The Wild swept their two-game road trip, playing, and winning, back-to-back nights against the Edmonton Oilers (3 – 0) and the (hated) rival Vancouver Canucks (2 -1 SO). The Wild (especially Darcy Kuemper) are playing at an extremely high level. I bet Zach Parise and Ryan Suter are happy Mikael Granlund is back on their side — Granlund’s Finland stomped the US (5 – 0) in the Bronze Medal game. With some of the players rested from the Olympic break, and some still high on the Sochi competition, the Wild look composed, confident and completely (N’ Sync).
Despite allowing a goal on their own power play against the Canucks on Friday night, despite suffering from a highly questionable (bad) call from the referees to disallow an early tying goal, the Wild still found a way to fight through the game against this tough conference rival.
Zach Parise continued to ride high after competing very well in the Olympics. His sniper accurate, dream-like, top shelf, money in the bank, game-tying, highlight goal was the best moment of my sports night — I could watch that shot on replay over and over.
Kuemper did his best Marshawn Lynch impression (beast mode!) and the Wild defense did the rest, with a splash of Justin Fontaine scoring a game-winner to end the gridlocked shootout (it went seven rounds, Fontaine had the only score). Kuemper stopped 30 of the 31 shots he faced (the kid is liquid hot right now) and Ryan Suter (logged 32 minutes ice time) helped keep a half dozen more shots, blocking six himself , from reaching the 23-year-old net-minder.
The Calgary Flames roll into town on Monday to face the white hot Wild, now winners of four in a row. If the Wild want to try to crack the top three in the division, they need to keep streaking. Stupid Colorado.
Photos via: Getty Images