Friday, January 6, 2017

The Game: The Wild beat the Sharks! (And the funny feeling you get when you climb the rope in Gym Class)

Much like Team USA, the Wild faced a 2-0 deficit against their opponent.
Much like Team USA, the Wild clawed back to even the score.
Much like Team USA, the Wild then faced a 4-2 deficit against said opponent.
Much like Team USA, the Wild fought back to even the score.

Unlike Team USA, the Wild won in regulation rather than forcing overtime or a shootout.

The first period, the Wild didn’t show much rust. I know this because I was actually watching the Wild rather than Important Hockey. The second, they showed that they’d been off for four days by making a couple sloppy plays that led to the first Sharks lead. Fortunately for the Wild, Eric Staal popped one in with a minute left in the period, and that’s the type of goal to marinate on a goalie in the intermission.

Right on cue, the Zach Parise Of Old returned and scored 2 minutes into the third. Wild fans started thinking there was some hope. But then, the Sharks got two quick ones back to take a 4-2 lead.


But this is the Wild, and that’s Bruce Boudreau over there, so you knew something was going to happen. Unlike the Wild teams under Todd Richards or Mike “Put Pominville on the First Line” Yeo, they didn’t roll over. In a span of 5:12, the Wild scored three goals from Eric Staal, Mikko Koivu, and Mikko Koivu. Hell of a Game #800 for the Captain, eh?

So what does it mean? If you’re a Wild fan, this should give you hope. I know we reflexively want to throw up when we get this feeling: The Wild are not a team that inspire hope. They are a team who dash our hopes. As Minnesotans, we know this feeling well. We aren’t supposed to have nice things.

Still, I’m feeling something, and it’s not the urge to panic. This is a team that can be down twice in a game, on four days rest, against the defending Western Conference Champs. That's good. It's real good.

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