State of The State (of Hockey): New Year’s Eve Edition

Matt EllenbergerCorrespondent IDecember 31, 2008

Hot off the presses!! There’s life—the Wild finally showed up, against the best team in the NHL no less. Let me try to recap the game for you guys quick.

Owen Nolan started the scoring for the Wild on the powerplay when he got in front of a Brent Burns shot from the point. Play went back and forth for the rest of the period, and despite a flurry of action by San Jose, the period ended with a 1-0 Wild lead. 

San Jose evened the score on a shot by Devin Setoguchi on the power play. It was a shot that snuck between the legs of Martin Skoula (who else?), and then between the pad of Backstrom and the post.

The team of 18,000 thought the score was tied nearly a minute later when Derek Boogard missed the net with a shot, Burns hit the post, and Andrew Brunette tapped it home- but apparently the whistle had already blown.

The Wild then actually tied the game on the powerplay—twice. First (this was the goal that actually counted), Kolanos ripped a wrist shot past Nabokov with an assist to James Sheppard, although the puck quickly caromed out of the net and was waived off (but was reviewed and counted shortly after).

Then, the Wild struck again 30 seconds later (though this one didn’t count), and this time it was Sheppard one timing a Kolanos pass past Nabakov at the top of the crease.

With the Wild up 2-1 with time dwindling in the third, Devin Setoguch potted his second goal of the evening with 25 seconds left to tie the game.

With an almost playoff like atmosphere at the X, the Wild headed into OT knowing they’d played their best game of the season. Just one and a half minutes into OT, Mikko Koivu pulled up in the offensive zone, making a move to get around a Shark Defenseman.

He then fed a cross- ice pass to Brent Burns, who put it top shelf, just over the glove of Nabokov.

A few quick notes on the game, then on to other important stuff. Firstly, Kolanos’ goal is his second in a Wild sweater, and his second against the Sharks. Lastly, with the win tonight, the Wild snapped a 12 game winless streak; a stretch in which they went 0-6-4-2.

According to Russo’s blog, Nolan was playing at 80%. Big deal, right? Well it turns out, Nolan went up to Jacques Lemaire and asked him to play. Meanwhile, Marian Gaborik will not play unless he’s 100%. Gaborik skated before the team skate this morning, but the team decided to hold him out—bad news for Wild fans, and Marian Gaborik trade value stockholders.

Also, the Wild are supposedly in trade talks with L.A.

Marc-Andre Bergeron skated this morning, although the Wild placed him on the IR to make room for Nolan.