Minnesota Wild (29-20-6) 64pts 4th in the Central
2.31 Goals For (27th)
2.38 Goals Against (7th)
17.4% Power Play (20th)
79.3% Penalty Kill (26th)
Top 5 Scorers:
1. #29 Jason Pominville ~ 21G 16 = 37pts
2. #20 Ryan Suter ~ 6G 26A = 32pts
3. #11 Zach Parise ~ 16G 14A = 30pts
4. #22 Nino Niederreiter ~ 9G 17A = 26pts
5. #64 Mikael Granlund ~ 4G 20A = 24pts
Top 3 PIM's:
1. #4 Clayton Stoner ~ 62 PIM's
2. #24 Matt Cooke ~ 34 PIM's
3. #2 Keith Ballard ~ 31 PIM's
1. #37 Josh Harding (18-7-3) 1.65GAA .933%SP 3SO
2. #35 Darcy Kuemper (6-3-1) 2.26GAA .924%SP 1SO
3. #32 Niklas Backstrom (5-10-2) 3.02GAA .899%SP
Colorado Avalanche (33-14-5) 71pts 3rd in the Central
2.88 Goals For (7th)
2.58 Goals Against (13th)
19.3% Power Play (12th)
81.8% Penalty Kill (15th)
Top 5 Scorers:
1. #9 Matt Duchene ~ 17G 27A = 44pts
2. #92 Gabriel Landeskog ~ 14G 26A = 40pts
3. #26 Paul Stastny ~ 15G 23A = 38pts
4. #90 Ryan O'Reilly ~ 19G 17A = 36pts
5. #29 Nathan MacKinnon ~ 18G 17A = 35pts
Top 3 PIM's:
1. #55 Cody McLeod ~ 87 PIM's
2. #58 Patrick Bordeleau ~ 52 PIM's
3. #6 Erik Johnson ~ 39 PIM's
1. #1 Semyon Varlamov (26-9-5) 2.43GAA .925%SP 1SO
2. #35 Jean-Sebastien Giguere (7-4-0) 2.59GAA .913%SP 2SO
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We tend to think of English as one language. However, once we head out of own English-speaking language, we quickly realize that English isn't as we know it. Heck, when you get right down to it, just leaving your region, state, province, or county, you notive the differences. As a Minnesotan, that carbonated non-alcoholic beverage is known as 'pop' but just about everywhere else it's called 'soda.' In non-English speaking countries, their version of English is tinged by where they get the bulk of their English-television from. For example in the small North Atlantic nation of Iceland, they're more likely to pick up American and Canadian English traits as they get quite a bit of their television from this part of the English speaking world. However, some of the best English words are often from the country for which our country is named, jolly ol' England. And today's word of choice, gobsmacked.
When thinking of Tuesday night's astounding win in Anaheim, that's best word that comes to mind. In fact, it's the best word to describe how I felt after that win. The basic definition of the word as defined by the classic Oxford Dictionary is "utterly astonished; astounded." The website, worldwidewords.org, takes it even further. The word is usually used for those moments when you're pretty much rendered speechless by an event. The roots of the word further explain how this word comes about. The word 'gob' from from Northern England and Southern Scotland and is slang for 'mouth.' That slang word is then combined with the word 'smack.' When you think about some of those speechless moments, how many times do you literally put your hand over your mouth in shock? See where I'm going with this in regards to the win against the Ducks?
The shock started early on Tuesday. First off, Minnesota scored first. For most teams, scoring first usually means they win the game. However, considering we're talking about the Minnesota Wild, I can't let that fete make me feel comfortable. Yes, scoring first boosts your chances of winning, but it doesn't automatically equal a win. And of course when Anaheim tied it up, I kind of felt like 'here we go again.' Heck, even when the Wild were up 4-1, I still wasn't feeling comfortable. We've seen the Wild give up a three-goal lead this season to ultimately lose. If we could lose to the New York Islanders with a three-goal lead, a three-goal lead on the league's best team felt fragile at best. The Ducks scored their second of the night with just under 10 minutes remaining. I continued to feel uneasy until the very last whistle. With the firepower they possess, they easily could have tied it up and won. So yes, I was gobsmacked that not only did we win, we won in regulation. The fact that we did what few teams have done this season to the Ducks left me gobsmacked.
Now, Minnesota needs to take the high of that win into Denver. Minnesota is currently seven points behind Colorado. As fans, if we're honest with ourselves, we know that we most likely won't overtake the Avalanche. It would be great to see, but I just don't see it happening. However if Minnesota wants to take one of the wild card spots, they need games like tonight's to help solidify that spot. Even better, it would help keep the Wild ahead of the Canucks, and that's always an extra incentive. Including tonight, Minnesota has four games remaining before the Olympic break. With the exception of tonight's game, the only game that truly has me worried is Tuesday's game against Tampa Bay. But then as I've learned, you never, ever, ever count out any opponent. When you do, that's when that opponent can, and often does, take advantage of that over-confidence. I'd really like to see Minnesota take three of the four games, but if we win at least two of the games that would be considered a success.
All I know is I prefer to be gobsmacked for good reasons, like the unbelievable win. Of course, we can be just as easily gobsmacked for bad reasons, especially if they happen in epicly bad fashion. We've seen it happen it before our very eyes. Here's to hoping we see more good reasons than bad.