Game 2 in Helsinki, Finland for The Wild. This time I wear my Mikko Koivu Suomi jersey, because, well, they are in Finland. Makes total sense to me, as I may have jinxed it wearing the Red and Green the day before.
The first period I saw The Wild playing as they can play. They came out ready to play, and did. It was full of scrums, chirps, and good play. Nystrom fight! Go naughty boy go! So much energy! Andrew Brunette nets one off of a sick feed from Koivu, starting with a pass from Cam Barker. The Wild’s forecheck is relentless throughout the period. The D looks pretty solid. Even Barker had a couple moments out there, besides the assist. Justin Falk for the entire game, makes me believe The Wild are on to something here. He’s a smart player, and sees what is going on. He’s tough, fights like a madman in the corners, tenacious all over the ice. Total win for The Wild.
During intermission I kept saying to myself, what Wild team are we going to see in the second period? Exciting as it sounded, I went with the “we are going to play 60 minutes here, WOW” This is awesome! Wrong! They came out sluggish like so many first periods we are used to. Niklas Backstrom gave up a hideous goal. He came so far out the net, and I still wonder why. He rarely, if ever, comes out that far. He makes me nervous if he goes behind the net, with not an opponent around anywhere! Is it because he has no confidence in Clayton Stoner and Barker? Stoner was coming in, and would in no way have beaten Jeff Skinner. But we would have had a goalie in the net, and a better chance at getting a save. I have replayed this several times, and it just makes me sick. I have heard Jose Theodore has been taking a lot pucks in practice. STARTER [see A Little Wild love tab] comes to mind here.
The third period for me was too slow on both sides. Nothing really exciting to make me yell and scream. Reminded of the old Lemaire days, [see sleep] minus the trap of course. Very few penalties, and looked to me like very conservative play, again from both sides. With 1:30 left in the game, Koivu gets called for hooking. This boring period is turning out to be a nightmare! I am prancing all over the living room. Dogs are through the doggie door and out of the house, long gone! This cannot be happening, not now! Somehow we made it through. OT here we go!
With 7 seconds left in OT, Jamie McBain takes a slashing call on Martin Havlat. A terrible, dirty slash. McBain broke his stick! Now when I replayed this, over and over, why the hell didn’t Stoner let the Canes have the puck. The ref’s arm was clearly up, and time was ticking away. I am not saying it would have made a difference in the score, but uhhh? It could have given a few more seconds! And then the penalty shot, not in this case because Havlat got the shot off. I know it is a fast game, but pay attention! Be aware of the arm UP!
Shootout time. [see death to the shootout forever] This is not going to end pretty. We all know it. Cam Ward has been on his head this entire game. Skinner nets it. [see this kid is for real] Koivu, denied. Jussi Jokinen, denied. Brent Burns, denied. Tuomo Ruutu, denied. Antti Miettinen, wait a minute. Miettinen? What the hell! You cannot be serious! You have Havlat, and Matt Cullen, and any other players on the bench, and you put Miettinen in to save the game? Richards please. We want to attempt to make the playoffs here. Miettinen? WHY? WHY? WHY? Just because you were in Finland, does not mean you have to Finn out there. I have been patient thus far, but Richards I may be calling for your head soon. This was the 2nd worst thing I have seen yet from Richards. [see Petr Sykora] I do not get it. Not a settling moment at all! Wild lose 2- 1 in SO. At least we got a point, right? No not right! I blame Richards and Backstrom this time! Not Miettinen‘s fault Richards was drinking on the bench!
So Edmonton up next. Our home opener. We will win it, as long as Miettinen is not part of a SO, Richards stops nipping, and Theodore is in net!
Shout it out! Give me comments, and debates!
GO WILD GO!
Topics: Andrew Brunette, Antti Miettinen, Cam Barker, Cam Ward, Clayton Stoner, Jacques Lemaire, Jamie McBain, Jeff Skinner, Jose Theodore, Jussi Jokinen, Justin Falk, Mikko Koivu, Niklas Backstrom, Petr Sykora, Todd Richards, Tuomo Ruuto