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
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
Let’s get this out of the way off the jump: Buffalo is the worst team in the league this year. They are the worst team in the fancy stats era, statistically speaking. The Wild got a nasty surprise today with Marco Scandella and Jonas Brodin now sidelined for a week or more with the Mumps. Side note: thanks anti-vaccine crowd! It’s called the social contract, look it up. Anyway, I wrote after the last game that if the Wild looked bad tonight, I would be worried. I called this game a natural slumpbuster, and that’s exactly what it ended up being. However, it wasn’t exactly pretty, and things sure started out in an interesting manner… Continue reading
Sorry for missing the last two games–I fully meant to watch replays and cover them this weekend but I was at BlizzCon! If you don’t follow me on twitter, I’m a big Hearthstone and WoW player, and since I live in Anaheim, I’ve been lucky enough to get tickets each of the last two years. The Hearthstone world championship was incredible. A young American kid named Firebat beat a much more established Chinese player…lots of fun to watch and a great atmosphere. And, I think they broadcast it on ESPN3. Continue reading
In an episode that I must apologize for posting late, Bob and Dan talk about the Wild’s crazy games against the Rangers and Bruins, then get into a planned tangent to talk about craft beer. Also, we introduce…the FIRST NAME GAME
Some days you eat the bear and some days the bear, well…he eats you. Not a great effort by the Wild tonight, but credit the Penguins for playing some pretty amazing defense. Minnesota looked frustrated and sometimes clueless this evening. Let’s go right to the charts…with a new win expectancy chart added at war-on-ice! Continue reading
If you read my recap of the Sharks game yesterday before the puck dropped on the Stars game, you might have expected the team to play exactly the way I described: low risk hockey in the first period, and then BOOM! out the gates in the second. Minnesota hung three goals on Dallas in the second period yesterday, all but sealing the game after the middle frame. Continue reading
Two games, two consecutive two-goal leads erased. The Wild are showing us more and more ability to step on the gas and really counterpunch compared to last year. The crazy thing is, their roster is almost completely the same as 2013-14…obviously with Heatley gone and Vanek joining the team, there were some key differences, but by and large the roster is the same. Guys like Scandella, Spurgeon, Zucker, they’re giving the team an entirely new dimension. Continue reading
Question: How does a team get the bad taste of a third period comeback loss out of their mouth? Answer: Go out and complete your own third period comeback win. Great determination tonight by the Wild, overcoming a 3-1 deficit in the third period against a Boston team that doesn’t look nearly as good as they have in recent seasons. The first two periods were very even in terms of possession, but toward the end of the second period, even as they gave up the third goal against, the Wild were in the process of putting their foot on the accelerator. Let’s go straight to the game chart: Continue reading
Welp. That game was a sight to see. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team give up five goals in a period, let alone five in the *third* period. I’d written previously about how the team seemed to be finishing out games differently this year compared to last year, but the start to the game was so crazy it’s hard to sort out what to focus on from this game.
The Wild are officially in a slump on the PP, as they received TWO MAJOR PENALTIES in the second period in addition to a couple more minor penalties, and came out with exactly zero point zero goals. I believe I counted sixteen straight power play minutes, and they just looked disorganized on the man advantage. And I think when they did get it together, they are collectively gripping their sticks too hard, they seem to be pressing and forcing things through. I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that they won’t continue this scoreless PP streak through the whole season, but let’s have an idea out there, eh fellas! THUMBSUPLETSGOOOO Continue reading