Wild Game Notes 12-16-14 vs Blackhawks: Minnesota Fails to Regain the Belt

The Wild got off to an extremely slow start to this game, before Vanek found the back of the net to give the team an improbable lead after the first period. Then, they just got dominated in the second period, to the tune of three unanswered goals and a nasty possession deficit (68% corsi events against in the second period for the Wild.)

Nino Niederreiter acted as a spark plug, streaking to the net on a nice stretch pass before getting hauled to the ice by Hossa. His penalty shot goal was one of the sickest goals I’ve seen in a long time. He deked to his left TWICE before pulling the puck to his backhand and absolutely roofing one. It was gorgeous. Continue reading

Hashtag Hockey Podcast ep. 37 – The difference between silence and listening: Hockey Fights Domestic Violence

Bob is joined by Heather Lynn (@wraparoundcurl), Alexandra  Edwards (@nonmodernist), and Chanelle Berlin (@chanelleberlin @thxbud) for a discussion on the #hockeyfightsdv campaign, including:

  • How it all got started
  • How can people get involved
  • Considerations for choosing a charity
  • Charitynavigator.com
  • Charityintelligence.ca
  • Most interesting pledges
  • The NHL marketing its #brand to women
  • The silence is the worst part
  • New media revolution in hockey
  • Bob confuses the CWHL with the WCHA
  • Commonalities between Hockey in social media and other subcultures
  • The difference between silence and listening
  • Educate yourself –> Interrupt hurtful behavior –> Interrupt and educate someone else –> Actively work to end the problem
  • How a patriarchy hurts both men and women

Show URL: http://hashtaghockey.com/wordpress1/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/hh-pod-ep-37-hockey-fights-dv-final.mp3

Hashtag Hockey Podcast episode 36 – Minnesota Nice Trash Talk

Bob and Dan chat about Minnesota Nice Trash Talk, before discussing topics of:

  • Hockey Birthdays
  • First Name Game
  • Players you love to hate
  • All Star Voting dominated by Latvians
  • What it’s actually like to live in Latvia
  • Foo Fighters Sonic Highways
  • 1907s Cosmos vs 2014 Cosmos

URL: http://hashtaghockey.com/wordpress1/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/HH-pod-ep-36-final.mp3


Hashtag Hockey Podcast ep. 35 – Leopore, Dater, and Booing the Home Team

Bob and Dan discuss engagement problems before commenting on the Steve Leopore and Adrian Dater firings. Then, they get themselves on tangents on tangents on tangents, including:

  • Drunk history
  • Human centipede
  • Brau Brothers Brewery Leuken, MN
  • Blue Moon Cinnamon Horchata Season Ale
  • Johnnie Walker Red Label
  • Elijah Craig 12-year

QotD: Do good fans throw jerseys and boo their own teams? Is it our obligation as fans or just bad behavior? What would it take for a Wild fan to throw their jersey on the ice?

Trivia: Which Minnesota-born player holds the record for three assists in a period for the Wild?

Howarts in the Snow (LR)

Minnesota Wild Sorting Hat

It’s been a difficult week on Twitter, but one of the bright spots of the week was a fun discussion about NHL players and which Hogwarts house they would be sorted into. There were some very strong opinions! I though it would be fun to start a Minnesota Wild Sorting Hat where people can put players into the four houses. I’ll collect the data and post the results, along with the correct answers (mine, obviously.) Click through to begin the survey! Continue reading

wild vs canadiens 12-3-14

Wild Game Notes: 12-3-14 vs Canadiens

On a night where the Wild scored 0:19 into the game, and thoroughly dominated possession for the first two periods–Montreal was held to less than 20 corsi events for the first 40 minutes, which is pretty astounding–they sure made it interesting at the end of the game. Let’s jump straight to the possession chart: Continue reading

blues at wild 11-29-14

#MNWild lose Conference III Title Belt but show signs for optimism

It’s a rainy morning in Orange County, a perfect time to sit down and do some writing. Exciting couple of games over the holiday weekend for the Minnesota Wild, with a ridiculous game against the Stars that went to overtime and a hard fought game versus the Blues that ended in a shootout as Vladimir Tarasenko single-handedly walked away with the Conference III title belt.

