Mike Doyle's In-Game Commentary vs. Chicago
Thursday, 04.05.2012 / 6:56 PM / Features
By Mike Doyle - Managing Editor
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Howdy, State of Hockey legion! Welcome to another compilation of Wild.com’s In-Game Commentary presented by Sun Country Airlines. There aren’t too many things that I like more than jet setting off to exotic locations, and, when I do, I choose Sun Country. On this day in 1975 the State of Hockey’s own, Bob Dylan, hit number 31 on the charts with “Tangled Up In Blue.” Judging by his catalog of songs, Bobby is a big hockey fan – well, all his songs are up for interpretation – and he’s probably a huge Wild supporter. I bet he’s somewhere on tour, following the commentary, wearing his Zimmerman Wild jersey.
Bobby should rewrite “Tangled Up In Blue” to “Tangled Up In Iron Range Red” because that’s what the visiting Chicago Blackhawks are going to be tonight, after tangling with the red-hot Wild:
“Late one evening the Wild was playing, Hawks were coming to town,
Chicago had their hopes on winning, but Minnesota beat them down.”
Well, think about it Bobby and get back to me.
As for tonight’s game, the Wild will start goaltender Josh Harding. He led the team to a 5-4 shootout win on Sunday against the Hawks and he is set to repeat that performance today.
The Wild recalled defenseman Tyler Cuma from the Houston Aeros yesterday, and he’ll make his NHL debut. Cuma will be the first player in the history of the team to wear number 65. He also becomes the 46th player to skate for Minnesota this season. He is in for Clayton Stoner, who suffered an upper body injury on Tuesday.
As for the other Minnesota players out with injury, Jared Spurgeon (concussion) is out. Steven Kampfer (lower body). Matt Kassian (sports hernia) has been shut down for the season. Matt Cullen (finger) is out for the remainder of the season. Mike Lundin is shut down for the season after having surgery on a sports hernia. Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Guillaume Latendresse are on Injured Reserve with concussions.
If you’re a stylish commentary follower, the Wild wears the home reds, while the Blackhawks is dressed in the classic road whites with red and black trim.
19:21 - Viktor Stalberg tries to bank the puck into the net…off the side of Harding's dome. He knocks the goaltender in the mask, causing a strap to pop loose and the ref blows the whistle while Harding tries to shake it off.
18:20 - Shaw gets a wide open look on net, but shoots it wide with a backhand. After a neutral zone regroup, Brendan Morrison crosses the Wild blue line and springs Shaw. Wild needs to pick up the pace here, quickly.
15:54 - The Wild's top line just can't connect on a 3-on-2. Setoguchi finds Heatley on the left side face-off dot. Heatley fans on the puck, spins and tries to find Koivu in the slot, but the puck just misses the captain's stick.
11:41 - After the Hawks control the puck, for what seems like forever, on a delayed penalty, Patrick Kane goes cross ice to Sharp. He thinks he has an open net, but Josh Harding makes a diving glove save with an empty cage. Sharp though he had one, I think we have a play of the week nominee.
8:23 - MIN 0 - CHI 1 - Harding has been on his game early, but the Hawks slip one past him. After a faceoff win, Michael Frolik circled behind the Wild net, made a spin pass to Jamal Mayers in front. Harding tries to make another diving stop, but the puck slides past him.
3:36 - Not a very sportsmanlike play from Kane. After he is whistled for offsides, his momentum carries him to the net. He acts like he's still on a breakaway and slides the puck past Harding. Darroll Powe doesn't like this and give Kane a shot, which is a very sportsmanlike response to an unsporting play.
2:07 - Justin Falk jumps into the play and tries to get something going for the Wild. Heatley pulls up at the Hawks' blue line and finds Falk trailing the play. Falk gets off a wrist shot from the top of the circle that Crawford saves.
1:41 - Well it took a while but the bad blood from Sunday's game has started to spill into this one. Mayers gets tied up with Prosser and the Wild defenseman leans in and his helmet hits Mayers in the face. The other players start to push and shove in the corner as Mayers is hunched over in the corner. Prosser is assessed a five-minute major for head butting. Wild has a big penalty kill upcoming.
0:00 - The Wild will start the second period, down a man. After they kill that off, it's time to get some offense rolling and put a couple on the board.
19:12 - With the Hawks starting the period on the power play, Marco Scandella makes two sliding plays to break up passes and keep the puck from finding Chicago players on the backdoor. We're going to need a lot more of those plays with 2:30 left on the man disadvantage.
17:14 - Cal Clutterbuck intercepts a pass at the Wild blue line, tracks the puck down and gets a chance. He streaks down the left side, opens up and releases a wrister that Crawford turns aside.
15:43 - Harding takes a stinger. Morrison uses Foster as a screen and rips a high slap shot that Harding takes in the shoulder area. He hangs onto the puck as he goes down to the ice. But after a short stoppage, the tender is back in the crease and ready to get back at it.
