By Michael Russo
Q&A, I’ll do on the flight home tomorrow. Sorry about the delay.
Dominic Moore, Petteri Nummelin and Derek Boogaard are scratched. Wes Walz is back.
First, how bout this one, but two of the three stars Calgary Flames here tonight.
– First, huge victory, although of course, Vancouver won so the Wild is still a point back for the division lead. But Dallas lost, so the Wild now sits in sixth tied with fifth-place San Jose with 91 points. Calgary, in eighth, is not only seven back, but suddenly only six points up on surging Colorado for the final playoff spot.
– Stephane Veilleux, Branko Radivojevic and Wyatt Smith composed the Wild’s top line all night. They brought constant energy, hits, offensive-zone possession time and huge tying goal in the second by Veilleux.
– Keith Carney was a plus-3 and Nick Schultz again, in my humble opinion, was the Wild’s steadiest defenseman. The guy saved three or four goals again tonight, and even got some high praise after by coach Jacques Lemaire.
– Marian Gaborik and Pavol Demitra each assisted on the other’s goal with tremendous setups. Too bad this one wasn’t televised, but maybe nhl.com or wild.com will have some sort of video highlights tomorrow.
– Brian Rolston made another goalie look silly with a slap shot from the blue line. It’s easy to say it was a “bad goal,” but the same guy makes every goalie give up the same “bad goal.” So, I’d say there’s something to that shot of his.
– Wes Walz returned, had an assist and seven blocked shots. Adam Hall had a terrific defensive game (chipping pucks out) and had four hits.
– Wild comes home now for a five-game homestand and have eight of nine to finish the season at home against six non-playoff teams. If Vancouver ever loses, this division should be the Wild’s.