Let me preface this blog entry by saying my true feelings: PURE BITTERNESS. Since the schedule was released I made time for this weekend. I made an opening of a weekend to watch the Wild in their first round playoff match. The six hour drive to St. Paul wasn't too much, especially top stop my desire. However, a monstrous snow storm, unseen to the month of April has hit Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This storm has canceled schools, made the roads slick and even shut down roads and bridges. My travel is impossible right now.
Past that (if it's possible for me to get past that) I'm still very excited for 9 p.m. tonight when the Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche hit the ice. Game two is just as meaningful as game one was, and that was the most important game of the season for the Wild.
It was hard work, hard hitting and determination for the Wild that led to them making an incredible come back in the third period, something the Wild rarely are able to do, especially from two goals down. They were led by the leader of the team, Mikko Koivu. Koivu found holes, took advantage of what was given to him and got a very lucky goal, a lucky bounce that the Wild had earned.
Tonight we'll need to come out with that same desperation, have our players flying down the ice to keep the puck in the feet of the Colorado defensemen. The Wild's best pressure was when dump and chase style led to big hits and quick stick work. Keeping Boogaard in the lineup will allow the Wild to have the space that they had all game one, and hopefully when Pouliot steps on the ice (he better play) for his first playoff game he can answer the call and take advantage of his opportunities.
The key for the Wild in the hearts of every Wild fan is that they can't stop. All season it has been good, then bad, good, then bad. We need to continue the good, show some consistency and make a run. Key players for tonight will be Marian Gaborik and Peteri Nummelin. Nummelin played very well in game one, had a beautiful assist to set up the fridge (who so coolly finished it). However, he'll need to prove he's not a one-game wonder by continuing his solid power play effort and good defensive work. Gaborik, on the other hand, did not play well in game one. Skating hard, backchecking and showing some desperation are needed in game two if he wants to continue being a superstar in the NHL.
Big game tonight, best of luck to both teams. For those who get to go: I'm so jealous, and bitter.