It was like Christmas morning for me today, with the Wild back at Xcel Energy Center for the first time since April 10.
2-0 win over Columbus, and here are just a few random observations:
-- In new coach Todd Richards' system, defensemen are allowed - even expected - to jump into the rush when possible. Brent Burns was made for that kind of system. He was all over the ice tonight, assisted on a goal and looked fantastic. He could really thrive in this system.
-- Cal Clutterbuck's rookie year wasn't a fluke, and he's ready to contribute. Two goals tonight, #1 star and a great presence.
-- Goaltending, of course, is solid. Backstrom and Harding split the game, and the shutout, tonight. Harding will likely be traded soon, and it will hurt a bit to see him go.
-- There were already #17 Petr Sykora jerseys on sale in the Hockey Lodge. Lots of fans wearing Havlat #14 jerseys already.
-- Kyle Brodziak is going to be a nice addition to the team. Good skills, skates well.
-- Colton Gillies didn't help his bid to make the team when he biffed a breakaway after Antti Meittinen set him up beautifully.
Fun night, back there again on Sunday afternoon against the Blackhawks...Hope we get to see some Havlat, Sykora, Koivu, Brunette.