Following Wild games, Managing Editor Glen Andresen will give the five takeaways that he’ll remember from each contest. Tonight, he looks back at a 3-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.
If you watched the Minnesota Wild’s first period tonight, you might have said they don’t deserve to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets. You might have even covered your eyes so you wouldn’t have to watch anymore. But in hockey, there are three periods, and the Wild played much better over the final 40 minutes, making a 3-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets extremely hard to swallow.
It was especially sour because of a controversial call that led to Columbus’ game-winner midway through the third period. From then on, the Wild turned on the gas, and came excruciatingly close to tying it with two seconds remaining, but ultimately, the lack of a 60 minute effort killed them.
You can understand there being some issues with the NHL’s use of replay, considering it was just implemented this year. Wait a second, I’m starting to think it might be Major League Baseball that instituted the use of replay this summer. Hockey, I believe, has been using replay for many years now, so there really shouldn’t be an excuse as to why they still can’t get calls, or wording on calls, correct.
Columbus’ game-winner by Umberger came when he drove the net, lifted a shot that Backstrom stopped and then dropped in his crease. There was exactly zero signals from anybody on the ice in a striped sweater that the call was a goal. In such a case, you need unquestionable evidence to overturn the call. However, if you simply pretend that you signaled for a goal, you can announce to the crowd that “the original call on the ice stands, therefore it is a good goal.” That’s what referee Kelly Sutherland did, and the result was not good.
Following the first period, the Wild introduced the Year Ten All-Time Team as voted on by the fans on Wild.com this past summer. It’s hard to say their was a surprise in the results. Five of the team members are currently wearing the iron range red and forest green: Mikko Koivu, Andrew Brunette, Brent Burns, Nick Schultz and Nik Backstrom. The only other member was obviously Marian Gaborik, who remains the franchise’s all-time leader in scoring.
I don’t know if guys like Wes Walz, Pierre-Marc Bouchard or Willie Mitchell feel snubbed, but I’m sure they’ll get over it eventually. I think we should have an unsung team, for guys that weren’t stars of the team, but made significant impacts. My Unsung Team is as such:
Forwards – Jeremy Stevenson, Todd Fedoruk, Richard Park
Defensemen – Lubomir Sekeras and Andrei Zyuzin
Goaltender – Dwayne Roloson.
I will back up those picks with a Lighthouse blog at a later date. Right now, we have to get to takeaway number four.
Burns made the all-time team mostly due to his offensive statistics. He’s scored more goals than any defenseman in Wild history, but he’s probably scored more dazzling goals than anyone that hasn’t worn number 10 in a Wild sweater. Last year’s remarkable goal against Los Angeles comes to mind, but that one could be rivaled by tonight’s beauty. Picking up a carom off the backboards, Burns skated down deep to retrieve it. In one motion, he spun around without looking and slid a backhand off of Mathieu Garon and in. If you missed it, here it is.
Martin Havlat continues to search for that first goal of the season, but he’s certainly been a factor in every game this season. Havlat assisted on both goals tonight, marking his first two-assist game since March 14 of last year. Matt Cullen also picked up two helpers, giving him six points (2-4=6) through four games this season.