In Mikko Koivu’s first game as the official permanent captain of the Wild he lead the team to their two goals and shootout victory.
In the first period it was Koivu’sshot that produced a nice rebound for Burns to flip it home. In the 3rd period scored a goal and another power play chance and then had the winning goal in the shootout as well. I guess it’s only fitting that he dominated the first game as Captain.
The Avalanche gave the Wild an 10 minutes of one man advantage time and the Wild scored PPGs #9 & #10 (that’s the 2nd most in the league). The Wild also won the hitting battle (30-21), Takeaways (10-5) and won more faceoffs (31-26). It’s my opinion that these numbers show that the Wild are being aggressive and working hard on the ice.
Unfortunately, the Wild are again giving up way too many giveaways, they gave the Avs better than a 3-1 advantage in this key stat. While the effort seems to be there now, they are still playing pretty sloppy. Passes are not crisp and accurate, puck movement isn’t fluid……puck-handling in general isn’t good. Granted, some of this has to due with the getting familiar with the new system/players and injuries not allowing for them to get familiar with each other. Still, not acceptable though.
Boogaard went Godzilla on Koci…….about the only thing he’s good for so we’ll put a “+” next to this game to keep track of it as being “productive” for him.
The Three Stars:
Backstrom: Looked great again.
Zidlicky: Seemed to have a skate near the puck all night.
Interesting season stats:
The Wild are #9 in PP%, #2 in PP Opportunities, and have the second most PPGs in the league. They are surprisingly good on the PP. Say goes for Penalty kill.
If only we could be playing a man up or a man down all game!
The Wild are 15th in the league in SOG, but I think if you re-ranked teams based on SOG during even strength they would be near the bottom.
I guess what I’m getting at is that it’s not good that half of your goals are PPGs andthat you probably have more PPSOG than even strength SOG. I’m not sure if it’s under performance by the players, lack of talent, or poor scheming but they can’t seem to get much going without a PP. So far this season the Wild have scored about 1 goal per 10 minutes of PP time andonly 1 goal per 42 minutes of even strength time.
However, I’m very happy with the level of effort on both sides of the puck and the overall performance in the defensive zone. As stated above, I’m also extremely happy with how well the penalty kill and power play teams are doing.
If they can only be slightly above average on even strength the Wild would be winning a lot more games. This could be the beginning of better play, nice overall game for the Wild and a great game to watch.