Glen Andresen's Five Takeaways at Edmonton
Friday, 04.08.2011 / 11:45 PM / Features
By Glen Andresen - Manager of Social Media
As hockey fans know well, SportsCenter doesn’t throw a lot of hockey highlights up on their nightly program. And they certainly don’t show highlights featuring two teams with no hope of making the playoffs. But in the first period of the Minnesota Wild’s 3-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers, it appeared as if these two teams were trying to get on all the highlight shows for the same reasons that the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders did a couple months back.
Just seven seconds into the game, Clayton Stoner and Theo Peckham went after each other, with Stoner getting a game misconduct for not having his jersey strapped down. 19:53 later, the two teams had combined for 100 penalty minutes.
It was ugly (like the linesmen breaking up a fight between Brad Staubitz and J-F Jacques well before it was over). At times it was scary (like Steve MacIntyre jumping Staubitz at center ice and pounding him with punches as he lay on the ice). And it was certainly entertaining (like pretty much everything else).
But things settled (somewhat) in the second, and the teams worried about playing hockey rather than the highlight shows, and the result was an entertaining brand of hockey.
Somewhere in all the madness of the first period, the Wild scored a power play goal off the stick of Brent Burns. They even put seven shots on goal in the period. Not one of them came from a forward. The Wild’s second goal also came from a defenseman when Jared Spurgeon finished a pretty passing play of Mikko Koivu to Pierre-Marc Bouchard to the front of the net. Andrew Brunette finally salvaged some pride for the forwards when he tapped in an empty netter to seal the victory.
Drew Bagnall admitted in his first intermission interview that it was hard to watch a slew of Houston Aero teammates get the call to fly north to join the big club. It had to be especially frustrating considering how close Bagnall came to making the team out of training camp. The team even took him to Finland before making him the final cut before the opener.
Bagnall never got back, until tonight. And he did exactly what was needed, especially with the team down to five defensemen for 59 minutes and 53 seconds. He was physical. He got in the faces of opponents. And he never seemed to be out of position.
With the win tonight, the Wild established a franchise record with its 20th road win of the season. It also marked the first time the club swept a six-game season series against a club. There’s no doubt that this final meeting will be remembered by the players involved, and things could be interesting once again in the first game of next year’s season series.
Despite players on both sides trying to beat each other into submission, there was actually a touching moment tonight. But it happened before the game.
Tonight, Paul Lorieau sang the American and Canadian national anthems for the final time before the opening faceoff and ensuing brawl. The legendary singer took the mic for 30 years and provided the preludes to some of the biggest games in NHL history, and the Wild had the honor of being the last visiting team to see him sing.