Good morning… I was looking at my favorite new statistics site [hockeyreference.com] and perusing the Minnesota Wild’s playoff stats. I am sure that like many of your, I was surprised to find out that the much maligned Wild forward Dany Heatley has scored (1g-5a—6pts) and is a +7 in nine playoff games. Seriously, a (+7). That’s not a misprint or a typo. Heater was a (-18) during the regular season. Since returning to the lineup, the former Wisconsin Badger has played decent, and hasn't been the usual turnover factory that he was during the regular season. My guess is that Heatley is trying to impress future suitors when July 5th free agent signing period comes around.
Last night, Matt Cooke returned from his league imposed seven-game suspension for his dirty leg check on Tyson Barrie and immediately gave the Wild another dynamic that they lacked while he was gone. Cooke created havoc in the Blackhawks end and assisted on Justin Fontaine’s first period goal.
Justin Fontaine's goal in the first period of last night's game was a thing of beauty. Coming into the season, there were a lot of Fontaine doubters that said the former UMD Bulldog would never get much more than a cup of coffee at the NHL level. Well, I think he's surpassed those expectations. Well, through 66 regular season games and seven Stanley Cup Playoff games, the former Bulldog has scored (14g-9a—23pts). I would think that 73 games would classify as more than a cup of coffee.
Last night, I said on twitter, “When you get past all of the extra bravo sierra Matt Cooke is a really good hockey player.” I thought Cooke’s was a game changer last night, and just proved that when he plays hockey,
One of the things that I saw pop up on Twitter last night was that the Wild had six skaters on the ice to open the third period. It's actually pretty obvious that the Wild have way too many on the ice, however, the play went undetected by the on-ice officials. [Here's the link to the video.]