Game re-cap provided by our good friends at Hockey Wilderness:
The first period was about as big a yawn fest as any hockey game in the history of the NHL. Just 13 shots on goal, little physicality, and none of the rancor that should be associated with a division match up. It almost reminded me a bit of the Icecapades, except there was a puck, no women in tight outfits, and no one was jumping around.
So really is was more just a bunch of guys skating around. Pretty boring.
The second would be more of the same, until finally Brent Burns laid out Taylor Chorney with a massive hip check. Just a minute or so later, Cal Clutterbuck also laid out Chorney, and the fans were awakened. As if to put the proverbial exclimation point on it all, Greg Zanon fed Martin Havlat for a break away on which the Oilers defense would simply watch him skate in and score. Neither Peckham nor Gilbert even moved, it was surreal.
Then… the third period.
First, Kyle Brodziak scores on a ridiculous top shelf back hander that had to have his Kaptain happy where ever he was watching from. That would have been enough to electrify this crowd, but the fact that it came after the Wild killed a 1:30 5-on-3 PK… that tore the roof off the place.
Then the show really started. On a Wild power play, Jared Spurgeon out waits the defense, loads up and fires a beauty of a slapper to the upper glove side corner through a Brodziak screen for his first ever NHL goal. The fans in Minnesota let him know they were appreciative of his efforts with a rousing standing ovation when his goal was announced.
Spurgeon played the good soldier after the game saying that “a goal’s a goal for the team.” Asked if he owned an Oilers sweater as a kid, he answered “Just a couple, but they’re at the back of the closet now.” Big goal, against his childhood team, for a not so big guy. Let me tell you, the kid was excited.
Needing to play the rest of the game, the Wild weren’t quite done with the show just yet. Pierre-Marc Bouchard took the puck in without an Oilers defender to be seen after Ladislav Smid allowed the one and only Cal Clutterbuck to get in his head and tried to run Clutter. Butch said he “knew [he] was going to do it from the blue line.” Good thing, too, because it worked.
When the dust settles, the Wild get the two points, and move into fifth… read that again… fifth place in the Western Conference. That could still change tonight, but for now, savor it Wild fans. A team once in 14th is now in fifth. Soak that up.