The Wild, once on top of the NHL were on an 8-game losing streak going into last night’s game with Edmonton, and were feeling like they had been pushed around a lot. Minnesota’s GM decided it was time to bring in the Big Gun, the Kassassin. If he’s in the lineup, he’s there to provide a physical presence.
Kassian challenged Darcy Hordichuk as soon as he could. The challenge wasn’t accepted until the second period, but when it was, the much larger Kassian was able to easily handle Hordichuk.
Both players started the third period. With the Oilers down 4-2, they had a chat and squared off again. The result was the same and Kassian once again skated to the penalty box trying to pump up the home crowd. Michael Russo reports that Hordichuk didn’t wear his elbow pads to start the period, knowing this time he would be the one issuing the challenge.
The Wild snapped their losing streak, winning the game 4-3. Points be darned, Kassian had 2:12 of ice time, 2 fights, 20 penalty minutes, and was named the first star of the game. That’s got to be some sort of new NHL record!