After splitting a pair of games against the Ducks, The Minnesota Wild come home for their first home series of the year against the San Jose Sharks
Quick takeaways from the Anaheim series,
- Newly acquired defenseman Ian Cole made his Wild debut and logged three hits, two blocks, and one give away all while putting in just over 17 minutes in ice time and registering a +1.
- The Wild were 1-4 on the power play thanks to a 2nd period goal from Nick Bonino
- Kaapo Kahkonen logged his first win of the season going 22-24 on shots and having a .917 save percentage.
And now without further delay, lets dive into the keys to success against the Sharks.
Shut Down Tomas Hertl
Tomas Hertl, believe it or not, is leading the Sharks forward group early this season and is off to a fantastic start having 3 goals and 3 assists in just 4 games. Although a -3 on the season thus far, Hertl also sports a 37.5 shooting percentage which leads San Jose.
I’m tasking Matt Dumba to be the Wild defenseman to make Hertl have a miserable outting when the two share the ice.
Also keep and eye on Kevin Labanc and Marcus Sorensen. although they’re two of the lesser names on the Sharks, they’re also sneaky good as Labanc has registered one goal and one assist on the season, Marcus Sorensen also has one goal to his name as well.
Get The Power Play Going
Nick Bonino tallied the first power play goal of the season in the fourth game in. This is concerning due to the fact that the Wild are missing their chances when given the opportunities.
For instance, Ducks defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk was sent to the penalty box three times throughout the last game and the Wild were able to capitalize on that the second time around.
The Sharks are currently posting a 86.7% for Penalty Kill Percentage which is only a few spots back from where the Ducks currently sit.
Make The Goalies Look Silly
The Sharks are starting Devan Dubnyk tonight, although the stats have shown that neither goaltender is that favorable. Both goaltenders are sporting a save percentage that’s south of .900, which in my opinion isn’t good for any goaltender.
The Wild have the favorable goaltending match up here with both Talbot and Kahkonen sporting more favorable numbers in .926 and .917 respectively
The home opener for the Minnesota Wild starts tonight at 7pm on Fox Sports North! Can’t wait to see what the home arena looks like for the Wild.