There were a couple of statement wins by teams out of the Northwest Division last night.
First in San Jose, Calgary earned a hard fought, playoff paced 3-2 victory over the cooling Sharks.
It was the first time San Jose has dropped a home game since February of last year.
I'm not big on a lot of regular season records, especially with San Jose, but this was huge win for the North division leading Flames.
They have rarely gotten mentioned this season as a serious Cup contender and it is the 2nd time they have thwarted San Jose in a little over week.
To be fair, I must mention that the Sharks lost Rob Blake in the first period and only had five blueliners for the remainder of the contest.
Even still, it must give patrons of the Tank ill flashbacks of coming up short in playoff intense action.
The Flames are serious folks and they look to be getting their motors running full charged just for this Spring.
Good hockey where it belongs
Out in St. Paul, Minnesota, emotions and playoff lives was the emphasis as the Wild hosted their division foes, the Edmonton Oilers.
Both teams are campaigning for the last couple playoff spots and both took the ice with postseason intent.
Minnesota jumped on top early and never looked back eventually winning 5-1.
Although the final score seems very one-sided, the game was played at a 2-1 margin for the better part of the game.
Minnesota did not gain a three goal lead and put it away until a little over 5 minutes left in regulation.
With this win, Minnesota jumped into the eighth and final spot of the Western Conference.
Of course, clinging to an eighth seed in January does not promise the Wild a trip to the playoffs, but it was interesting to see their response to a game with playoff atmosphere.
There was plenty of rough to as well.
In the first period, Ladislav Smid of Edmonton had a go with James Sheppard of Minnesota.
Now, these two individuals are non-fighters, but this scrap they had last night was certainly the fight of the night.
Also, our old buddy Sheldon Souray from one last week's entries popped up again and looked spectacular in his bout with Craig Weller.
Weller will never be mistaken for Basil McRae, but he is a tough dude and can take care of himself.
This Souray victory was a definite step up from the lumps he distributed on Mattias Ohlund's dome last week.
Sheldon Souray vs Craig Weller
Ladislav Smid vs James Sheppard
Basil McRae vs Kelly Buchberger