Minnesota Wild (0-1)
4.0 Goals For (6th)
5.0 Goals Against (15th)
50% Power Play (2nd)
100% Penalty Kill (3rd)
Top 5 Scorers:
1. #11 Zach Parise ~ 0G 2A = 2pts
2. #20 Ryan Suter ~ 1G 0A = 1pt
3. #21 Kyle Brodziak ~ 1G 0A = 1pt
4. #3 Charlie Coyle ~ 1G 0A = 1pt
5. #56 Erik Haula ~ 1G 0A = 1pt
Top 3 PIM’s:
1. #8 Cody McCormick ~ 4 PIM’s
2. #11 Zach Parise ~ 2 PIM’s
3. #9 Mikko Koivu ~ 2 PIM’s
1. #30 Ilya Bryzgalov (0-1) 4.48GAA .839%SP
Colorado Avalanche (1-0)
5.00 Goals For (2nd)
4.0 Goals Against (11th)
0% Power Play (11th)
50% Penalty Kill (15th)
Top 5 Scorers:
1. #26 Paul Stastny ~ 2G 1A = 3pts
2. #29 Nathan MacKinnon ~ 0G 3A = 3pts
3. #90 Ryan O’Reilly ~ 1G 1A = 2pts
4. #11 Jamie McGinn ~ 1G 1A = 2pts
5. #4 Tyson Barrie ~ 0G 2A = 2pts
Top 3 PIM’s:
1. #29 Nathan MacKinnon ~ 2 PIM’s
2. #6 Erik Johnson ~ 2 PIM’s
3. #8 Jan Hejda ~ 2 PIM’s
1. #1 Semyon Varlamov (1-0) 3.69GAA .879%SP
- Ryan Suter tries to poke check the puck away from likely rookie of the year Nathan MacKinnon.
As children, we were often told “at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” That is the mentality that the Minnesota Wild need to have tonight as they once again face the Colorado Avalanche in game 2 of the first round. Minnesota finds themselves down a game, thanks to their own mistakes combined with bad puck luck (and some questionable officiating, or lack thereof). So the Wild need to forget about the last game, and come in with a fresh mindset. However, they cannot forget the mistakes they made entirely, because to do that they risk making the same mistakes again.
First off, the Minnesota Wild need to get back to some hockey basics. Namely, being able to clear the puck from the zone. How many times Thursday night, did we see a team fail to clear the zone? That’s a mistake they cannot afford to make again tonight. And of course, it was one failure to clear which ultimately led to the tying goal by Paul Stastny. I know I’m going to get a lot of complaints about this comment, but I can’t stand the play of Wild defenseman, Jared Spurgeon. It was his failure to clear the zone, that I blame the loss on. For the life of me, I cannot figure out what people like about Spurgeon. He’s small, yet not a truly offensively minded defenseman. If you’re neither physical nor put up a lot of goals, what value do you have a defenseman? Thankfully his contract is up this summer, unfortunately, I see the Wild offering him a new one. Lucky me.
Then there’s the puck luck, or in our case, lack thereof. As has been mentioned in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Colorado defenseman Erik Johnson says he saved the empty net goal by Erik Haula by a mere three inches. Yes my friends, three inches. Three inches are all that stood between a Wild win and what ultimately became a Wild loss. And while we’re on the topic of Erik Johnson, let’s take a look at loads of questionable officiating by Steve Kozari and Dean Morton. Let’s first discuss his hit on Zach Parise. That alone should have been a double minor on Johnson. Not only was Parise hit from behind, but Johnson continued to hit Parise when he was down, pushing his face into the ice and goalpost. Then let’s get to main elephant in the room. Why was Johnson not called for delay of game for pushing the goal off the mooring, when earlier in the game Mikko Koivu was called for the exact same thing. The fact that it was taken off during the course of an empty net shot, why wasn’t a goal awarded or a penalty shot awarded. Johnson removed the net during the course of a shot. And by removing the net from play, it prevented Matt Cooke from being able to get a shot on goal when the puck was cleared. And then to add insult to injury, the officials then had the faceoff take place out of the zone. Excuse me? The Wild weren’t the ones who dislodged the net. Yes, Kozari and Morton have made the list of officials that Wild fans loathe. They join the ranks of such lovely people such as Brad Meier and Stephen Walkom, who is once again back in the officiating offices. I bet their mothers are so proud.
Minnesota needs to come out strong, both physically and mentally. They need to move on and not let Thursday drag them down. And as Cooke said, he remembers playing against a team in 2003 that was down 3 games to 1. While that was devastating back then for him, he’s hoping to channel a bit of that determination to come back tonight. Perhaps that’s a little tale that Cooke needs to share in the locker room. He is the only member of the current roster who was involved with that playoff run. We need someone to step up and say “we’re not finished yet.” Oh the irony, that it would be Matt Cooke who could be that voice of reason.