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Souhan blog: Wild victory part of noteworthy day in Minnesota sports

  • Blog Post by: Jim Souhan
  • May 10, 2014 - 12:04 AM

Quite a day on the tundra.

The Wild played brilliantly in a 4-2 victory over the Blackhawks. Wrote my column for the Friday paper on the Wild's dominance.

The Twins beat Justin Verlander in Detroit with a limited roster.

The Vikings introduced their potential franchise quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, and the guy, at least, passed the interview portion of his career.

Then Bridgewater attended the Wild game, and saw what I saw: The local franchise thoroughly outplay the Stanley Cup champs.

My takeaways from the Wild game:

-I'm no fan of Matt Cooke or his history, but he played extremely well on Friday. His energy and forechecking led to the Wild's first goal and set up a couple of other prime chances.

-Ilya Bryzgalov gave up a terrible goal in the first period, but settled down. He allowed two goals in two home games to the Blackhawks. That's far better than could have been expected.

-The Wild's quality depth at forward has led to an impressive forecheck and plenty of scoring chances. This team, unlike last year's, doesn't have to have Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu score to succeed.

-Marco Scandella and Clayton Stoner are becoming the defensemen the Wild hoped they would be.

-The atmosphere at the X was outstanding once again. Late starts on a Friday play havoc with newspaper deadlines, but they're good for pre-game lubrication.

-Wild coach Mike Yeo's ability to match Koivu against Blackhawks star Jonathan Toews has helped hold Chicago in check. Koivu has managed only one point during this series, but his defense has been exemplary, and he saved at least two goals with timely checks on Friday.

-If Nino Niederreiter keeps working for the puck and skating the way he is now, he's going to become a star. He already has a star's shot, and he's willing to go to the front of the net.

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I'll be in Chicago for Game 5, so I'll be doing Sunday Sports Talk on 1500ESPN from 10-noon on Sunday, with Korzo in studio.

My Twitter handle is @Souhanstrib.

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