Minnesota Wild, plagued by injury, lose a tight battle to the Avalanche 2-1 in the third of what should have been four straight games against Colorado.
Despite playing against a Nathan Mackinnon-less Avalanche team in Denver, Colorado, the Wild were at a significant disadvantage coming into Tuesday’s contest, with a lot of mountains to climb, no pun intended.
Just eleven games into this shortened 2021 season, the Wild have had to dig fairly deep into their taxi squad for players as of late. Unfortunately for the Wild, they added another injury. Losing their captain Jared Spurgeon on an awkward hit late in the 2nd period.
Before the 2021 season even started, Wild lost playmaking winger Mats Zuccarello to an upper-body injury and goaltender Alex Stalock to an upper-body injury/ COVID-19 protocol list.
In the past week, Marco Rossi returned to his hometown in Austria due to COVID-19 complications, superstar Kevin Fiala was suspended three games for a hit on Matt Roy, Matt Dumba injured his knee on an awkward collision with teammate Jordan Greenway, Marcus Johansson sidelined with an upper-body injury, and last but not least the Wild will be without their toughest and most physical player, Marcus Foligno from a positive COVID-19 test, and now six players are on the COVID list from Minnesota.
Three Takeaways From The Game
1. The Wild scored on the power play
The Wild’s lone goal was a power-play marker, which now put Minnesota 3 for 42 on the powerplay. The Wild needed something to go their way as they were down 2-0 in the 2nd. A turning point came as former Minnesota Golden Gopher and taxi squad call-up Kyle Rau nailed Colorado’s all-star defender Cale Makar into the boards and was immediately jumped by J.T. Compher which turned into a fight between Rau and Compher. Rau and Compher each got a five-minute fighting major and Compher was slapped with an extra 2 minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct, giving the Wild a powerplay.
2. Avs take game 3
After playing now three games in four nights. against the Avs, the Wild’s long-time rival takes game 3. Splitting the games in downtown St. Paul over the weekend, these two were supposed to wrap up the four-game mini-series Thursday but has since been postponed.
Despite playing without their superstar forward Nathan Mackinnon, Cale Makar and the Avs slip past the injury-plagued Wild 2-1. The 2019-20 Calder trophy winner Cale Makar, continues to rise his odds on winning this year’s Norris Trophy as he makes fool out of Wild forwards for the second time. Once on Jordan Greenway in St. Paul and now on Ryan Hartman in Denver.
3. JEE & Greenway continue to generate chances
Even without their linemate Marcus Foligno, JEE and Greenway continue their strong play by adding more scoring chances each and every shift they take.
Some may have thought Joel Eriksson Ek would change his game up a bit while playing with new linemates, but that was not the case on Tuesday night. The Wild’s leading goal scorer (JEE) and leading point-getter (Greenway) had two or three big chances in the 2nd but could not convert.