By Brian Stensaas
OK – a quick postgame update here as I would really like to get home and catch some rest before my flight to Chicago in the morning.
There are roughly 18,568 reasons why I should not be a hockey coach. Rather than list them all (again, I have a flight in the morning I really should catch …) I’ll just admit to this: I really thought the Wild came out well and the players had a little something extra in their skates tonight. Jacques Lemaire, owner of (ahem) 1,078 NHL coaching vicories, didn’t really agree.
“I don’t think we’re ever going to have a step on [Detroit],” Lemaire said. “We were just battling to survive.”
Well, the Wild certainly did that. Step or no step, Minnesota sure needed something like this.
Lots of examples of heads-up plays tonight. Nolan’s pass to Bouchard was money. Koivu personally fending off two Detroit players to make that feed to Skoula (!!!) was a thing of beauty. And the penalty kill was spot-on against a Red Wings team that had scored seven PPG in its past two games.
Brunette’s equipment was still hanging in his locker stall long after all the other players’ things had been packed up after the game tonight, meaning it’s quite likely he will not play tomorrow in Chicago.
That’s where I’m headed in a matter of hours, so I bid thee farewell for now. No morning skate, so you won’t be hearing from me until pregame warm-ups – unless something big comes up.
Here’s the lowdown from warm-ups: Andrew Brunette’s streak will end at 509 straight games played. He is not in uniform tonight. Defenseman Kim Johnsson is wearing the “C”. Craig Weller – who hasn’t played since being injured Jan. 15 – is in. Colton Gillies is skating, too, meaning Derek Boogaard will be scratched.
OK - I’m ready for some live hockey. I’ve been watching parts of five games all afternoon on TV (how does San Jose not score on Atlanta until the third period, by the way??) so let’s drop the puck shall we?
I’m not the only eager one. There’s got to be 40-50 fans in Detroit gear hovered near the visiting bench.
What? Still 30 minutes to go? Arghghg!
Enjoy the game!