No rust showing in Falk's debut

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 23, 2011 - 12:20 AM
hide

Vancouver's Dale Weise (32) battled the Wild's Justin Falk during overtime Saturday.

VANCOUVER - With Greg Zanon and Guillaume Latendresse hampered by sore groins, the Wild called upon two reinforcements Saturday who filled in impressively.

Justin Falk made his season debut on the blue line, while Nick Johnson played for the first time in five games and was a constant threat during a 3-2 overtime loss to the Canucks.

Falk, 23, who had played 25 games the past two seasons, was paired with Marek Zidlicky and started against Daniel and Henrik Sedin, something that even caused coach Mike Yeo to laugh afterward.

"I've been really taking practice pretty serious the last few weeks here," said Falk, who played 22 minutes, 11 seconds and blocked four shots. "Practices are my games. I'm trying to stay sharp, so when I get a chance ... I'm able to step in and give some quality minutes to the team and contribute."

The last time Johnson played was Oct. 11 in Ottawa. He scored a big third-period goal. But with Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Brad Staubitz returning from suspensions, Johnson fell victim to a numbers game and was removed from the lineup.

Saturday, he showed no signs of rust. He had four shots, two hits, was a puck hound offensively and strong defensively, and he assisted on Kyle Brodziak's goal.

"I want to play," said Johnson. "I know I can help the team. It's obviously very frustrating when you're not playing, but I think we have a really good setup. I'm having a blast when I'm in, and I'm having a blast when I'm out.

"I just do what I can, and hopefully they like that."

Delicious delivery

Wild defenseman Clayton Stoner received a flavorful care package from his father on Friday. Ken Stoner arrived in Vancouver with a huge Styrofoam cooler of halibut and smoked salmon for his son to take home to Minnesota.

Clayton Stoner and his dad caught the fish this summer near their hometown of Port McNeill, British Columbia -- the tippy top of Vancouver Island.

"There's more wildlife than people where we're from. It's pretty secluded," Stoner said. "Every year, the seafood is plentiful up our way, so he'll usually fly down and bring me a big cooler of stuff we caught, froze, freezer-packed and smoked ourselves."

Usually, the Wild's in and out of town and the fish will stay frozen until Stoner returns to Minnesota. This time, the Wild extended its trip because after Saturday's matinee, the team remained in Vancouver for the annual rookie dinner -- where the rookies buy the vets dinner.

With the Wild not departing until Sunday morning, "I've got [media relations coordinator Ryan] Stanzel tracking down a freezer at the hotel."

Etc.

• Youngster Brett Bulmer, who grew up eight hours north of Vancouver in Prince George, was excited to play his first game against the Canucks. His parents, aunt and uncle and a couple of cousins and buddies made the trek south to watch him at Rogers Arena on Saturday. His father, Lance, and brother, Kyle, grew up Canucks fans, while Brett was an Oilers fan. "It's pretty cool, because it's in B.C., and that's where I grew up my whole life and spent all my years," said Bulmer, 19. With Latendresse out, Bulmer played the power play, created his usual smack-talking havoc and assisted on Brodziak's goal.

• Zidlicky had an assist, ending a six-game pointless streak.

• Zanon had played 252 of his previous 253 games.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Minnesota 94 FINAL
Philadelphia 103
Houston 93 FINAL
Boston 87
Portland 99 FINAL
Atlanta 105
Sacramento 90 FINAL
Cleveland 101
Toronto 127 FINAL
Brooklyn 122
Dallas 93 FINAL
Miami 72
LA Clippers 103 FINAL
New Orleans 108
Golden State 100 FINAL
Utah 110
Chicago 93 FINAL
Phoenix 99
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 1
St. Louis 3 FINAL(SO)
Carolina 2
Nashville 0 FINAL
Colorado 3
Buffalo 2 FINAL
Vancouver 5
Chicago 4 FINAL
Anaheim 1
Harvard 75 FINAL
Princeton 72
Quinnipiac 57 FINAL
Canisius 63
Brown 49 FINAL
Cornell 57
Siena 79 FINAL
Manhattan 87
Marist 65 FINAL
Niagara 61
Dartmouth 51 FINAL
Penn 58
Oregon 68 FINAL
Arizona State 67
Yale 63 FINAL
Columbia 59
Monmouth 60 FINAL
Fairfield 59
IUPUI 59 FINAL
Western Ill 63
Oregon State 34 FINAL
Arizona 57
Kent State 55 FINAL
Buffalo 80
Canisius 75 FINAL
Monmouth 58
Butler 67 FINAL
Providence 59
Cornell 65 FINAL
Brown 52
Columbia 47 FINAL
Yale 55
Coll of Charleston 47 FINAL
Drexel 64
Penn 55 FINAL
Dartmouth 39
Elon 60 FINAL
James Madison 89
(19) Princeton 96 FINAL
Harvard 46
(9) Florida State 82 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Quinnipiac 87 FINAL
Siena 62
Richmond 54 FINAL
Rhode Island 50
Loyola-Chicago 58 FINAL
Southern Ill 64
Georgetown 52 FINAL
DePaul 93
Villanova 75 FINAL
Marquette 59
Wichita State 70 FINAL
Northern Iowa 51
Xavier 65 FINAL
Creighton 74
Bradley 58 FINAL
Illinois State 55
Missouri State 89 FINAL
Drake 94
Arizona 48 FINAL
Utah 62
(11) Arizona State 68 FINAL
Colorado 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which of these teams is the most frustrating to watch right now?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close