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Wild.com Announces Top Ten Goals Of 05-06

Monday, 05.22.2006 / 3:32 PM / News
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Wild.com Announces Top Ten Goals Of 05-06

altDutch Schnell, goalie racer here, and as you can tell by peering at the photo to the left, my pupils are dilated. The same could be said about you if you’d spent a week straight looking at fuzzy moving images created by a film projector with no communication with the outside world.

August is usually considered the “dog days” of summer, what with the heat, the perspiration, Twin Cities commuters counting bright orange cones as they sit in their idle cars during rush hour.

But for hockey fans not living in Anaheim, Buffalo, Carolina and Edmonton, these are the dog days. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t knock picnics and golf and Little League and trips to Dairy Queen, but I need my Wild fix. With the Draft and free agency period still over a month away, we need something to talk about. Something to debate! After all, as we learn every four election years, there’s nothing better than a healthy discourse.

That’s why I took it upon myself -- pause to pat myself on the back -- to pour over canisters of microfiche

 
 Don’t tell Dutch that he could have just watched all of this year’s highlights in the Gamdeday archives of wild.com.
filled of 2005-2006 Wild highlights. It was my mission to narrow down the club-record 231 goals scored by the W’s this season into ten of the prettiest/momentous tallies.

It wasn’t easy. There were so many goals that very easily could have made the cut, but we must rule with an iron fist around these parts. If you don’t like my choices, you can email me here. But just remember what Bud Grant used to say, “I wear the hat and the whistle around here.” 

So watch, enjoy, and debate my choices until you’re blue in the face. And if you like it, I put it together. If you do not, then the Minnesota Sports & Entertainment Information Technology department is responsible.

Special thanks to my friends in the Christian-Heavy-Metal/Rap band, P.O.D. for contributing their song, “Lights Out.”

What are you waiting for? Click here to watch the video, and then read more about them below.

10. December 17, 2005 – Kurtis Foster vs. Montreal at 3:31 of overtime (assists to Brian Rolston and Pierre-Marc Bouchard)

What this goal lacked in stickhandling and finesse was made up for by brute strength and mind-numbing drama. Kurtis “Bananaz” Foster blasted many a howitzer past opposing goaltenders last season, but none was more memorable than the Wild’s lone overtime game-winner.

 
 Foster’s overtime game-winner just barely cracks the Top Ten, but there was no shortage of drama in this tally.
With time ticking away on a Wild power play, Mikko Koivu is able to strip the puck from his brother, Saku, before he can clear the zone. He gets the puck to Pierre-Marc Bouchard at the side of the net, and spots Brian Rolston at the point. Rather than letting loose with his patented howitzer, he makes the extra pass over to “Bananaz” who one-times a rocket past Cristobal Huet.

Even the normally reserved Jacques Lemaire is spotted punching the air in glee as the rest of the bench goes ape.

Click here to listen.

9. November 6, 2005 – Mikko Koivu at Anaheim at 17:35 of the first period (assists to Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Kyle Wanvig)

A few Wild players scored their first career NHL goals this season. Derek Boogaard deflected in a pass as he barreled into Evgeni Nabakov. Foster scored on a long wrist shot that bounced in off a couple Nashville shin pads.

Homey don’t play that.

In this case, “Homey” refers to Mikko Koivu and “that” refers to ugly goals. In his second game, Koivu made his first NHL goal a masterpiece served up best with a side of lutefisk.

Dancing around Vitaly Vishnevski in the corner, Koivu darts in front of the net and quickly stuffs one underneath Jean-Sebastien Giguere for a 2-0 first period lead.

Giguere slams his stick in disgust, but perhaps he’ll feel better when he sees this video and remembers when he used to play.

Perhaps not.

Click here to listen.

8. February 28, 2006 – Pierre-Marc Bouchard at Colorado at 15:12 of the first period (assists to Brian Rolston and Todd White)

We’ve always known that Pierre-Marc Bouchard possessed the hands, but this season, he’s shown he’s also got a pretty heavy shot to match. Both are on display on this catchy little diddy as Butchy takes the puck from his own end, glides through the neutral zone, when…WHAMMY!

There’s Dan Hinote on the right, and Patrice Brisebois front and center. Bouchard jukes to his left to avoid the Elk River native, and then shifts to his right to make Patrice look bad. To top it off, he unloads a shot past David Aebischer, who I will not miss seeing in a burgundy uniform next year.

The rest of this 4-2 loss was about as forgettable as it gets, but Butchy’s goal will be etched in our psyche for as long as this video is available on the web.

Click here to listen.

7. December 28, 2005 – Marian Gaborik at Edmonton at 9:35 of the first period (assist to Wes Walz)

It doesn’t take long for Marian Gaborik to check in on our Top Ten list. Like Bouchard, Gaborik scores via the end-to-end rush, but instead of taking on two Avs defenders, Gaborik takes on four Oiler defenders, and actually, the six closest players to him are wearing blue sweaters with some type of silver bolt on the chest.

