Following Wild games, Content Coordinator Evan Sporer will give the Five Takeaways that he remembers from the contest. Tonight, he looks back at the Wild's 2-1 shootout loss against the Arizona Coyotes at Xcel Energy Center.
The story has been the same in each of the Wild's past three losses: an inability to close.
"Right now, when the game is on the line, we're not making the winning play," Head Coach Mike Yeo said. "Whether it's protecting a lead, whether it's getting a lead, when the game is tied, right now, we're not making the winning play."
Its latest loss — 2-1 in a shootout against to Arizona on Monday — came in a game Minnesota led 1-0 with 73 seconds separating the Wild from two points.
Add in the Wild was on the power play when Arizona tied the game with 1:13 remaining, and it makes it an even tougher scenario.
"We've got to find a way to win these games," Yeo said. "It's hard to win in this league. Every game that you play … you don't play bad teams. You don't have easy points. It doesn't exist. When you have chances to win games, you have to win games, and that's something normally we do well, and right now we're not."
This recent trend began on the West Coast, when Minnesota lost two games in regulation that were tied with less seven minutes from the Wild earning at least a point.
The first was in Anaheim, when the Ducks scored to break a 1-1 tie with 6:19 remaining in the third. Then, in San Jose, the Wild gave up a goal with 1:24 left in regulation of a tie game.
"Right now, we just need to love that opportunity," Yeo said. "When the game is on the line, you have to grab a hold of it, and if you're down, you find a way to score. If you're up, then you make darn sure that they don't."
It's game number 49 on the schedule, and Charlie Coyle just set a career high for goals in a season.
Coyle has now scored in three consecutive games, giving him 13 for the year, and man, does he look like he can do anything he wants on the ice.
Like his beloved New England tight end Rob Gronkowski (condolences), Coyle looks like a man among boys at times. His physical stature is imposing, but his skills and tools that go along with that size makes him such a freak.
Looking at this three-game goal streak for Coyle, the plays themselves have been emblematic of what makes him so effective. In Los Angeles, Coyle dangled his way past Jonathan Quick on a breakaway. In San Jose, Coyle crashed the crease and spiked home a loose puck.
On his latest effort, he bullied his way into the blue paint, picked up a loose puck, and deposited it in on the backhand (VIDEO).
Coyle has been one of the Wild's most consistently effective skaters of late, and that streak continued on Monday.
When you're taking shots by the barrel-load, and not giving anything up, yet the game remains scoreless, temptation certainly sneaks in to try to do something differently.
The Wild peppered the Coyotes with shots, racking up 20 on net before the halfway mark of the game, with many others that were blocked or wide.
What was consistent about the Wild's start was the pressure it sustained, and its sticktoitiveness and unrelenting strategy. The Wild was structured in its neutral zone, evidenced by the four shots on goal the Coyotes had until the 12:52 mark in the second period, and because of how many shots the Wild was able to generate.
Though the Wild ended up getting a first, it lamented its inability to score a second goal.
"A couple of breakaways, chances, and we just couldn't put it in," Coyle said. "It would have been nice to get that insurance goal, and have that breathing room."
And for the sixth time in the past nine games — all losses — the Wild scored one or fewer goals.
"A lot of good offensive zone time, a lot of good chances, and the same story," Zach Parise said. "We just couldn't get a second goal, which has kind of been a common theme for a little while now."
On the eve of the beginning of its All-Star break, the Wild was determined to not start its vacation a day early.
The above takeaway helps dispel any notion of the Wild looking past this game, but that didn't foster the result Minnesota was hoping for.
It was after Minnesota played in San Jose on Saturday that Yeo referenced the Wild's pre-All Star break game from 2015 — a 5-4 shootout loss in Detroit — that Yeo said was a rallying point.
The Wild went 28-8-2 after last year's All-Star break, and the Wild has the confidence it can put together that kind of run in 2016, but before its week hiatus, wanted to put forward an effort worth hangings its helmets on.
"We can't let [this loss] hang around; that's the thing," Coyle said. "We have to forget about it, and come back stronger."
Minnesota enters its break from hockey with a lot to think about, but doesn't want to overthink it's current slide.
"You try not to let it be anything more than it is," Devan Dubnyk said. "We can't look at it as anything more than one play, and it was a mistake by me, and it doesn't feel good, but those things happen throughout the year."
A game after giving up a rare power-play goal-against on Saturday, the Wild's penalty kill was perfect on Monday.
It starts with a disciplined team approach in a few respects for Minnesota. The Wild only found itself shorthanded three times against Arizona, the 11th straight game the Wild has taken three or fewer penalties.
During the two minutes Erik Haula (one of the Wild's penalty killers) was in the box on the first infraction, Minnesota took a shot on goal while not conceding any.
Discipline was also seen in how the Wild spaced and attacked the neutral zone. Minnesota wasn’t fooled or caught off-guard by any of the Coyotes' entry attempts, leading to minimal zone time.
The penalty kill also came up big in overtime, facing a 4-on-3 Coyotes advantage, keeping the Wild in it by keep Arizona off the scoreboard.