Don't look now, but the Wild's en fuego as Dan Patrick would say.
Wild's won five in a row for the first time since the start of the 2007-08 season. The Wild's got points in seven straight (6-0-1) since opening last season 6-0-1. The Wild's got points in 13 of 16 games (10-3-3).
If Phoenix holds on to win (ahead 3-0 after 2), the Wild will be five points behind eighth-place Dallas -- quite the achievment considering this team opened the season 3-9.
Wild got goals from Andrew Ebbett (shocker, right?), James Sheppard (definite shocker), Andrew Brunette, Antti Miettinen and Eric Belanger and Josh Harding made 26 saves for wins in consecutive starts for the first time since Jan. 2008.
The Wild gave up the first goal for the eighth time in nine games (6-1-2), but it could have been a lot worse. The Wild opened the game by taking four straight minors, and gave up the lone Martin Erat goal. The minors ended at 17:40 of the first. The Wild was down 1-0. It left the period astonishly ahead 2-1.
Martin Havlat, who skated better than he's skated since maybe that third period Oct. 6 against Anaheim, hustled his way into a 2-on-1 after, believe it or not, a smooth little touch pass for a breakout by Derek Boogaard. Ebbett knocked Havlat's pass out of the air for the tying goal. Then Sheppard nipped Nick Schultz's point shot for just your everyday Sheppard-from-Schultz goal. It was Sheppard's first goal since March 28.
He was only playing because ill Cal Clutterbuck couldn't play. Sheppard worked hard all night and camped out in front of the net. It was good to see, and coach Todd Richards praised him afterward.
The momentum carried into the second, and the Wild got goals from Brunette and Miettinen. On Brunette's power-play goal, the seventh of his season, it came after Havlat's hustle drew a penalty. He then made a great play at the power-play point to save the zone, then quickly fired on net. Brunette deflected it, then popped his own rebound by Dan Ellis.
The Wild didn't close out the game well, but it built a four-goal lead, so it was able to afford the late hiccups.
Brunette's got nine points in his last five games. Miettinen's got six goals in his last six. That's Marian Gaborik-like
The Wild's scored 23 goals in the past five games, and for the first time in team history, scored five in three straight games (although one was a shootout).
OK, I think that's it. I've got an early flight. Here's a funny, a bunch of players were whining about 4-hour flight to Phoenix tonight on their charter. I finally chimed in, "You know you can wake up at 4 a.m., take a regional jet to Memphis and connect with me in the morning."
Yeah, they all shut their mouths.
Have a pretty good follow for Monday. Unless there's news, you won't hear from me on the blog Sunday. The team is taking Sunday off, and I'm actually working the Vikings-Cardinals game. You know I covered Anquan Boldin when he played in high school? Was a quarterback at Pahokee High.
That's the only Cardinals player I could name. Oh, and some Fitzgerald guy.