The game against the Stars was the third time in this young season that Minnesota coughed up a three-goal lead. It was a brutal second period for Darcy Kuemper…as he looked really good in the first and third periods, but as the Stars turned up the pressure in the second, that three minute stretch was just agonizing. If it was me, I think I would have given him the hook, but that would have been the second time in two games, so credit Mike Yeo for giving him the chance to go out and redeem himself.

min at dal 11-28-14

Thomas Vanek played the hero in the title defense on Friday, scoring a late goal to tie the contest before assisting on the Scandella game-winner.

It was a 6-on-5 goal off an offensive zone faceoff win by Mikko Koivu, Suter got the first assist and Parise the second, tough to see exactly who was the one to dig it out of the corner, but Vanek doesn’t hesitate and he roofs the puck from the dot. Great short side shot, a sniper’s shot to be sure. I wonder if this game was held three or four weeks ago…would Vanek have hesitated for that split second, or looked to make a pass instead of rifling off a muscle memory wrist shot? I really think he’s turning the corner…he’s gotten over that hump and it seems like he’s trusting his instincts. I think this might be your last chance to buy low in fantasy hockey if his owner is frustrated by the first twenty games.

Here’s the overtime winner, and we see Vanek again with a strong play to get this tic-tac-toe goal started. Kind of a rocket pass to Parise, but credit him for one-touching it softly to Scandella, who was crashing the net–as he is wont to do this year. And wouldn’t you know it if Marco got himself rewarded with a nice $20 million contract the very next day. It’s a pretty good deal for both sides, but I want to be optimistic that Scandella continues to mature and grow his game. With Spurgeon signed through 15-16, the Wild top four of Suter-Brodin//Scandella-Spurgeon looks pretty good, particularly with the added production from the second pair.

However, what does this mean for Matt Dumba? Is he destined to be a third pair defender who specializes on the power play? I thought he made some small steps forward in his time at the NHL level this year, but he’s got a lot of work ahead of him to develop into a good two-way player.

Let’s check on the individual possession and zone start numbers for the Wild for this game:

Player Position TOI FF FA FF% FF% Rel Off. Zone Start %
Jason Pominville R 17:01 25 14 64.1 30.77 64.29
Zach Parise L 18:53 22 15 59.46 22.17 58.82
Mikael Granlund C 17:40 22 15 59.46 22.17 56.25
Nate Prosser D 12:25 11 11 50 5.41 28.57
Jared Spurgeon D 23:26 21 24 46.67 1.57 69.23
Marco Scandella D 22:23 15 17 46.88 1.56 31.82
Ryan Suter D 2:12 25 30 45.45 -0.89 64.71
Jonas Brodin D 20:34 13 18 41.94 -5.76 37.5
Kyle Brodziak C 13:57 8 12 40 -7.37 45.45
Thomas Vanek L 15:33 9 14 39.13 -8.81 66.67
Mikko Koivu C 16:07 12 19 38.71 -10.52 41.67
Nino Niederreiter R 13:23 6 11 35.29 -12.81 70
Matt Dumba D 4:10 2 4 33.33 -13.33 0
Ryan Carter C 7:50 4 8 33.33 -14.29 0
Jason Zucker L 13:36 10 18 35.71 -14.29 14.29
Erik Haula C 7:57 3 7 30 -17.67 14.29
Charlie Coyle C 13:33 7 17 29.17 -22.22 14.29
Stu Bickel D 3:41 0 4 0 -47.83 0


The Stars just took over possession beginning in the second period, so most guys were sub-50% fenwick. Stark contrast in zone starts with the Koivu-Zucker-Coyle line taking on a ton of defensive zone starts. Koivu got a couple shifts with Parise, Vanek, and Nino, and those pulled his game average up.

Parise-Pominville-Granlund really drove possession, and it’s nice to see that line clicking after a few not so good games. That trio can drive play and create chances against any team, so let’s hope they keep buzzing.

blues at wild 11-29-14

I thought the Wild did a good job coming out of a back-to-back game (also three games in four nights) and fought the Blues pretty tough. They jumped out and drove possession for the first part of the game.

Coyle wins a faceoff here, and then he and Zucker get to the dirty areas, where the puck finds its way onto Koivu’s stick and he just rifles it on net. I love the last look in the above video, where you can see how he didn’t look up for a beat after his shot. Koivu is third on the Wild this year with 66 SOG, and he’s converting just 4.5% into goals. His career average shooting percent isn’t amazing, just 8.6%, but hopefully we can expect some positive regression to the mean there.

Parise fires a rocket here, and the puck was moved across the ice by Suter. Good to get a PP goal, and you will notice Vanek screening the goalie like he did against the Stars. That’s been his bread and butter for a while.

