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Maybe We’ll See Hockey Somewhere In There Tonight

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King HippoIt's games like this that liveblogging was made for. It helps that there's a holiday tomorrow and, thus, no work and all the recklessness that such a schedule permits.

Sounds like the Wild are still a little angry, lead by everyone's favorite mutant Boogaard. As the image suggests, I recommend the Canucks, whenever possible, punch him in his stomach. He's bound to fall. Or, failing that, follow the rules from the highly acclaimed RoadHouse movie and remember that "If you wanna bring a man down, always go for the knees". Hmm, just like Ohlund did no? I'M KIDDING! Sort of.

FIRST PERIOD
18:35 - Cooke hit by Hill and then Hill turns on Morrison. Woo hoo, here comes that vaunted venom Boogaard promised. Also good to Hill passed the most recent pee test.

17:24 - Boogey goes down and the Minny announcers want a call. Ho hum. It's not a bad game so far, great energy from both teams.

15:42 - And the Xcel center cranks Def Leppard to get the crowd into it. No dice. Burrows takes down a Wild player in the front of Sanford and the announcers again call for a penalty.

14:30 - OK, it's starting. Someone took a massive run at Naslund for the penalty (the announcers said Naslund was crying too much) and then a quick whistle negates a goal. Well, it took five minutes, but I want the Wild TV voices dead.

13:33 - AWWWWWW. The poor announcers have to talk up briefly the fact that Naslund gets his fifth PP goal of the year and puts the visitors up by one.

13:11 - AWWWWWWWWWWWWWW. Looks to me like Kesler, you know the "Bad" guy from Dr. Boogaard, just broke a check and went full speed around Harding for the wraparound. 2-0 Canucks.

12:40 - Well, this has been a fun minute. I didn't see who made the pass but Gaborik buried it with a beauty shot. 2-1 Canucks.

12:38 - Jesus I can't even type this fast enough...Brown just welcomed himself to the NHL by scrapping with Burns Voros. I didn't catch the name. Both guys got their shots in though, wait for it, the announcers call it for the Wild player. Whatever...the game goes on, but what a minute of action.

11:34 - Kesler takes a call and the Wild get their first shot on the man advantage.

10:09 - Mitchell takes a high sticking call and the Wild get the two man advantage for half a minute. Christ, this team is determined to learn the hard way.

9:30 - Gaborik scores again from the top of the circle, almost identical positioning to his first. He looks great tonight (or Sanford looks bad. Or the Vancouver willingness to take too many penalties is looking bad again. Whichever). 2-2 tie.

3:01 - Thanks to NHL Center Ice dropping out on me and forcing a browser restart, I missed six minutes and what seems to be a lot of penalties. Gaborik takes a slashing call to make it a rare 3-on-3 briefly.

End of the First - A good first period for both teams, it had a little bit of everything. Nothing over the top, each team had its chances, the goalies have been a bit lit up so far but it's pretty rare you can say both Vancouver and Minnesota are playing fun, entertaining games so take that for what it's worth. Could be a different (re: trap) period in the second, so let's see what's what.

SECOND PERIOD
14:57 - (I fucking hate NHL Center Ice) - anyway the second is underway and hopefully the Canucks can stay out of the box a bit better this period.

10:29 - Vancouver is playing way too much on the perimeter in the Minnesota end. They need to push the play and force the Wild to take a call against them rather then lobbying long bombs from the point at Harding.

8:10 - Christ the Wild have eight healthy defensemen and Vancouver has, um, three? Buggery.

4:56 - Boogaard and Brown come together, but nothing comes of it. Five minutes left in a period I've barely seen (have I mentioned I hate the NHL Center Ice online package?!)

4:33 - Cooke does his job and, while the Minny announcers want Cooke in the box, it's Sean Hill that goes and gives the Canucks the advantage for two.

2:03 - The Wild kill off the penalty and I think I saw, for the first time in two games, Taylor Pyatt. Good times, thanks for making an appearance chief.

End of the Second - Both teams did settle down for the period and it's back to what you'd expect between these teams: tight, aggressive and low scoring hockey. It's likely a bad bounce could end this game for either team and Sanford hasn't exactly wow'ed me up to this point, so we'll see. Canucks will have to come out in the third, kill off the rest of Naslund's penalty and get a bit more offensive if they want to get some points out of this effort.

THIRD PERIOD
19:15 - Let's just pretend Isbister gets his third straight goal in as many games to win this shall we? For fun?

16:11 - I miss that minute from the first...that was far more fun then watching Weaver take haymaker shots from the point.

14:55 - Dammmmn...Naslund gets his second of the game and ninth of the year off a beautiful tip-in from a pass from Henrik I think...sent that pass through a Minny defenseman's legs. Good stuff, 3-2 Canucks.

14:12 - A Wild defenseman just steamrolled over Harding. I thought he was a lot worse off then he actually is, he's back up and ready to return. Oy, if that was Ritchie who popped him the arena would have flayed him.

12:25 - Vancouver's outshooting Minnesota 6-1 so far in the period. 7-0 in faceoffs. It's the twilight zone.

11:09 - Pyatt just missed an open puck to the left of Harding in the crease. I would have something negative to say about him but a certain Rinslet would have me killed so I will keep my thoughts to myself.

8:13 - After a few minutes of Vancouver domination over the play, the Wild are storming back and peppering Sanford with some shots. Sanford's going to have to pretend the Wild are actually the Canucks from last year and stone them over the next eight minutes.

6:00 - Nummelin just got crushed against the glass by someone and he wobbles off the ice. Oh it was Cooke, I should have guessed. He's done his job tonight.

3:45 - It's the Wild show now. The Canucks are sitting back and riding this one out. Channel all of your positive thoughts to Sanford.

3:33 - You good people did channel those vibes huh??! A 2-on-1 with Daniel and Naslund and the captain finishes it with a picture perfect top shelf shot. That's Nazzy's first trick of the year and damn well deserved, he's been awesome tonight. 4-2 Vancouver.

1:07 - Is that Burrows playing alongside the Sedins now?

:35 - The Wild have a goal called back after a shot went off Dominic Moore's hand. Or...I thought. They're going upstairs...expect Toronto to fuck it up and give it to them. While we wait, the Xcel center is riveting us all with what sounds like carnival techno music. What, no Cotton Eye Joe?

:35 - No goal, that'll seal the deal for Vancouver.

GAME RECAP: Somehow we all knew a game where both teams were calling each other out wouldn't amount to much. Brown cashed in on his first fight of the season and scored a draw, but this game was all about Naslund. The captain looked like his vintage self, banking in a rebound off the boards for his first of the night, notching his second off a great tip-in from Henrik and gets the trick by finishing off a two-on-one with Daniel. Sanford was solid in net after a rocky first and the Canucks, with the exception of the opening period, kept their composure and didn't let the pre-game build up or the Wild agitators get the better of them (that, in and of itself, is amazing).

And just to end the silliness from tonight? Pinky and the Brain didn't do that bad, Naslund's the first star and that bad Kesler guy got his fourth of the year. Boogaard, in contrast, played the least of any player (which may have been a smart move by Lemaire anyway) on both teams and still finished with a -1.

Moving on...the win puts Vancouver in a tie for the NW title (gasp!) and back on the winning side of things before their Friday game against the Blues.