Sep 25, 2013; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild center Charlie Coyle (3) scores on St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott (1) in the third period at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeat the Blues 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Wild Beat St. Louis Blues 3-1

The Minnesota Wild beat the St. Louis Blues 3-1 in preseason action at the Xcel Energy Center Wednesday night.  Actually the score should have been 4-1 as the referees missed a goal by Nino Niederreiter with 8:30 to play in the 3rd period.  The replay shown in the arena clearly showed the puck crossing the goal line and entering the net.  It’s preseason though and there is no video review in preseason games.  The crowd did let the officials know their opinion of the missed call for nearly a minute.  The goal judges are of no help in a case such as this, BECAUSE THEY’VE BEEN MOVED TO A STAGE UP IN THE RAFTERS!! Really! Why do we even have goal judges anymore?  Since someone decided that “Hey, we can sell another couple of tickets down near the glass if we move the goal judge far as humanly possible away from the goal.”  This decision brought to you by the same brain trust that decided that a tucked in jersey is now worth a 2-minute penalty.  But I digress…

The Wild played a more consistent game tonight. The young guys were flying. The veterans were making plays. The power play was clicking.  The penalty kill looked strong.  Charlie Coyle had an excellent night capped off by a beauty of a break away goal just 38 seconds into the 3rd period.  Coyle bore down on Blues net minder  Brian Elliott then faked left, Elliott bit on the fake and Coyle slid the puck home while jumping sideways over the sliding goalie.  That made the score 2-0 Wild.  The first goal of the night went to Matt Cooke on a nice play started by Torrey  Mitchell who found Kyle Brodziak on the right point.  Brodziak sent a perfect pass to Cook flying down the slot.  Cook sent a wrister that caromed off Blues starting goal tender Jaroslav Halak, the puck  landed behind him and was knocked into the net.  Score Wild 1 Blues 0.  The final scored goal of the night came courtesy of a Torrey Mitchell shorthanded tally at 2:46 of the 3rd period.  With Mikko Koivu in the box for hooking Torrey Mitchell won a race to the puck and when Elliott ventured too far out of the net Mitchell beat the Blues net minder with a wrap around before the diving Elliott could make the save.

The Wild did only manage 23 shots on goal for the night against one of the best defensive teams in the league.  Meanwhile  the blues put 34 shots on Wild net minder Niklas Backstrom.   The lone St. Louis goal came on a  shorthanded slap shot by Jaden Schwartz in the third period to cut the Wild lead to 3-1.  In his post game comments Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo  praised his teams effort but said they are not yet where they want to be.  The Wild have 1 more preseason game, against these same St. Louis Blues on Friday and a handful of practices before the games start counting on October 3rd.  The top line of Koivu, Jason Pominvile and Zach Parise seems to be getting more comfortable with each passing day.  Lines 2-4 are still some what up in the air as Yeo was busy mixing and matching all night.  Progress is what the Wild Coaches and Brass wanted and progress they saw.  I’ll be back with a preview of Friday night’s game in St. Louis.  We may know by then who the final cuts are and if not soon after.  The 2013-14 Minnesota Wild team is taking shape and it promises to be an exciting start to the season.  Until next time this is Scott Drain shouting, “Let’s Go Wild!”

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