Tag Archives: Martin Havlat

Wild World Championship Update

Last week, Dennis Endras started things off the right way for players with Wild ties at the IIHF World Championship. He posted a shut out of Russia in the opening game of the tournament. He appeared to set the tone for some other players of interest to Wild fans.

Mikael Granlund has had himself a nice showing through two games in helping Finland go 2-0. The 2010 first round pick tallied a power play goal in a 5-1 win over Denmark, becoming the first Team Finland player born in the 1990’s to register a goal in World Championship competition. In a 3-2 shootout win over Latvia, Granlund picked up assists on both regulation goals and would have been Finland’s final shooter in the shootout if not for Mikko Koivu sealing the win with his patented backhand roof shot on the glove hand side. Koivu also has an assist through two games.

Finland’s next opponent will be the Czech Republic, which is also 2-0 thus far.  Martin Havlat is tied for the team lead in scoring with a goal and two assists, while Marek Zidlicky has one helper.

Brent Burns and Cal Clutterbuck each have a point for undefeated Team Canada, with Burns notching a goal and Clutterbuck assisting on a Travis Zajac tally in a 9-1 rout of France. Canada is currently trailing Switzerland, 1-0 in the final game of pool play.

Havlat, Burns Help Team Lidstrom Earn 11-10 All-Star Win

After the All-Star Fantasy Player Draft Friday and the All-Star SuperSkills competition last night, it was time for the main event this afternoon in Raleigh, N.C.

Brent Burns, Martin Havlat and the rest of Team Lidstrom topped Team Staal, 11-10. Chicago’s Patrick Sharp was named the game’s MVP after scoring one goal and two assists with a +2 rating for Team Staal.

Havlat registered three assists, two shots and 14:51 TOI on the day, though he was on the ice for even more Team Lidstrom goals. Marty played with a couple of different players, although he spent the majority of his day alongside Chicago’s Jonathan Toews and Dallas’ Loui Eriksson. He was robbed by the glove of Henrik Lundqvist with nine minutes left in the third but showed off the skills Wild fans are used to seeing as he played set-up man throughout the contest, including the empty-net goal that was ultimately the game winner.

Marty will be lucky to get out of Raleigh in one piece after chasing down Carolina’s Jeff Skinner’s breakaway attempt late in the second. 🙂 The joke all weekend is that the 18-year-old Skinner has reached Justin Bieber-status in Carolina and it certainly has seemed so in the media coverage all weekend. He might be an unbelievably talented young gun, but Marty ruined his breakaway attempt with a great backcheck.

Burns flashed his trademark grin throughout the contest and was paired on the blueline with Phoenix’s Keith Yandle. Burnsie finished the game with one assist and three shots in 18:13 TOI.

Burns was also shown in the mic’d up segments of the game, spouting some funny quips about deciding to stop forechecking and playing defense. Clearly, the VERSUS crew has been listening when we often praise Burns’ humor and personality, and it made today’s broadcast that much better.

The game itself was a back-and-forth contest between the teams with the goalies making plenty of stellar saves. The home crowd was loud early as Team Staal opened up a 4-0 lead just halfway through the first period, but Team Lidstrom fired back to take a 4-4 tie into the first intermission.

Team Staal once again grabbed the lead with two goals to start the middle frame, before Team Lidstrom used three straight markers to get its first lead of the game and go into the second intermission with a 7-6 lead.

Team Staal had another hot start to the period, gaining an 8-7 lead before Team Lidstrom made it 10-8. Team Staal cut it to 10-9 and pulled goalie Lunqvist, but Eriksson scored the empty-net goal for the eventual game winner.

It’s been a fun weekend full of enjoyable All-Star Game festivities, but I’m quite happy for the guys to get back at it tomorrow. The mandatory time away from the arena ends with the afternoon’s Wild practice, and let’s not forget, the good guys have won four of their last five and are only one point out of a playoff spot.

I’ll leave you with the official NHL shots of your Minnesota Wild All-Stars. Warning: Sunglasses might be necessary for viewing…

Burns and Havlat Join Team Lidstrom

Minnesota Wild defenseman Brent Burns and winger Martin Havlat will remain teammates for the weekend. Martin St. Louis of Team Lidstrom announced the selection of Burns in the 13th round (26th overall). In the very next round, Havlat joined Burns in a blue jersey.

For full coverage of tonight’s events, read Carly Peters’ Wild.com story here.

As you can see, Burns sported a clean-shaven look to go with his fashionable grey pin-stripe shirt and lavender dress shirt. One other note: he looked like a giant standing next to Patrick Kane when he went up on stage.

