Glen Andresen's Five Takeaways vs. Nashville
This spot on top of the mountain is absolutely lovely. We might just stay here for the holiday weekend. Maybe longer depending how we feel.
Just call the Wild “Cousin Eddie.”
After another stirring third period rally, the Wild rattled off a fifth straight win and its sixth in a row at home to remain atop the NHL. With Pittsburgh’s shootout loss, the Wild may be the only team with 29 points depending on the outcome between Chicago and San Jose late tonight.
Dany Heatley, Kyle Brodziak and Cal Clutterbuck tallied in the third period, and Josh Harding withstood a late barrage by the Preds in the 3-2 Wild win.
“Our ability to stay with it in the game and continue to execute…it’s a real credit to our guys,” said Head Coach Mike Yeo.
Earlier today, 51-year-old Paul Deutsch was setting up car pools for his 11-year-old daughter’s youth hockey team to attend tonight’s game in a suite. A few hours later, Deutsch had signed an NHL contract, met with the local media and was on the ice taking pregame warmup shots from players on the top team in the National Hockey League.
Life can be pretty interesting at times. Check out Deutsch's memorable day at the rink here.
Deutsch was signed as an emergency backup this afternoon when tonight’s scheduled starter, Nik Backstrom, became unavailable due to personal reasons. With Matt Hackett jumping on a flight from Houston during the busiest travel day of the year, the Wild had to have someone on the bench should something happen to Harding.
Deutsch got the call from Wild goalie coach Bob Mason and he knew it was serious. He quickly signed the contract and submitted it before the 4:00 PM deadline as mandated by the NHL. The Wild was familiar with Deutsch who has practiced with the team many times due to his friendship with former assistant Mike Ramsey.
But Deutsch admitted this experience was very different from those typically easy-going practices.
“Practices are one thing,” said Deutsch before the game. “But the game faces, if you will, are on. And I don’t see those very often with these guys. Usually it’s practice and we’re laughing and it’s ‘hahaha.’ Gameday is a lot different so I’m trying to stay out of the way and not get into any trouble.
Deutsch, who didn’t even play goalie until he was in his twenties, had his career came to an end just prior to faceoff when Hackett arrived in time to make it to the bench before puck drop. He retires with an unbeaten record and a sparkling goals against average of 0.00.
Once again, Harding showed why the Wild has the best goaltending tandem in the League. He came up with huge save after huge save, especially on Sergei Kostitsyn, who somehow only has three goals this season. He could have had three more tonight if not for the brilliance of Hards.
Those mesmerizing lip sweaters on the Wild faces just might have to stay past Movember. Right now, the Wild is 9-2-0 in the month of November, which already bests its best November ever (8-5-0 in 2008). There are still four games remaining in the month.
The Wild players have helped set this trend of growing staches to support cancers affecting men. And they always have fun with it. It’s even better when they can’t lose.
Film producer Samuel Goldwyn came up with the phrase “the harder I work, the luckier I get.” Cal Clutterbuck works as hard as anybody on every shift, and maybe that’s why he benefits from the fortunate bounce every now and again.
When Mikko Koivu cleared the Wild zone on a Nashville power play, he just lofted it out of the zone and off the boards in the Nashville end. Pekka Rinne wanted to play it, but the puck took a funny bounce and Clutterbuck was speeding ahead of everybody to win the race.
Rinne, who was brilliant all night, lost his balance and had to resort to throwing his stick at Clutterbuck. It didn’t matter. Clutterbuck and his famous stache made no mistake in pounding a shot into the yawning cage.