What Wild fan doesn’t love Erik Haula? He’s a Finnesotan and an underdog. He wasn’t expected to make the team, let alone be the big impact player that he became late in the season. He played a solid checking line role most of the season, adapting to what he was given and being a stalwart part of the penalty kill.
But when Mikael Granlund went down late in the year, Haula was given the opportunity to step up the lineup and he did it in a big way.
He carried that over into the playoffs, scoring four goals and three assists through 13 playoff games. He was arguably the best player in the Chicago series and scored the final two goals of the playoffs for the Wild.
He had a 56.9% Corsi for during the playoffs, which was +1.7% relative. He did that with a low PDO (96.7%), tough zone starts at 36% (-17.2% relative), and being out for 46.5% of all shorthanded time and only .8% of power play time.
Re-live every exciting moment (including that awesome breakaway tip-in against Pittsburgh) below.
#1 01/18/14 vs. Dallas Stars (Hockey Day Minnesota) DAL 2 – MIN 3 (OT)
The former Gopher gets his first NHL goal, capitalizing on a break. You’ll see that kind of play again.
#3 03/08/14 vs. Dallas Stars MIN 3 – DAL 4
Haula grabs a shortie and really turned it on for the rest of the season from the Olympic break on.
#4 04/01/14 vs. Chicago Blackhawks MIN 2 – CHI 3 (SO)
#5 04/05/14 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins PIT 0 – MIN 4
This is one of the best goals of the year for the Wild. Just a great push from Haula.
#6 04/13/14 vs. Nashville Predators NSH 7 – MIN 3
#7 04/17/14 vs. Colorado Avalanche MIN 4 – COL 5 (OT)
A great move by Haula in what looked like it could be the Wild’s first playoff win of the year. Paul Stastny ruined that for the Wild scoring a goal late in the third and the OT winner.
#8 05/06/14 vs Chicago Blackhawks CHI 0 – MIN 4
Haula got the game winner in the Wild’s 4-0 win over Chicago when they scored all four in the third. Great break to the net by Haula and a beautiful pass from Justin Fontaine makes it happen.
#9 05/11/14 vs. Chicago Blackhawks MIN 1 – CHI 2
Haula takes a great shot and grabs his own rebound to open the scoring in Game 5.
#10 05/13/14 vs. Chicago Blackhawks MIN 1 – CHI 2 (OT)
Haula beats everyone down the middle after a nice chip pass off the boards from Matt Cooke gets the play started.