ST PAUL, MN - JANUARY 21: Steve Ott #29 of the Dallas Stars and Darroll Powe #14 of the Minnesota Wild fight in the second period on January 21, 2012 at Xcel Energy Center in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
The two had tangled about two minutes before, but there weren't enough punches thrown to land either a fighting major. Powe was a little upset at the way Ott had been "bullying" the Wild, and Ott was willing to put his fists behind his words.
Powe's play, including the fight, was something the Wild pointed to after the game as a turning point that set them on a three-goals-in-one-minute outburst, the key in their 5-2 victory.
"Emotionally, he gave our bench a huge lift tonight," Minnesota coach Mike Yeo said. "The guys were pumped about what he was willing to do for them."
And I absolutely understand that from the Wild's point of view.
Here's what I don't get though: Why couldn't the Stars build off that same momentum? It's not like Ott lost the fight. I'd call it a split-decision win or at worst a draw. I do understand maybe wishing he'd walk away, though you have to remember when the original spar happened, the score was tied and i think the fight had more to do with the first skirmish getting cut short than anything else.
But I can't help thinking the Stars should have been able to feed off the energy as well. Instead, only one team turned up the volume, and I can't blame that on Ott. How the rest of his teammates responded is out of his control, and they certainly came apart at the seams for a crucial minute.
After the jump, more on the Stars loss to the Wild, possible incoming Shanabans and the Buffalo Sabres had an even worse night than the Stars did.
- I could have told you what the story was with five minutes left in in the second period - the Wild's three goals in 59 seconds outburst. Having Eric Nystrom admit it got in their "psyche" (though I don't think that word means what he thinks it means) is somewhat concerning. [ESPN Dallas]
- It's easy to forget that Glen Gulutzan is also a rookie in a sense, so it's no surprise tht he, like any other rookie, is hitting some roadbumps as he learns the ins and outs of the NHL as Mike Heika discusses in this paywalled article. [DallasNews.com]
- Another No. 36 scored his first career NHL goal on Saturday, as Wild rookie Chad Rau made his NHL debut and scored the game-winner (albeit, off the stick of Brenden Morrow). [Fox Sports North]
- Here is a prime example of why I hate the idea of rebuilds: The Edmonton Oilers, despite all their high draft picks and young talent, are going nowhere and are creating a more and more toxic losing atmosphere for their young players. Taylor Hall and his busted up face, for instance, were not very happy during the loss to the Calgary Flames. The even better example is the Columbus Blue Jackets, rebuilding since they came into the league, but they didn't have fun video evidence to illustrate my point. [Backhand Shelf]
- The Shanahammer may very well be breaking out of its box in the next 48 hours or so because of a pair of boardings from Saturday's games. The first is a really super-obvious, super-stupid hit by Andrew Ference on Ryan McDonagh in the Boston Bruins-New York Rangers affair. Also featured, homer announcing courtesy of the NESN crew. [Puck Daddy]
- In the category of "definitely boarding but the hit itself is really not all that dirty," you find noted line-walker Henrik Zetterberg of the Detroit Red Wings, who put an arm into the back of Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman and my favorite name in the NHL Nikita Nikitin and sent him extremely awkwardly into the boards. I highly doubt this garners a suspension, but the major and game given to Zetterberg was the correct call. [Puck Daddy]
- It was a bad day for NHL concussions as Danny Briere of the Philadelphia Flyers and Evander Kane of the Winnipeg Jets were both revealed to have one. [London Free Press]
- I have good news and bad news for those of you who are already scheming how to spend the Stars cap dollars this summer. The good news? Free agent defensemen tend to live up to their deals. The bad? You can't say the same thing about forwards. [CBC.ca]
- Meet the enemy: Whatever the Anaheim Ducks are eating for breakfast, it keeps working for them. Corey Perry and Lubomir Vishnovsky both scored in the second period as the Ducks picked up points in their 8th consecutive game in a 2-1 over the Ottawa Senators. [Los Angeles Times]
- Around the Pacific Division: Other than Anaheim, however, it wasn't a good night to be a Pacific Division team. The San Jose Sharks let the Vancouver Canucks score the game-winner late in a 4-3 loss, the Phoenix Coyotes had a comeback falls short in a 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Los Angeles Kings scored first but only once in a 3-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. Mercifully, all three games ended in regulation. [San Jose Mercury News/Arizona Republic/Denver Post]
- Apparently getting a new owner just isn't a recipe for success this season, as the newly purchased Buffalo Sabres are having a terrible time of it. Not only did they lose to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, but they couldn't get home either. [Twitter]
- There are a couple of reasons I don't put a whole lot of stock in this "world record" hardest shot from the KHL All-Star game. The first is that defenseman Alexander Ryazantsev of Traktor Chelyabinsk (and yes, I copy-pasted both of those) gets a full-scale skating wind up from the other side of the blue line. The second is that the sensor is apparently pointed just after the point of release rather than entering the net, which is where the NHL reads it. So even though I can't directly compare his 114.127 mph (183.67 km/h for you metric fans) shot to one from, say, Zdeno Chara or Shea Weber, it's still pretty impressive to watch.