By Michael Russo
From high above the Saddledome ice, good evening.
I’m about to watch warmups again from the catwalk on top of the Wild’s zone. If vertigo sets in, sorry about the fact we’ll be running a wire game story in tomorrow’s paper. And a wire story about some reporter squashing Bouchard or somebody.
Doug Risebrough is back from his European jaunt. He returned to the Twin Cities yesterday, then flew here this morning. That’s a lot of flying.
Postgame update: When the Calgary Flames one day get a new arena approved in this wonderful city, they should graciously invite the Wild up here to execute the implosion.
The Wild implode every single game it plays here. It’s always something. It’s really quite impressive, in an odd sort of way.
Tonight’s dismantling came in completely fluky fashion. Trailing 1-0 virtually the entire game, the Wild rallied in the third on a pair of Mikko Koivu goals.
But 21 seconds after Koivu gave the Wild a 2-1 lead, Jarome Iginla decided to remind the Wild that his only goal in life is to create misery in theirs.
I mean, this guy is unbelievable. Sure, it was a complete accident, but the Flames’ captain always finds a way to kick the Wild where it hurts the most (the groin).
In as fluky fashion as you can imagine, his slapper deflects off Nick Schultz, then Brent Burns and in. That’s it. That simple. Tie game. Nobody but Iginla could have pulled that off. That’s now 24 goals and 41 points Iginla’s scored against the Wild, and they seem to always be game-changing points.
Then, with the Wild looking like it’d at least get a much-earned point, Burns carelessly stepped up in his own zone in the last minute.
Daymond Langkow sent it down low to Kristian Huselius for a 2-on-1, and Beetlejuice scored with 52.5 ticks left. (Huselius was given that nickname by former Florida enforcer Paul Laus because Lauser felt Kristian’s head was too small for his body).
And how about this for irony?
Remember two years ago when I wrote that Doug Risebrough came close to trading Pascal Dupuis to Florida for Huselius.
Well, it is 200 percent true.
Risebrough balked at the very last second. It had a lot to do with the fact that the trade offer got out there and he wasn’t happy it did.
Ironically, it was Panthers GM Mike Keenan who so badly wanted to get rid of Huselius because he disliked him wholeheartedly in Florida. Trust me, the power struggle on that one between Iron Mike and Rick Dudley created a lot of trouble for yours truly — the middle man.
Well, Keenan is now the Flames’ coach, and he sure likes him now. He’s got 16 points for him. Of course, Huselius is a much different, much more mature player.
The only other big news of the game was veteran Keith Carney played 3 minutes, 25 seconds. He didn’t see one second of ice time after he came out of the penalty box for a first-period hook on Stephane Yelle.
Petteri Nummelin spent the rest of the night back on defense — except on the power play where he played the half boards to set up Koivu’s second goal.
Talk to you from Edmonton. Should be loads of fun.