15:10 - Koivu takes the puck at his own blue line and has some room. The current captain is 1-on-1 with the Wild's first captain, Sean O' Donnell. Koivu makes an inside-out move to his forehand and blasts a hard wrist shot that Crawford has to make a sprawling left-pad save on.
13:17 - Chicago is on the PP and applying the pressure. Kane is in the corner with the puck and tries to shoot one of Harding's pads for a rebound. The puck comes loose, and there is a battle in front of the net. The puck falls into Harding's lap along the goal line. With Kane looking on, Harding does a bottom scoot away from the line. Can't help but think Josh had a smile on his face as he did that.
11:15 - Setoguchi draws a penalty on Kane as he busts wide to the net. On the delayed penalty, the puck is lofted high in the air to Heatley. He finds Gilbert, who gets a one-timer through traffic, but Crawford makes a glove save.
9:52 - Setoguchi nearly tips a Gilbert slap/pass from the slot, but Crawford makes the save. The top line has picked things up midway through the second. I like this.
8:51 - Like I just said, the top line is picking it up. Koivu takes a pass at his own blue line and essentially goes 1-on-4 with four Hawks, and gets through. He tracks the puck and chips a backhand that Crawford keeps out of the net.
6:08 - The grind line of Brodziak-Johnson-Powe gets about four chances in six seconds, but Crawford stands his ground. The line gets the puck after a good forecheck and Powe gets it to the net. He and Johnson whack at the rebound, but can't get it by Crawford. Looked like that old game Whack-a-Mole for a minute there.
4:37 - Well one thing is for certain, Zucker isn't shy when it comes to mixing it up. After Falk gets hit from behind by Bollig, a melee ensues. Mayers is the middle of the scrum and Zucker give him a WWE headlock from behind to pull him off the pile. Mayers is visibly upset and Zucker just laughs and laughs. Like to see that from the rook.
:38 - Just because you're an honorary State of Hockey resident doesn't mean Harding is going to take it easy on you. Sean O'Donnell walks in from the point a takes a half-slap shot on Harding. The goaltender calmly gloves it and keeps the puck for a whistle.
0:00 - The Wild was much better in the second an marching towards a comeback win in the third.
16:51 - Wild with a chance as Falk releases a point shot that is tipped by Clutterbuck on the way to Crawford. He makes the save and Powe throws a rebound out front. Clutterbuck gets a look at the loose puck, but the Chicago goaltender stands tall. Actually, he was flopping around like a fish in the desert, but you get my drift.
15:02: Zucker shows off some skill as he goes 1-on-1 with a Hawks defender. He attacks the triangle but gets the puck slashed off his stick as he pulls the puck around the defender.
11:32 - Setoguchi with a burst of speed off an offensive zone faceoff to get a chance. The puck is drawn into the corner, and Setoguchi beats Leddy off the wall. He cuts around the defenseman in on Crawford, but his forehand attempt is foiled.
10:01 - Blackhawks nearly extend the lead, but Scandella and Harding team up for a great defensive play. Kane makes a sweet behind-the-back pass to Hayes standing at the side of the net. He shoots the puck but Scandella gets a piece of it and Harding keeps it out of the net.
9:06 - Bryan Bickell thinks he extends the lead after he tips a point shot from Hjalmarsson. The slapper is coming in high and Bickell knocks the puck down, out of the past Harding. However, after a quick review, the replay shows Bickell hits it with a high stick. No goal! Great camera work, by the way.
7:15 - Brodziak tries a sneaky bank shot that almost tricks Crawford, but the goaltender keeps his shutout going. Oops, did I just say shutout? Dang, my bad Chicago fans.
4:20 - Here is the Wild's chance as Bryan Bickell high sticks Darroll Powe. He is stung, but thinks it's totally worth taking one in the face for a two-minute power play.
3:12 - MIN 1 - CHI 1 - Booyah! Marco Scanella has a gun and he's not afraid to use it. He hammers a point shot through a screen that hits the shaft of Clutterbuck's stick and goes past Crawford. All square.
0:00 - Nothing new here. After a flurry of action in the last minute, the Wild heads to its fifth-straight game past regulation. Let's get the win in OT and go to bed.
4:32 - Duncan Keith rings the pipe from the left circle. At least it looks like it hit the post from my perspective. Either way, it definitely didn't go in.
1:00 - Seabrook with a chance after cutting to the middle of the slot. Harding has to make a big left-pillow save and the game goes on.
0:00 - And for the fourth-straight game we are heading to the shootout. I'm glad all of you are sticking it out with me during these extended games.
Christensen is loses the puck on the way to the net, but still gets a shot off that is reviewed: no goal.
Kane tries his slow down move, but Harding stays with him and makes a reaching glove save.
Koivu goes for the patented backhand shelf move but Crawford makes a poke check save.
Sharp comes down and nearly loses it too and Harding makes the save.
Setoguchi just shoots the puck and it usually works. This time he goes high over the glove for a goal.
Stalberg tries for a backhand and misses. Wild win!
Well another great game from the good guys. We'll see you Saturday for the final In-Game Commentary of the season. Till then, goodnight.