Wild one shy of team record for road victories
- Article by: Michael Russo
- Star Tribune
- March 14, 2007 - 10:24 PM
SHERWOOD PARK, ALBERTA - Earlier this season when the Wild was losing game after game after game after ... (you get the picture) on the road, players preached the playoffs would be a pipe dream unless it became "a .500 team on the road."
Well, in an extraordinary change of fortune after a 4-15-1 start on the road, the Wild can even its road record at 18-18-3 if it beats Edmonton tonight.
Thanks to a 13-3-2 tear, the Wild's next road victory would be their 18th, establishing a team record.
"Imagine where we'd be if we hadn't dug ourselves such a hole," captain Mark Parrish said. "Look at the team we've become on the road. Everybody's committed to a good, hard-working, patient-style of game, which is what you've got to do on the road.
"Confidence is a fickle thing. There were times when we were losing on the road where we were playing pretty good, but we'd shoot ourselves in the foot so many times. Something would happen and 50 minutes of good, solid work would all be over in five.
"Now, we've gained confidence and it's built and built."
Brian Rolston's slapshot from just inside the blue line to tie Tuesday's game with 3 minutes, 23 seconds left was another example of how Rolston is inside Roberto Luongo's head.
Five of Rolston's goals have come against Luongo, four on slappers.
"Hey, I feel like I can beat goalies inside the blue line if I get it right," Rolston said. "Maybe he started thinking a little bit on that one. He started charging out and he couldn't get down in time. He almost stumbled when the shot came."
Center Wes Walz, who has missed four games because of a strained back, practiced Wednesday and will test it again at this morning's skate to see if he can play.
Among players who have appeared in at least 60 games, Mikko Koivu has the second-largest point increase from last season. Koivu's 45 points are 24 more than last season.
Michael Russo firstname.lastname@example.org
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