The Wild creamed the Flames here in Calgary tonight for a second consecutive win at the Saddledome, not bad for a team that won three times here in history before this season.

The Flames just had no pushback tonight. Lethargic, sloppy plays and when it got a chance, the Wild either blocked the shot, Nik Backstrom made the save or the Flames splintered their sticks.

Todd Richards wasn't as impressed with the game as I was, but it's a big win coming out of a break in which the team didn't play together for 17 days. The beginning of the second period is likely what most bothered Richards. The Wild just couldn't generate an attack, but even though it spent a lot of the 10 minutes in its zone, but of Calgary's shots were from the perimeter.

The Wild has won two straight games in Calgary for the first time in team history. Two of the Wild's all-time five wins here (5-18-4) have come via shutout. Minnesota has won four straight overall against Calgary for the first time in team history, outscoring the Flames 14-2.

It was a good game plan. Very short shifts. Mostly rolled four lines. Check out the ice times. Owen Nolan played 17:40 to lead all forwards. I mean, Mikko Koivu played 15:09. A lot of the reason for that is Calgary took no penalties (third time in history by a Wild opponent), so there were no power plays. Also, for all the talk about losing Eric Belanger's faceoffs, the Wild won 37 of 57.

Backstrom's 29-save shutout was his 19th of his career and second of the season.

Kyle Brodziak scored a goal and has four points in his last two games.

Andrew Brunette has a goal in three straight games. Mikko Koivu snapped a 10-game goal drought but has 13 points in his last 11 games and a four-game assist streak.

Cam Barker was a career-best plus-3. Brent Burns was a plus-3 and has been that or better nine times in his career. Marty Havlat scored a goal too.

Jarome Iginla, the all-time leading scorer against the Wild, has one goal in his last 14 games against Minnesota and was minus-2, the first time he's ever been worse than minus-1 against Minnesota.

Next up, Edmonton on Friday.


I alluded to it this afternoon, but I talked to GM Chuck Fletcher about Nolan on Wednesday afternoon. As you know, Nolan did not want to be traded and let Fletcher know that during a meeting Monday. Fletcher and Nolan also talked about Nolan's future, and here's what Fletcher said:

"I can confirm there was interest in Owen and some of our other players as well. We don't feel we're dead and buried this year. We do feel we have an opportunity to win some games and gain some ground. Owen Nolan's a big part of our group. For us, at this juncture, we felt it was important to keep him. I have a lot of respect for what he's done and what he's accomplished. He's been a positive influence on our team and we wanted that continue." Do you want to bring Owen back? "We'll sit down and talk at the end of the season. There's still some hockey to be played. But we've had a conversation about this and we both have interest in speaking at the end of the year and he can see how he feels and I can see where we're at and we'll just see what makes sense then. We have a good relationship and they'll be time at the end of the year to see where all that goes. "Once players get to be 36, 37, 38 years of age, you always wonder what they're going to be able to contribute on the ice. His contributions on the ice have far surpassed my expectations and by that I mean, his work ethic everyday. He rarely takes a day off from practice. He's fully integrated into that team day in and day out and he plays as hard as anybody. And this is a man who's played a lot of games in the NHL. I knew he was tough, but once you see the toughness and dedication firsthand, it is truly impressive." Nolan, incidentally, was tremendous tonight. Also, I'm told no teams called about Josh Harding today. Lastly, Go Minnetonka! Talk you Thursday night after a late practice in Edmonton.