It was by no means a pretty result, but the Minnesota Wild got the job done with a 6-4 victory at home to the Ottawa Senators. More than half the starting line-up got in on the action with an assist or goal on the night.
The Minnesota Wild headed into the game coming off back-to-back defeats, so the need for a win was pretty clear to prevent them hitting three on the trot.
Eventually, they got the job done, but they didn’t make it easy for themselves. Devan Dubnyk was chased from the net, after our recent assertions that he’s the main reason to thank for half the team’s wins.
Not only that, but the Ottawa Senators were allowed back into the game by a Minnesota Wild team that with one period left, led the game 4-1.
It’s fair to say, you’d expect that head coach Bruce Boudreau was unimpressed by his team’s performance, despite the two points going the Minnesota Wild’s way.
In terms of spreading the scoring, the goal-scoring wasn’t spread widely; Matt Dumba tallied a pair, as did Eric Staal with both players scoring one of those on the man-advantage. Jordan Greenway and Eric Fehr provided the opening and closing goals, respectively.
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The assists were more spread around though, with the obvious exception to that rule being Mikael Granlund, who supplied two primary and one secondary assists. Beyond him though, Charlie Coyle, Joel Eriksson Ek, Ryan Suter, Jonas Brodin, Jason Zucker, Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise all ended the night with at least the one point to their name, in the form of an assist.
It proved another prime example of how the Minnesota Wild score their points; there is no over-reliance upon a star player akin to the Edmonton Oilers with Connor McDavid or the Colorado Avalanche with their first line. The Wild are put together in such a way that all four lines can carry relative scoring loads.
A big concern coming from this game though was that not only did the Minnesota Wild let the Senators at one point even the scores, but the fact that comeback started with the Ottawa team netting short-handed.
Minnesota has typically been strong on the penalty-kill; hopefully this was a minor lapse on that strength and a precursor to diminishing penalty-killing returns from their regular units.
All in all, the result was pleasing in that it was a win, however the process to get there sure felt laboured. No doubt, the team will be glad for a brief respite for Thanksgiving!