Kane made the announcement of the Havlat pick as the two were teammates in Chicago. Havlat looked excited to be reunited with the youngster.

Roseau’s Dustin Byfuglien was the first Minnesotan taken in the draft, going to Team Lidstrom in the seventh round. St. Louis Park native David Backes went to Team Stall in the 17th round. Former Minnesota Gopher Phil Kessel was the last player chosen, but he gets a car out of the deal and a $20,000 donation to charity in his name.

Nothing But Smiles And Laughter

From what I hear, Sunday’s practice was very interesting and there were apparently some angry words and actions on the Xcel Energy Center ice. I didn’t see any of that on Monday. It seemed that players and coaches were in a much better mood as a full day of practice wrapped up with a contest at center ice.

Players hooted and laughed as each skater took a turn firing a shot from the center ice faceoff dot into an empty net. Players had to go until they made their shot, and the last one to make one became the designated “Juice Boy.” It came down to Cal Clutterbuck and video coach P.J. Deluca whose final attempt was a wounded duck that missed by 10 feet.

After practice, Richards compared yesterday and today, saying it’s just like raising a kid. You have to be strict when needed, but you also have to help them. Today was about helping, and the Wild special teams got a lot of work and help, even though they’ve been good early in the season.

Richards was asked about the lack of production from even strength lines. He admitted he is thinking about shuffling the lines up, but he did not hint at what those moves might be, and he’s not sure he’ll try something new before tomorrow night’s game with Vancouver.

He didn’t get much of a chance to experiment today anyway, because Matt Cullen, Martin Havlat and Nick Schultz all missed practice due to illness. There is some bug making its way through the locker room, but Richards is hopeful that all will be available tomorrow. If not, the Wild may be forced to call down to Houston tonight.

The good news is that Brent Burns was on the ice, and his lower body injury doesn’t seem to be bothering him.

Finally, Richards touched on Pierre-Marc Bouchard, saying he looks good and everyone’s getting excited about him. Still, there is no timetable for contact. But I will say he looks good. It will be up to him when he feels good enough to take contact, but I have to think it could be getting close. As I type this, I’m watching him and Clayton Stoner skate some Herbies with Darby Hendrickson.

That’s all from today’s skate. Don’t forget about tomorrow’s 8:00 p.m. start against the Canucks. Also, the first of the Year Ten team bobbleheads will be given to the first 5,000 fans through the gates. Mikko Koivu will be tomorrow night’s figurine.

Business At Hand

You’ll pardon me if I’m a bit distracted today, but I’ve got lutefisk on the brain. In 12 hours, I’ll be attempting to sleep on a plane bound for Helsinki, Finland while listening to Bob Kurtz and Tom Reid order more wine.

It’s okay if I’m distracted though. What’s important is that the 25 guys in the Wild locker room are focused on Grant Clitsome and the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight at Xcel Energy Center.

First of all, all attending tonight’s game should bring a piece of used equipment to the game tonight. You do that, and you get a voucher for discounted regular season Wild tickets. You also get to feel good about yourself because you just helped a youth hockey player suit up for this season. That’s called good karma, and you never know. That kid might develop into an NHL star, and that piece of equipment might end up being his lucky pair of shoulder pads that he wears his entire career. It’s not that far-fetched.

As for the lineup tonight, it will closely resemble Tuesday’s. Cam Barker did skate today, which surprised Todd Richards, but he doesn’t expect him to go tonight. That could always change. Guillaume Latendresse and Marek Zidlicky did not skate today, and will not play tonight.

Chuck Kobasew will get the chance to play alongside Matt Cullen and Marty Havlat tonight. Cal Clutterbuck will go back to playing with John Madden and Eric Nystrom. It’s still unknown whether or not Casey Wellman or Matt Kassian will be in the lineup. Jared Boll, who is one tough hombre, might not be with Columbus tonight, which would probably mean Kassian sits.

Marco Scandella will be in for Zidlicky, and Clayton Stoner will sit this one out again.

Todd Richards said he really likes the chemistry that’s developed in camp between Cullen and Havlat. He thinks it’s a good pairing because Cullen likes to skate, and Havlat likes to control the puck and make quick passes. He can feed it right into Cullen’s skating lanes and that generates chances.

All right y’all. It’s very possible that the next time the Lighthouse shines, its beacon will be scanning the Baltic Sea. But stay tuned because there will be plenty of posts from Finland throughout the next eight days. Hyvasti!