Minnesota Wild: End Preseason with Loss to Avs in Overtime

DENVER, CO - MARCH 02: Mikko Rantanen #96 of the Colorado Avalanche celebrates a goal against the Minnesota Wild with teammates Gabriel Landeskog #92 and Samuel Girard #49 at the Pepsi Center on March 2, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - MARCH 02: Mikko Rantanen #96 of the Colorado Avalanche celebrates a goal against the Minnesota Wild with teammates Gabriel Landeskog #92 and Samuel Girard #49 at the Pepsi Center on March 2, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 5
Next
Minnesota Wild
Minnesota Wild /

Nino Niederreiter

Nino Niederreiter had his best game of the preseason, and it came at the exact right time. He potted a goal in this game, and looked to be using his large frame to create challenges for the opposing team.

Unfortunately he did find himself as the victim of the second goal, but the entire Minnesota team were standing around watching the Avs pass the puck around on that one. So, not entirely his fault.

His goal was a pretty little backhand play that Philipp Grubauer didn’t see until it was too late. Nino took a pass in front of the net, and instead of making a fancy move with the puck he just switched it to his backhand and slyly slid it between the legs of the Avs goalie.

It was a rare shift on the ice with Zucker and Granlund, and Nino made the best of the opportunity. Chances are those 3 won’t see much time together in even strength play, but they are set to be the top powerplay unit alongside Eric Staal when the season begins.

Minnesota is going to be relying on a big season from it’s big Swiss forward, and it’s good to see him get a goal on the board before the regular season begins. He was the only top forward who didn’t get on the board in last Saturday’s Avs/Wild game, so this was extremely important.

Nino was the odd man out in the lineup on this day, with both of his expected linemates being rested for the night, and spent time on nearly every line combination Boudreau could find for him. It’s definitely a positive when a player like that, on a scoring slump and struggling to get on the board, can break the slump while playing a rotating position among the roster.