Photo: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

Wild Smother The Avalanche 3-2, Get Sorely Needed Road Win

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Getting this up ASAP after the game for once, no pics yet but I’ll add when they become available. :-) UPDATED: pic.

We’re baaaaacccckkkkk!

The Wild shook more rust off the machine tonight at the Pepsi Center, continuing their total control of that building and defeating the Avs 3-2. This means that we head into the All Star break in a playoff spot…granted, by a mouse’s whisker.

After a slower start that saw Backstrom give up two ugly goals (ugly as in he-should-have-stopped-those), the Wild totally controlled the second half of what was a very physical game.

Wild goals by Falk (PP), Heatley, and McMillan. All great shots.

Backstrom recovered nicely after letting in two, stonewalling the Avs for the rest of the night with (shades of November!) excellent support from the Wild defensemen. Schultz and Falk stood out as having excellent games, but I can’t even find a real flaw with Zanon’s play tonight. That’s how solid the D was. ;-)

I think management has some decisions to make in terms of personnel. It’s blatantly obvious that the recent batch of callups are playing better than some of their full-time counterparts. Look for Zidlicky to stay out, and possibly Staubitz and Lundin as well. Of those three Lundin is the most solid, but with how well the current lines are gelling, I’d think long and hard about whether some folks should have a change in address.

Notes:

Koivu will not play in the All Star game due to his shoulder injury. Good. As much as I’m sure he was looking forward to it, we need him back ASAP. Let him return when he’s healed.

Backstrom remains an Avs killer. He has an overwhelmingly winning record against the Avs. Charlie Sheen has nothing on Backs’ winning against those guys.

Some solid physical play tonight. A missed high stick against Prosser in the late moments of the game. As I said on Twitter, the Wild are playing like it’s November again…apparently the refs are missing penalties against the Wild like it’s November as well.

During the break we’ll talk about the Wild’s call ups, injuries, any trade rumors and suggested trades.

What a roller coaster of a season so far…I’m just glad we’re going back up.

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Tags: Greg Zanon Justin Falk Marek Zidlicky Mikko Koivu Minnesota Wild NHL Nick Schultz Niklas Backstrom

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