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Glen Andresen's Five Takeaways at Phoenix

by Glen Andresen / Minnesota Wild

Wild GameDay

at St. Louis: January 14

vs. Vancouver: January 13

vs. Pittsburgh: January 11

vs. Chicago: January 9

vs. Calgary: January 6

at Chicago: January 5

vs. New Jersey: January 2

vs. Los Angeles: December 31

at Anaheim: December  29

at Los Angeles: December 28

vs. St. Louis: December 26

vs. Edmonton: December 23
Following Wild games, Managing Editor Glen Andresen will give the five takeaways that he'll remember from each contest. Tonight, he looks back at a 6-4 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes.

Earlier today, I attended a birthing preparation class with my wife, which featured videos of painful labors and Cesarean procedures. The women in the videos looked like they were having more fun than watching the first 50 minutes of the Wild’s 6-4 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes. For the second straight game, the Wild came out completely flat and got manhandled to the point of near embarrassment.

Then, Guillaume Latendresse, who is turning himself into the Wild’s 2009-2010 MVP put his team on his back and nearly led the Wild to its second comeback from a 5-1 deficit in a week. Instead, a late goal by Radim Vrbata made Latendresse the first Wild player to record a hat trick in a loss.   

There’s plenty of negatives that arose out of this one (Niklas Backstrom allowing six goals for the second time in his career, Andrew Brunette becoming the first Wild player to post a -5), but we’ve got to try and stay positive. There were a few. Latendresse recorded the 15th hat trick in Wild history, and the team’s second of the season (Chuck Kobasew posted the other). Martin Havlat tied a career-high with three assists. Owen Nolan was solid again, posting a goal and an assist. Minnesota scored three more third period goals against the best goalie in the NHL from the season’s first half. That about does it for the highlights.

The Wild needs to get its road woes figured out quick. It has yet to win away from Xcel Energy Center in 2010.

The same team that scored 19 goals in four home games against Calgary, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Vancouver, couldn’t score one goal in almost five periods against St. Louis and Phoenix. The Wild has played six periods on this road trip, and four were terrible. The Wild has looked good in the third periods of both games, but that is obviously not enough to pull out wins when every team is so evenly matched. Minnesota was sitting just two points shy of a playoff spot on Thursday, but that gap is rapidly increasing with every road loss.

There were two teams out there tonight, and it’s easy to say the team we’re pulling for didn’t come to play.  The Coyotes were fast, defensive and finishing. The Coyotes were also disciplined. They didn’t take a penalty until the third period, and on the Wild’s first full power play, Vernon Fiddler scored the game-winner with a shorthanded goal. There weren’t very many people watching them, but the Coyotes made their miniscule home crowd proud once again. 

I like the classic NHL sweaters as much as the next fan. Boston, Chicago, Toronto and Detroit all have some of the best sweaters in the League because of their classic looks. The Wild jerseys have been so popular because they pick up on that vintage look and look like jerseys that have been around since the NHL’s inception. However, every now and then you’ll see a more “modern” jersey that catches your eye. For whatever reason, that’s how I feel about the black third jerseys that the Yotes wore tonight. I like the running Coyote on the chest. I like how the brick red stands out on the black jersey. I love the two shoulder patches – one features the primary logo of a howling coyote and the other features a coyote paw print. If they did away with the thick red striping under the arms, I’d call these jerseys perfect.
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