Wild win, put smooth effort in otherwise disjointed contest
By Wild Road Tripper
This is the Chuck Kobasew that Minnesota Wild fans had hoped would be coming to Minnesota this fall, when he came to the team from the Boston Bruins.
Kobasew's two goals led the Wild to a 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames, another team vying for the eighth and final playoff spot in the NHL Western Conference, in front of 18,411 Sunday afternoon at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild win, coupled with St. Louis' loss to Nashville, means the Wild will end the day no worse than seven points behind eighth-place Detroit as the new week begins.
The game was very disjointed, especially in the second half of the game, after Mikka Kiprusoff relieved starting Flames goalie Vesa Toskala, who won two weeks ago when Jarome Iginla went wild on the Wild, scoring three goals in that game. But, that was then, and this is now.
Oh, what a difference a fortnight can make.
Shortly after Kiprusoff relieved Toskala, Daymond Langkow took an Ian White shot off his neck, and the game had to be stopped while Langkow was stabilized, and then taken off on a stretcher (later reports indicated that Langkow was responding and had no problems with movement). Later in the early stages of the third, another long delay developed after Guillaume Latendresse tried to check Calgary's Jamal Mayers thru the penalty box door, a play which while perfectly legal, caused nearly a 15-minute delay while part of the penalty box door glass frame was removed. Additional damage was caused to the door itself, as the door was dislodged from the rest of the sidewall at the hinges; this will need to be repaired between now and the next game.
Andrew Brunette and Latendresse also scored for the Wild, who are now 4-2 at home since the Olympic break ended. The month doesn't get any easier for the Wild, however, as there are playoff teams as opponents in three of their next four games, beginning with the Next Game: vs. San Jose, Tuesday, March 23, 7:00 PM Central (5:00 PM Pacific Time), Xcel Energy Center. (TV: Versus, TSN2 (both in HD); XM Radio, Ch. 237)