Starting strong is key in big games. If you can make a statement in the first period, go hard at the other team and maybe even score a few goals, you can set a tone that will carry through the rest of the night. The Minnesota Wild are facing down the division-leading Vancouver Canucks, and so far it is not going very well.
In the first period, shots were 9-3 in favor of Vancouver. The Canucks scored twice, and took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.
In case you were unable to watch this game (since there are about a billion hockey games being played right now, the odds are pretty good on this score) here's the unofficial recap, via @BruceCiskie:
If there is such a thing as the Excuse Committee, I'm sure they're going to have a busy night. I'm sure the Washington Capitals will be needing their services, for example.