Player Position TOI FF FA FF% FF% Rel Off. Zone Start %
Mikael Granlund C 16:08 22 10 68.75 17.64 50
Zach Parise L 16:36 22 11 66.67 14.39 55.56
Jared Spurgeon D 17:48 17 9 65.38 10.48 58.33
Jason Pominville R 16:48 24 14 63.16 9.31 71.43
Justin Fontaine R 8:25 4 2 66.67 8.92 66.67
Ryan Carter C 8:13 4 2 66.67 8.92 57.14
Ryan Suter D 22:40 25 16 60.98 5.42 55.56
Jonas Brodin D 22:59 24 16 60 3.24 52.94
Thomas Vanek L 10:48 9 6 60 1.94 71.43
Charlie Coyle C 11:12 8 6 57.14 -1.59 45.45
Jason Zucker L 12:04 8 6 57.14 -1.59 45.45
Marco Scandella D 19:12 17 13 56.67 -2.91 53.85
Nino Niederreiter R 10:33 10 8 55.56 -3.77 62.5
Kyle Brodziak C 12:50 10 9 52.63 -7.71 63.64
Mikko Koivu C 13:59 12 11 52.17 -8.94 53.33
Keith Ballard D 8:19 4 5 44.44 -15.85 40
Erik Haula C 8:34 3 4 42.86 -17.14 16.67
Nate Prosser D 8:22 3 5 37.5 -23.37 50


Granlund-Parise-Pominville atop the charts again. Pommer looks like he really really wants to score a goal. He’s in a bit of a slump, and he’s just getting hungrier and hungrier for a goal. For the number of minutes Suter logs, it’s pretty astounding how high his possession numbers are. I read a couple of those “quarter-pole awards” articles over the last week, and there is a small bit of chatter about Suter as a possible Norris candidate. Might be worth a closer look.

The Hashtag Hockey Podcast will make its trimphant return this week! (hopefully.) Tune in and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter. Thanks for reading!

la kings at min wild 11-26-14

Wild Game Notes 11-26-14 vs Kings – Tryptophan edition

Okay, I’ll admit it. I didn’t get a lot done at work today…I was looking forward to preparing my first Thanksgiving dinner with my fiancee. (Haven’t mentioned that until now, but I popped the question a few days back. I’ll talk more about it on the next podcast.) But the Wild seemed to have the same affliction as they faced the Kings on home ice tonight…they came out of the gates like they all gorged themselves on thanksgiving food and then got into an argument with Grandpa about Ferguson before the game.

Four goals in the first and they didn’t even get an answering tally. Even on a win streak, a home shutout is tough to swallow (pun intended.) The team hasn’t really suffered an extended losing streak this season…I think four games is their max so far? So as crappy as this game was, I think it just gets chalked up as one of those games where a young team just comes out flat and gets knocked around. Continue reading

wild at flyers 11-20-14 waronice

#MNWild Game Notes 11-20-14 at Flyers – Mister Darcy the Gentleman Goaltender saves the day

Entering tonight’s game, the Flyers had lost three straight, including a contest against the Rangers on Wednesday in which they looked generally awful. They came out of the gates hot with 14 shots on goal in the first period. Word has it head coach Craig Berube tore them a new one, so I figured they would start strong at home tonight. But I wanted to see the Wild weather the storm a bit more and counterattack where they could. Instead, they were without the puck for long stretches at a time, and lost the possession battle most of the evening Continue reading

min dal 11-15-14 woi

#MNWild Game Notes 11-15-14 vs Dallas – Still #ConferenceIII undisputed champions!

This game started at 1 pm on a Saturday, so I can’t say I’m too surprised it was a low scoring affair. The Wild looked lost for stretches of this game, though toward the end of the first and second period they picked it up, including a really nifty turnover-turned-goal on a nice feed from Ryan Carter to Erik Haula.

Considering the lineup and the injury/illness problems that are hampering this team right now, I thought they still did a reasonable job of playing a bend-not-break defense against the Stars, who were hungry to end their own recent difficult streak. The younger guys took over late in each period, especially the second, and I saw Zucker, Haula, Nino, and Coyle buzzing, creating some opportunities against some very tired competition. I think with the skill players out, that’s something we could see this team doing more, trying to wear down an opponent and then turn up the throttle with scoring from the bottom six. Haula got his goal with about four minutes to go in the second period, and though Minnesota was outpossessed from the first whistle, they found a way to sneak in a couple goals and get the win. Continue reading