Game Re-cap from JS Landry of Hockey Wilderness. Be sure to check out the full gamer for the tree stars of the game and the answers to the five questions.
The first period started with a bang as Clayton Stoner engaged Theo Peckham in the very first seconds of the game. Peckham shook Stoner up and made him his little puppet. Quite insulting really. To add insult to injury, Stoner forgot to tie his shirt down to his equipment and got thrown out of the game as a result. I wasn’t even aware of this rule, but apparently, it’s to keep players from having their jerseys removed so that the opponents have something to hold on to while fighting. So right off the bat, the Wild were playing with 5 defensemen. The first period was a festival of physicality, fighting and all-around madness. A total of 5 misconducts and 100 PIM between the two teams were handed out in the first frame alone. Another first for me was seeing the Wild get a 7 minute powerplay (altohugh it was shortened by their own penalties) after Steve MacIntyre assaulted Brad Staubitz in quite a gutless fashion, grabbing him from behind, by the collar, and punching him behind the head after Staubitz threw a solid hit on Magnus Paajarvi. MacIntyre got a minor, a major for fighting and a game misconduct. Shortly after, Cal Clutterbuck threw a rather questionable hit from behind on Theo Peckham and also got thrown out of the game. I like physical play as much as the next guy, but I did not enjoy the first period. It was becoming a circus. Brent Burns FINALLY scored his 17th on a 4 on 3 powerplay slapper, so the period ended 1-0 for the Wild Aeros.
The second period saw both teams cool off, thankfully, because we don’t need 300 PIM, injury filled games. Jared Spurgeon scored his third of the season, further solidifying his title of best Wild rookie of the year if you ask this canadian moose. Mikko Koivu and Pierre-Marc Bouchard assisted on both goals at that point. Teemu Hartikainen (great name) later scored his 2nd goal off a weird little blunder by Jose Theodore, who saw the puck slide from behind the goal line, past his pad and in front of the goal where Hartikainen had the easy tap-in. This period was the complete opposite of the first in that nothing very notable actually happened.
Th third period was a healthy mix of the first two periods, but far the most enjoyable one. It was pretty much all Wild, as they outshot the Oilers 14-6 in the frame. A lot of physicality in this period too, but I felt the entire game featured sloppy play from both teams, but what else could we expect? The Oilers probably got a goal taken away as the refs blew the whistle a bit too soon and the puck slid under Jose Theodore while a big party was going on in his crease and everyone was invited. Andrew Brunette scored a pretty empty-netter, assisted one again by Koivu and PMB. 3-1 win, big whoop. From March 7th to April 7th, the Wild won 4 games: One against Colorado, one against St-Louis and two against Edmonton. Yuck.