As he enters the Oiler zone, Gabby squeezes in between two Oiler forwards, including defensive stalwart, Michael Peca. He then snickers to himself at the two defensemen keying in on him.

It may have been an accident, but there’s no proof that Gaborik did not deliberately fire his first shot off Jason Smith. There is no mistaking Gaborik’s intent on his second shot, a bullet past former New Hampshire Wildcat, Ty Conklin.

Click here to listen

6. December 8, 2005 – Marian Gaborik at Pittsburgh at 1:04 of the first period (unassisted)

There’s no “I” in team, but there is an “I” in “Gaborik,” and there are exactly five “I’s” in “incredible individual effort.” That’s what we have from Gabby in his second appearance in the Top Ten.

Just over a minute into a 5-0 trouncing of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Gaborik pickpockets Shane Endicott at the Pitt blueline, and moves in alone on poor Jocelyn Thibault. Even as he fights off a vicious slash, Gaborik forces Thibault to bite on the first deke move, causing him to slide out of the crease on the wrong side.

Click here to listen

5. October 16, 2005 – Kyle Wanvig vs. Anaheim at 3:59 of the third period (assist to Todd White)

Kyle Wanvig wasn’t known for his highlight-reel goals last season. As a matter of fact, goals in general were scarce for the bruising forward. That matters not when it comes to cracking the top five thanks to a gorgeous finish of a textbook saucer pass from Todd White.

Without breaking stride, Wanvig catches the pass, avoids Ducks defender Ruslan Salei, then uses every inch of his stick to reach back to his forehand, sliding one past former Wild-killer, Giguere.

Click here to listen.

 
 Todd White might not be able to spell Bryzgalov, but he can certainly score on him.
4. January 7, 2006 – Todd White vs. Anaheim at 3:22 of the third period (assists to Marian Gaborik and Manny Fernandez)

Even the goalies get involved offensively in this list, as Manny Fernandez does here, picking up an assist on Todd White’s beauty in a 4-1 home win over Anaheim. White turns Salei inside out (again), as he enters the zone, then finishes off the play by putting a wrist shot through a tiny opening between the short side post and Ilya Briz...Byzgall...whatever.

Click here to listen.

3. March 21, 2006 – Brian Rolston vs. Calgary at 19:07 of the second period (assist to Wes Walz)

Brian Rolston scored 34 goals last season. Many were due to his patented “steam down the left side and unleash and unstoppable rocket through the goaltender’s pads.” Some can be credited to his deft move to his backhand on his breakaway. While they were all fun to watch, none are as pretty as this little number, which proved to be the game-winner against super-tender, Miikka Kiprusoff and the Calgary Flames.

After poking the puck away from Dion Phaneuf at the Wild blueline during a Calgary power play, Rolston tears away from the pack and gets in alone on “Kipper.” At full speed, he dips his shoulder and moves to his left before carefully sliding a one-handed shot underneath Kiprusoff, punctuated by his ever-so-cool single-arm fist pump.

Click here to listen.

 
 Hugs all around guys. You combined for the second-best goal of 2005-06.
2. February 7, 2006 – Pascal Dupuis vs. Los Angeles at 13:31 of the third period (assists to Wes Walz and Brian Rolston)

This is how they draw it up in those fancy locker rooms in the underbelly of the Xcel Energy Center. A tic-tac-toe passing play – Gaborik-to-Dupuis-to-Rolston-to-Walz-back-to-Dupuis – ends up on the stick of Pascal Dupuis, who buries the Wes Walz pass, and can barely contain his excitement at what just transpired. Quite frankly, neither can I.

Personally, I love how Brian Rolston can be seen skating towards Wes Walz to celebrate even before Dupuis buries the power play marker. I ask you this, “Why is Brian Rolston the coolest hockey player on the planet?”

Click here to listen

1. March 3, 2006 – Marian Gaborik at Anaheim at 4:37 of the third period (assists to Kurtis Foster and Mikko Koivu)

It’s only fitting that Captain Hat Trick would make his third Top Ten appearance at number one, and once again, the Mighty Ducks are the beneficiaries of this jaw-dropping lamplighter.

Yes, Salei was on the ice for this one as well, but it’s Joffrey Lupul who gets spun around like a ballerina by Gaborik’s between-the-legs (in soccer they call it a “meg) special. A move like that has to end in a goal, and Gabby makes certain of that with a quick wrist shot that beats Giguere, tying the score at 2-2.

Click here to listen.

And there you have it folks. Ten pretty goals in even prettier wrapping. Consider it my Victoria Day present to all of you. If you didn’t get me anything, don’t worry about it. Flag Day is coming up on June 14. I certainly hope you enjoyed that little highlight reel, and I promise that there will plenty more where those came from next year.


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