Glen Andresen's In-Game Commentary at Los Angeles
Saturday, 12.11.2010 / 8:15 PM CT / Minnesota Wild | Features
By Glen Andresen - Manager of Social Media
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The weather outside is frightful, but as we all know, live in-game commentary on Wild.com is freaking delightful. Just to give you a little inside information into the inner workings of this website, I was going to hand over the commentary reins to Carly Peters tonight so I could watch the ticked off UMD Bulldogs get some major revenge on the dirty Gophers tonight. But alas, it was postponed, so I told Carly I'm getting back in the saddle tonight, and she can come over and shovel my driveway. Still waiting on that reply.
Secretly, I'm glad my Como Park palace is buried under snow because in my heart of hearts, I don't want to miss tonight's barn burner between the Los Angeles Kings and your Minnesota Wild. For my money, the Kings are one of more entertaining teams in the League right behind the boys in forest green and iron range red. Granted, I've never had to spend money on either team because I get into the games free of charge, but if I did have to pay, this is the game I'd want to see.
I think it's partly because I just love watching Jose Theodore tend the crease and cage, and he'll be getting the start tonight. Theodore isn't the biggest goaltender out there, but I'd say he's one of the most focused. And I have it on good authority that he's ultra focused win he finds himself surrounded by the glitz, glamour, pomp and circumstance of the place they call La La Land. Theodore just knows it as Rejection Land, which the Kings will learn tonight.
Now then, it's not going to be easy for Theo and friends tonight. Matt Cullen (groin) and John Madden (upper body) have been ruled out tonight because of injury. But every snow storm has a sweet snow fort, and in this case, it's the Wild debut of Warren Peters. He'll become the 31st player to sport the Wild jersey this year, and he'll be the first ever to wear number 43, which just happens to be the mirror of my favorite number, 34. That means good karma, and that you can pencil Warren in for a "G" and an "A" tonight. Clayton Stoner will be the lone healthy scratch tonight.
Finally, for those fashionistas out there, we can talk about clothing. For the third straight game, the Wild are wearing the road whites, which are probably getting sweat stained and smelly at this point. The Kings are going with the home blacks trimmed in purple, silver and white with the crown of Sir Edward the Longshanks on the chest.
We've just got to wrap up this 234th rerun of the Minnesota Twins Legends game on FSN, and we'll be good to go for this late night hockey extravaganza.
19:43 - The Wild catches a big, early break after the Kings win a faceoff in the Wild zone. Drew Doughty gets the puck at the point and cranks a shot that deflects in past Theodore. But the Kings don't get a chance to celebrate as the goal is waved off immediately by a moustachioed zebra, who says Dustin Brown is in the crease and interfering with Theo. I like the call, although a Kings fan might argue that Brown was pushed in there by Nick Schultz. Too bad, L.A. When you have two feet of snow outside, I'll feel bad for you.
18:48 - Look out below! Going back behind his own net, Greg Zanon, who was questionable tonight with a leg injury, gets put in the air on a huge hit by Alex Ponikarovsky. Zanon goes into the backboards about 40 miles per hour, and Kyle Brodziak immediately comes to the aid of his mate. Everybody's gloves stay on, but Brodziak is going to the sin bin for a rough. Still, Ponikarovsky's hit is clean, but you've got to stick up for your boys.
17:10 - MIN 1 - LAK 0 - Thank you Jonathan Quick! The Wild gets on the board while down a man as the former UMass Minutemen goaltender comes out of his net to play the puck. He tries to send the puck over to one of his defenseman, but Mikko Koivu reads it perfectly and swoops in the path and makes the steal. He has nothing but an open cage to look at from eight feet out, and he does not miss from there. He buries it for the shortie and an early Wild lead.
16:34 - The Wild is sensing blood in the water right now. Chuck Kobasew nearly piles on by just firing a wrister from the left circle and beating Quick, but catching the cross bar. Shortly after, there's a scrum in front of Quick with some tempers coming to a slow boil. Koivu is having some angry words with Ryan Smyth, and an angry Koivu is not a good thing if you're in a black jersey.
8:36 - The Kings look like a frustrated group as Wayne Simmonds and Cam Barker jostle after the whistle, especially with the Wild giving them fits in shorthanded situations. The Kings see their third power play come to an end without a solid scoring chance. Currently, the Wild has a 1-0 edge in goals when the Kings are on the PP.
5:34 - Marty Havlat has some space up the right side. As he fights off a defender, he's able to get a backhand on goal that causes a big, juicy rebound but nobody in a white jersey can get there quick enough to put it away.
3:00 - There's a Peters sighting. He shows some jump as he goes hard into the corner to plant a hit on former Miami University Redhawk, Alec Martinez. Now I know what you're wondering..."is Warren related to Carly, who works on Wild.com." Well, no, there is no relation that we know about. But I can tell you that as soon as Carly heard this morning that Warren was called up, she trudged 15 miles through the snow to get to the Hockey Lodge so she could buy a Warren Peters #43 jersey. She's one of those people that buys the jersey of the player of the same last name. Bless her heart.
0:00 - We'll take that first period on the road any day of the week. The Wild heads to the locker room with an edge on the scoreboard and the better of the offensive chances thus far. There's more where that came from L.A., so get ready for another long 20 minutes after intermission.
19:26 - Thus far, the Kings have played their best hockey in the first minute of each period. Anze Kopitar shows up early in the second here as he sends a low, hard wrister on goal that Theodore stops, but loses as he looks behind him. Fortunately, the puck is hung up in his leg pillows and he finally gets a whistle.
