The Wild got off to a bad start, allowing 2 goals within 51 seconds of each other in the first period. Luckily, that was all that goalie Manny Fernandez would allow (but there’s a catch).
The catch is that Manny was pulled for 28-year-old Niklas Backstrom. The good news is that Backstrom went two periods without giving up a goal, allowing the Wild to get back into the game. Todd White directed the puck towards the goal with his skate, and it went in, but the referees initially said no goal. After review, they changed their minds and ruled it a goal to get the Wild on the board. In the second period, Brian Rolston raced past a defender to get set up for a 1-on-1 match up with the goalie. However, the defenseman that he raced past tripped him. It was ruled that Rolston would get a penalty shot, which is a 1-on-1 match up with the goalie, but with no defenders around. Rolston smoked the puck into the goal to tie the game up. Nick Schultz scored early on in the third period to give the Wild a 1-goal lead, and Pascal Dupuis and Branko Radivojevic both scored later on in the 3rd period to secure the win for the Wild.
The Wild are now 9-2, and have scored the second-least amount of points out of the 5 teams in their conference. The difference maker is that the Wild have allowed the least amount of goals throughout all of the NHL.
My next Wild recap will be on Sunday.
Gold Gloves were announced today, and Torii Hunter is a winner. He was the only Twin to get one, as Kenny “Pinetar” Rogers sniped it out from under Johan‘s feet in the pitcher’s spot. Many thought that if Hunter got one, it would be simply for his reputation, and not because of his performance this season. I think it’s a little bit of both. He did have a subpar year, defensively, but he has now won 6 Gold Gloves in a row.
Francisco Liriano is going to get another look on his arm today. He’s going to see Dr. Yocum, not that the doc’s name is of any importance. The hope is that the doctor will say for sure whether or not surgery is needed. Hopefully more on that tomorrow.