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Sunday, March 7, 2010

3 of 4 not's a must win

Ordinarily, earning 3 of 4 points on the road against Western Conference opponents would be considered a successful road-trip. But because it is this late in the season and the Minnesota Wild are still trying to leapfrog a few teams in front of them in order to gain a playoff spot, leaving that 1 point on the ice was probably a fatal blow. You certainly can point out several other missed opportunities that will probably prove to have contributed to the downfall this season, but losing in a shootout to the worst team in the league has to rank near the top. Which makes today's game, followed by Tuesday's game, must win events. Today the team has a rematch of sorts with Calgary, the team the Wild posted a shutout against in the first game of that short road-trip. It was the teams first action since the long Olympic break so it was a nice way to start-up this season ending stretch. Minnesota did not look particularly sharp in that game but hey, a win is a win. Unfortunately the Wild followed that up with another mistake filled game against the league's bottom-dweller in Edmonton. From my vantage point, Minnesota did not play as badly as described by the local print-press, but hey, a loss is a loss. The only possible saving factor to that loss is that they did earn the 'free' point, but that is one of many points left on the ice that this team will undoubtedly point to if they fail to earn a top-eight conference standings position. Finally, after hosting the Flames this afternoon, the Wild again will be the home-team in a game against the Florida another (you guessed it) must win game.

Boogaard suspended

If ever there was a player who is not going to receive the 'benefit of the doubt', it is Derek Boogaard. His latest faux pas was of the knee-on-knee variety that earned him a two-game stint in the press box and $21,000 in pay. It was not necessarily a vicious hit, but considering who the player was to throw out that huge tree-like limb, it does not come as a shock. What this means is that the leagues player with the longest goal drought streak going has 2 less games to light that lamp.


Today will mark the franchises 400 consecutive sellout, which includes every game that the Wild have played in the Xcel Energy Center. Now much has been made of the sellout streak and it has been reported that the NHL basis sellouts on ticket distribution rather than tickets sold so it is a hedge-like stat. But the fact does remain that this team is filling the seats on a consistent basis, which is a credit to the fans considering where this team has been and is at, as far as standings go, in recent seasons. This steak is the longest current streak and third longest all-time in the NHL.

Longest Recorded NHL Sellout Streaks
  • 487 – Colorado Avalanche

  • 452 – Detroit Red Wings

  • 399 – Minnesota Wild

  • 359 – Buffalo Sabres
Belanger scores

Recently traded and former Wild center Eric Belanger scored his first goal as a new member of the Washington Capitals. It was his second game with his new team and the goal puts him within 3 points of his career high in points.

Missing gloves and sticks

It seems some lucky fan has a gem in the sweaty gloves and used stick that scored the winning goal in the Olympic Gold Medal game. Reebok Canada is offering a $10,000 reward, no questions asked, for the return of the stick and gloves Sidney Crosby used to score in overtime in Canada's Olympic championship victory over the United States. So desperate are they to get the gear back, they have even set up an 'email hot-line' with the hopes that the opportunistic entrepreneur will bite on the low-ball reward.

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