17:02 - And the gloves are off, and they are barely off of Staubitz's hand before Kyle Clifford goes in for the attack. Staubitz was still adjusting his equipment when Clifford started landing blows, and the Wild tough guy can never recover. He takes a pretty quick and thorough building at the hands of Clifford, but since this is Wild.com, I'm calling it a draw.
15:45 - It's not often you see two spectacular plays like this, but this is pretty. Havlat splits the Kings D, which includes stud blueliner Doughty. Doughty has to hook Marty who has a clean break in on Quick. He gets Quick to one side and then puts a quick backhand up high on the other side, but the Kings keeper makes a spectacular glove save to keep this a one-goal margin.
10:35 - MIN 1 - LAK 1 - We're square. As has happened too many times this season, the Wild is getting worked over in the second period. The Kings pressure finally leads to a goal as Kopitar gets the puck in the slot and puts a wicked wrister on goal. Theodore makes a big save with the chest protector, but the rebound pops to Brown in front and he deposits it into the net to even things up.
10:26 - MIN 2 - LAK 1 - Quick might be the worst puck-handling goaltender I've ever seen. When Barker dumps the puck into the Kings zone, Quick goes behind to play it, but he completely whiffs. Cal Clutterbuck is charging hard after it and he catches it on the right side and then just darts to the goal to stuff it in. I'm no math major, but that took nine seconds for the Wild to answer with a vengeance.
7:45 - When the Wild clears the zone on a Kings power play, the puck slides slowly into the Kings zone where Quick plays it to his defensemen, and the STAPLES Center crowd gives him a loud cheer.
5:19 - The Wild is just playing with poisonous snakes with their conga line to the penalty box, and the Kings come within an inch of taking advantage. Former Michigan Wolverine Jack Johnson unloads a blast from the right point through traffic and he rings it off the far post. Ryan Smyth raises his arm in celebration, but he'll have to put it back down. It's not in.
3:02 - My word, when Clutterbuck sets his sights on someone he is going to connect. He lines up Oscar Moller along the glass in the neutral zone and he absolutely smokes him, making him look like a suction cup Garfield on the back window of a Ford Taurus station wagon.
0:42.6 - Smyth is berating the officials right now as blood drips down his face from his eye. He wants a call on Zanon who caught him with a stick to the face, but replays show the reason that Zanon clipped him was because Smyth put him off balance by sticking him with a slew foot. Sorry Smytty, but that's called "karma."
0:32.4 - The gloves are off again and this time it's Eric Nystrom and Simmonds, who has been giving the Wild fits all night. Simmonds immediately takes his helmet off and then takes a wicked roundhouse that misses everything. They finally lock up and Simmonds gets Ny's helmet off as well. They trade blows and both go down once before getting back up and thowing punches again. The refs finally break it up and Clutter immediately skates up to Nystrom and yells words of encouragement.
18:51 - MIN 2 - LAK 2 - Bad things happen when you give a team six power plays. For instance, while killing a penalty, Antti Miettinen breaks his stick and can't get off the ice, and that essentially means the Kings have a five-on-three. They take advantage as Kopitar finds Smyth who is never more than a foot from the crease. He easily taps the pass into the net and we've got a new game again.
17:02 - Theodore continues to bail out his teammates as the Kings keep coming. Brown gets the puck behind the net and finds Justin Williams in the high slot. He snaps off a blistering one-timer that gives Theodore a nanosecond to react with a stupendous pad stop.
14:30 - The Wild gets some momentum going on a power play and Zidlicky sends a booming one-timer toward the upper corner, but Quick throws his waffle glove up and gets just enough of it for his biggest stop of the evening.
13:07 - Theo slides across his crease to make a big stop on Jarret Stoll, but then he takes a whack across his midsection from Smyth. Brent Burns immediately comes to the aid of his goalie and puts Smyth on his kiester. The only part the refs catch is Burns' planting of Smyth and he'll get two minutes for it.
11:07 - Another great job by the PK unit as Burns comes out. Let's hope those players have enough in the tank for the rest of this one.
8:03 - Not good. Miettinen catches Brown with a highstick and he's going to the box for four full minutes. This will be power play numbers eight and nine for the Kings. I don't like this.
7:16 - Theodore better get a big steak dinner after this one tonight. He has been otherworldly and this is his best save of the night. Ponikarovsky is wide open and redirects a pass toward the goal, but just as it gets toward the goal line, Theodore sticks his right leg out and slams the door. Unbelievable stop.
4:03 - Miettinen is out of the box and amazingly, the Wild has given up just one goal on nine King power plays. Unreal.
0:00 - The Wild gets at least a point for the fourth straight game. But just one quick goal (no pun intended) and the Wild will have a much-needed two points.
3:57 - Theodore is out of his mind right now. Once again, his right pad gets in the way of a sure goal as Brown crushes a one-timer after Kopitar makes a beautiful move behind the net before making the centering feed.
3:18 - A huge opportunity here as the Wild has an overtime power play, but nothing doing so far as Andrew Brunette sends a cross-crease feed over to Havlat, but his backhand attempt is stolen by Quick just lunging across to make a remarkable save. All we need to do is just give Quick the puck so he can try to play it right to a Wild player.
2:10 - MIN 3 - LAK 2 - And there it is! Somehow, some way, the Wild gets a yooooge overtime victory. Just seconds after Pierre-Marc Bouchard hits the post, Patrick O'Sullivan gets the puck at the side of the net. He sends a perfect feed into the high slot where Burns unloads a huge one-time blast for his eighth goal of the season, and a franchise record fifth overtime game-winner. Does that make your day of shoveling worth it? You know it does. What a night!