Lighthouse: Week of April 12
Tuesday, 04.13.2010 / 4:04 PM / Minnesota Wild | View From the Lighthouse
By Glen Andresen - Manager of Social Media
April 18, 2010 | 6:00 PM
If you haven't seen it yet, NHL.com has released their Top 10 saves of the year. Coming in at number eight was the Wild's Josh Harding and his head-first, hip-wrenching, diving glove save against Edmonton. Former Wild goaltender Dwayne Roloson came in at number three with another sick glove save.
I can't say I agree with the choice of Miikka Kiprusoff's kick save as number one. While the play was unbelievable, I'm not so sure it wasn't more of an accident than a save. But that's open for debate. To see all 10 saves, click here.
And considering he led the NHL in hits for a second straight year, the odds were there that Cal Clutterbuck would make the Top Ten Hits list with at least one of his 318 bone rattlers. He comes in at number eight with his mashing of Brad Richards, which sparked a fight with Steve Ott. Former Wild defenseman Willie Mitchell earned the top spot with his high-speed collision with Jonathan Toews. To see all 10 hits, click here.
April 16, 2010 | 9:40 AM
The Minnesota Wild will have a coach (Todd Richards) and an equipment manager (Brent Proulx) at the World Championships. Now, the club will have at least one player representative in Germany. Brent Burns will be playing for Team Canada at the worlds, which begin on May 7.
Burns represented Canada two years ago in 2008 and was named the tournament's "best defenseman." Canada lost to Russia in overtime in the gold medal game that year. Burns scored two goals in that contest and finished the tournament with three goals and six assists for nine points in nine games. He also posted a team-high +14 rating.
There were some other big names on that Canadian team including Jay Bouwmeester, Patrick Sharp, Eric Staal, Dany Heatley, Jonathan Toews, Shane Doan, Duncan Keith, Rick Nash, Ryan Getzlaf, Mike Green and Jason Spezza.
Minnesotans Kyle Okposo (St. Paul), Taylor Chorney (Hastings), Jack Hillen (Minnetonka), Mike Lundin (Burnsville) and Ryan Carter (White Bear Lake) were among 12 players named yesterday to Team USA. Former Gopher Ryan Potulny of Grand Forks was also named.
Thus far, none of the U.S. Olympians have been named to the team, and it would seem unlikely that any will. Scott Clemmensen is the only goaltender on the roster as of now.
April 14, 2010 | 2:00 PM
Four playoff games kick off the NHL postseason tonight with Pittsburgh hosting Ottawa, New Jersey hosting Philadelphia, Phoenix hosting Detroit and San Jose hosting Colorado. I have to admit I'm excited to watch the game in Phoenix. I remember watching the Coyotes host the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in a first round playoff in 1997, and thought how cool it was that the fans carried on the tradition of the "White Out" in Winnipeg.
The whites will be out in full force again tonight, and I'll be pulling for the Coyotes, despite the presence of Ed Jovanovski on their team. It just wouldn't seem right to root for the Red Wings in any case, unless they are facing the Canucks.
But it would certainly be cool to see Detroit and Chicago square off in one Conference Final with Washington and Pittsburgh in the other.
There are other rooting interests for us. The Devils have the Minnesotans, as well as good ol' Jacques behind the bench. The Blackhawks are arguably the most exciting team to watch in some time. The Sabres have Ryan Miller, who could be the guy to cure the ills of that tortured fan base. And then there's 15 teams that aren't the Canucks, so there won't be a shortage of teams to root for.
Enjoy the playoffs!
April 13, 2010 | 3:05 PM
Baseball fever has swept over the Twin Cities with the christening of Target Field, and Wild players got caught up in the hysteria as well. If you were at yesterday's Twins win over Boston, you may have caught a glimpse of some of the Wild players on the Jumbotron. Mikko Koivu, Derek Boogaard, Andrew Brunette and Nik Backstrom were standing together in the Plaza area when they were shown on camera. Each appeared to be decked out in Twins gear.
Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher also took in the game, as did several members of the Wild front office.
In hockey news, many of you have probably heard that Todd Richards will serve as an assistant to New York Islanders' Head Coach Scott Gordon at this year's World Championships in Germany, beginning May 7. Ron Roston of the United States Development Program and brother of Brian Rolston, will be the other assistant. Wild Assistant Equipment Manager Brent Proulx will be the Equipment Manager for the U.S. team.
As of now, there don't appear to be any Wild commitments for the World Championships, but that could change. It might be interesting to see if Robbie Earl earns an invitation to the United States team. Obviously, it doesn't seem likely that many of the U.S. Olympians will be available, either due to the playoffs, or to get some needed rest.
A few more Wild players filtered into the Xcel Energy Center locker room today. Most were there for meetings with Richards, and to collect some personal belongings. Prospects Marco Scandella and Matthew Hackett were also there to get their offseason workout schedules. I interviewed Cal Clutterbuck, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Greg Zanon and Scandella for Wild TV, and those will be posted shortly.
I have never seen Scandella play other than some of the World Junior highlights, but there is no question he has an NHL-ready physique. The guy is cut and thought I might need Andrew Ebbett finger surgery after shaking his hand.
As for Bouchard, he still has not been able to work out fully, but he's hopeful to be ready for training camp in September. He basically hasn't been able to work out for six months, so priority number one will be to get in shape.
Today was the last day of player/coach meetings, but there will likely be plenty of Wild players milling about for the next couple weeks. Some will be visiting Doc Fuller to get treatment for injuries. I will continue to head down there to get some summer updates from them.
Lastly, don't forget to check out coverage of tonight's Draft lottery. There's a 2.7% chance that the Wild lands the fifth overall pick. If not, it will pick at ninth or 10th.