Frickin' Sportsline deleted my entire post when the browser window refreshed itself. Sigh...take two.
How exactly did the Minnesota Wild get two points last night from the New York Hockey Islanders? Sure, in basic terms, Brent Burns continued his great season by potting the game-winner off a Marian Gaborik rebound, but the two to three minutes of overtime were far and away their best period of the game. The Wild were outhustled by an Islanders team that came into the Xcel Energy Center with a six-game losing streak but certainly didn't play like it. If anything, the Wild looked like they were going to extend their own losing streak. It was good to see former Wild forward and playoff hero Richard Park in the building, as well as Miroslav "don't call me Satan" Satan, who has one of the best names in the NHL.
I'm going to keep this blog short as I plan on turning around and covering the St. Louis Blues game tonight (FSN North is covering back-to-back games for the first time in almost three weeks? Take that, Channel 45!) but I will get to my patented and now-famous awards. Hell, they've got to be famous - apparently someone at Sportsline is nice enough (or dumb enough, take your pick) to finally give me that little "Top 1K" icon. Christmas comes a little late for the Tangle this year, but whatever.
Tangle's game puck is awarded to: Wild forward Brian Rolston. Rolston is on an absolute tear, scoring goals in seven of his last nine games and getting his first two-goal game since December of 2006. The tying goal in the third was mostly the work of Mikko Koivu, as Rolston was left with a rebound so juicy that I could have put the puck in the net. Minor props go to Brent Burns for another solid game and Niklas Backstrom for a good effort in net. He gave up three goals, sure, but stopped a lot more that could have gone in, including a great stop on a breakaway (see wild.com for the video, it's worth your time).
Tangle's "WTF?" award goes to: Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro. Stopping only 13 of 17 shots is not the line of an All-Star goaltender. DiPietro was constanly out of position, giving up huge rebounds - three of the four goals scored came as a result of an initially blocked shot. Minor harassment goes to Wild defenseman Martin Skoula for letting the go-ahead goal come late in the third period. He was defending a three-on-two break and couldn't decide with Islander to cover - so he didn't cover anybody. That's my boy, Skoula.
Alright, that's it for me, I'll probably have tonight's game posted up by midnight. Keep your stick on the ice.