Glen Andresen's Five Takeaways vs. Colorado
Monday, 12.26.2011 / 8:23 PM CT / Minnesota Wild | Features
By Glen Andresen - Manager of Social Media
In all honesty, I did not see this 4-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche coming. Mikko Koivu was back. The Colorado Avalanche had a long day of travel and zero prep time. The Wild started out well with the power play getting off the schneid early and the offense pinning the Avs in their own zone for extended stretches.
Once Dany Heatley caused a turnover that led to Koivu setting up Cal Clutterbuck to give the Wild a 2-1 lead, it seemed like it was on. But a late second period goal by 2011 first round draft pick Gabriel Landeskog tied the game, and the Avalanche took advantage of Wild penalties the rest of the way.
The loss pushed the Wild’s pointless streak to four games and its losing streak to seven games.
We need this,” said Head Coach Mike Yeo, who pointed out that the Wild is still in a good spot right t now. “Clearly we need this. Because if it happened later in the year, we’d be in deep trouble…It sucks to lose. It sucks. But we have to go through it.”
Worse than the ugliness of the result was the ugliness of Cody McLeod’s hit from behind on Jared Spurgeon in the first period. Wild fans have a right to be furious about this. It was just two weeks ago that Zach Bogosian rammed Pierre-Marc Bouchard face-first into the boards in Winnipeg. That yielded nothing in the way of a suspension.
Here we go tonight, and McLeod, who will never be a Lady Byng candidate, put Spurgeon into the boards hard. Spurgeon was on the ice for an extended period and the injury looked serious, although Yeo did not have an update after the game.
He was angry enough to point out that it was the second time that Spurgeon was checked from behind in the span of about five minutes. He felt that indicated the Avs were targeting Spurgeon.
Whether they were or not, a hit like that has to be suspension-worthy. If you can suspend a guy for a high stick that was caused by the victim lifting the perpetrator’s stick, you can certainly suspend a guy for a hit as dirty as this one.
You can’t feel good about a seven-game skid, but you can be confident that it should end soon. With Koivu back, the Wild looked to have a renewed sense of confidence. In the four games he was gone, the team looked discombobulated and players seemed to be trying to do too much.
Koivu’s return seemed to calm his teammates, and players seemed to be more comfortable in their roles. That was especially true for his linemates, Heatley and Clutterbuck. Both looked energetic and Clutterbuck was firing shots all night.
Koivu now has a point in 14 of his last 15 games, and Clutterbuck has four goals in his last five home games.
If you were among the 19,290 fans in the building that made up the sixth largest regular season crowd in franchise history, you saw a celebrity. Comedian/actor/writer Nick Swardson of Reno 911 fame was in the building to do tonight’s “Let’s Play Hockey” declaration.
The star of “Nick Swardson’s Pretend Time” was nice enough to take some time out of his night of fun to do an interview with Wild TV. Aside from the interviewer, it was entertaining. And trust me, the unedited version was even funnier.
Swardson promised that the next national talk show interview he does, he will be wearing his Wild jersey. But that’s dependent on the Wild winning the Stanley Cup.
If you want some good news to end the night, I've got some. As I write this, the U.S. is dominating Denmark in the first game of the World Junior Championships. Wild prospect Charlie Coyle already has two goals with time still remaining in the second period.
Sweden was already a 9-4 win over Latvia today. Wild draft pick Johan Larsson had a goal, while Jonas Brodin had two assists. Johan Gustafsson took the victory, making nine saves on 13 shots.