of a few stories. The Star Tribune’s Jim Souhan looks at how Parise met expectations while the Pioneer Press’s Brian Murphy also adds Ryan Suter into the storyline.
KEEPING IT ROUTINE
Everyone has everyday routines they go through. But when it’s game day, those routines take on an entirely new level of importance for hockey players.
Last week I talked to a few players about their routines. While most qualified their routines with the statement “I’m not superstitious but…” they shared their habits and some of the reasoning behind them.
Oh, and someone did rat out the two most superstitious guys in the room. If you haven’t already, check it out here.
OH, COYLE RULES
Sure, Parise has been a big storyline this postseason — casually gathering a six-game point streak with 10 points on 3 goals and 7 assists, including a four-point Game 6 — but let’s take a moment to look at his fellow forward, Charlie Coyle.
He’s been in beast mode all postseason. In the first two games, he registered the Wild’s first goal of each contest, he picked up a third tally in Game 4 and has four points in the series overall.
He finished the regular season in similar fashion, finding his game in mid March — in a home-and-home on back-to-back nights with the Red Wings March 22 and 23 — and has seemingly upped the ante since.
Our local NHL.com correspondent Dan Myers wrote up a nice little story on Coyle’s season.
CHECKING IN WITH MARCO
There are always stories floating around about how great hockey players are off the ice and the Pioneer Press has provided us with the latest instance.
Emily Gurnon shares the story of a few fans who befriended the Wild blueliner a few years ago through kind, neighborly exchanges.
Scandella was also the subject of a story by Chad Graff this last week and his development from last season, which he spent most of in the American Hockey League, to this season.
VIEW FROM THE STRIB
With the Playoffs in full swing, there’s been an influx of media in the Wild’s locker room each day. It’s no surprise.
Star Tribune columnist Chip Scoggins has provided some pretty cool views through the first round including a recent one on Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo and another on Kuemper.