Wild has something to cheer about with shutout win

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 20, 2012 - 7:15 AM

The Wild won for only the third time in 13 home games, shutting out the division-leading Canucks.

view larger photos

  

With little left in the season to play for, the Wild's mantra the past week has been to play for "pride," for the logo in front of the sweater and for jobs next year.

Yeah, playing out the string isn't particularly fun.

Well, Monday night, the Wild, a team beaten to an emotional pulp the past two months, a team whose players have said they're "embarrassed," worked impressively, did the little things all over the ice and gave its paying fans something to cheer about for a change as it upset the Northwest Division-leading Vancouver Canucks, 2-0.

"It's a lot different feeling getting cheered off the ice," said Kyle Brodziak, who scored a 140-foot empty-netter and assisted on Erik Christensen's winning goal. "That one, we deserved for sure. It just feels good to play a full 60-minute game, do the things that we've been talking about doing for so long.

"It's definitely a feeling that we missed."

The Wild won for the 10th time in 42 games (10-25-7), for the third time in the past 13 home games and for the first time at home since Feb. 26.

Josh Harding, injured March 8 and, like his team, having trouble racking up wins for three months, made 33 saves for his first victory since Jan. 21 and sixth career shutout. He had been 2-8-3 in his previous 15 appearances with a 3.33 goals-against average and .897 save percentage.

Harding credited his teammates, but coach Mike Yeo felt Harding sent them a message 27 seconds in that he was there to play when he gloved down a Chris Higgins snipe.

"It breeds confidence," Yeo said.

The Wild had been scored on first in 11 of the previous 12 games, and usually before it had a chance to drip a bead of sweat, so Harding's sharpness early provided a big lift. Plus, Yeo felt the Wild's preparedness was rock-solid.

"We didn't win the game before the puck was dropped, but we put ourselves in position to," Yeo said. "It's real easy to prepare when things are going well. When things are not going well, it becomes increasingly difficult."

The Wild played with that pack-of-wolves mentality Yeo talks about so often, jumping to Dany Heatley's defense when Alex Burrows retaliated for Heatley's first-period check on Daniel Sedin. Brodziak and Nick Johnson rushed to Heatley's aid, and the Wild drew a power play.

"Those sort of plays get overlooked," Christensen said of Heatley, who played physically against Sedin, whose seven-game point streak against the Wild stopped. "We get a power play out of it."

And the heating-up Christensen, who went 15 games to start his Wild career without a point, scored his fourth goal in four games. All five skaters touched the puck and Brodziak sent Christsensen a no-look, backhanded pass through the crease.

It was Christensen who also helped turned the momentum of the period when, on his previous shift, he hustled all over the Canucks' end and forced Dan Hamhuis into a turnover with a big hit.

It was a Grade A example of doing the little things, something Yeo always harps about, can win and lose games. Little things, such as when Tom Gilbert blocked Sedin's open-net attempt; when Jed Ortmeyer broke up a one-time possibility; when Marco Scandella blocked Alex Edler's shot.

"The pucks do hurt when you're blocking them, but to get a feeling like this after the game, I guarantee everyone that blocked a shot will tell you it's worth it," Brodziak said.

"Until you're mathematically eliminated, you're still going to battle for that playoff spot, but at the end of the day, no matter what situation we're in, we want to feel good about the effort that we bring every night."

  • related content

  • Stoner dealing with loss during trying season

    Monday March 19, 2012

    There have been times this season when a bad game or the stress of mounting losses caused the grief Clayton Stoner has felt for months to suddenly return.

  • Game recap: Vancouver at Wild

    Monday March 19, 2012

    1. Josh Harding, Wild: Made 33 saves for his first victory since Jan. 21 and second career win in seven games against Vancouver.

  • Postgame: Stunning shutout at the X

    Monday March 19, 2012

    The Wild snapped a five-game home losing streak by shutting out the Vancouver Canucks

  • Minnesota's Erik Christensen, left, slipped this first-period shot between Vancouver goaltender Cory Schneider and the left post.

  • WILD 2, VANCOUVER 0

    Up next: 7 p.m. Thursday vs. Calgary • Xcel Energy Center • TV: FSN (100.3-FM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Arrieta 2 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: D. Axelrod 7
NY Yankees - LP: S. Kelley 2 FINAL
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 3
Colorado - LP: J. Lyles 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: Y. Petit 4
Tampa Bay - LP: K. Yates 4 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: A. Miller 5
Atlanta - WP: M. Minor 6 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 1
Cleveland - WP: C. Carrasco 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Danks 2
Minnesota - WP: A. Swarzak 11 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: B. Chen 5
Texas - LP: R. Mendez 2 FINAL
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 4
Oakland - LP: R. Cook 3 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: F. Salas 4
Atlanta 24 FINAL
Jacksonville 14
Detroit 23 FINAL
Buffalo 0
Indianapolis 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 35
Kansas City 14 FINAL
Green Bay 34
NY Jets 7 FINAL
Philadelphia 37
St. Louis 13 FINAL
Miami 14
Carolina 10 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
New England 13 FINAL
NY Giants 16
Washington 24 FINAL
Tampa Bay 10
Baltimore 22 FINAL
New Orleans 13
Chicago 13 FINAL
Cleveland 33
Denver 27 FINAL
Dallas 3
Minnesota 19 FINAL
Tennessee 3
San Francisco 40 FINAL
Houston 13
Arizona 9 FINAL
San Diego 12
Seattle 31 FINAL
Oakland 41
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ottawa 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
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 local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close