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 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks.
Over the Minnesota Wild’s recent four-day break, Head Coach Mike Yeo stressed that he wanted his team to put more shots on net. He wanted his team to start doing the right things on the power play. He wanted his team to be better on faceoffs so his team could control the puck more.
You could pretty much check off all three of those as accomplished on Thursday night, yet the Wild still came away with zero points in a frustrating 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks. The Wild outshot the Ducks, 25-16. The Wild scored two power play goals. The Wild won 59% of the faceoffs in the game.
Ultimately, it was two power play goals for Anaheim and two late Minnesota penalties that killed momentum and sealed the Wild’s fate.
“I think you have to look at the big picture and did we deserve to win the game?” said Yeo. “And I felt we did…That game was one play away from us.”
The Wild power play was going to figure it out sooner or later. It did tonight. Even before Jared Spurgeon
snapped an 0-for-20 stretch with the man-advantage, both power play units were buzzing around and generating great scoring chances. Cal Clutterbuck
rang one off the cross bar. Matt Cullen
was robbed on a sliding stop by Hiller. Finally, it was Spurgeon who ended the drought for the Wild, and one of his own.
He swooped in low to punch a juicy rebound past Hiller and provide the spark the power play so desperately needed to get that confidence back. Sure enough, the unit came through again in the third when Cullen tipped home a Mikko Koivu
shot in front of the net. Greasy goals are what Yeo wants to see more of. He got two of them tonight.
The three goals from the Ducks all had several things in common. They came on broken plays. They ended with easy finishes from the guys with the pucks on their sticks. And, they were all set up by the ageless Teemu Selanne, who refuses to go away. The other night, he moved into the 13th spot on the all-time goal scoring list. Tonight, he posted three assists in a game for the 28th time in his career.
While he’s not often talked about any more as one of the best players in the game, or even on his team, it’s still a pleasure to watch that guy play hockey.
For the first seven games, the Wild had an extra defenseman every night and that ended up being Justin Falk
. Mike Lundin
was hurt, and then Greg Zanon missed the last two games. Tonight, Clayton Stoner
left with a hand injury in the second period and did not return. Yeo didn’t have an update on the outlook, but if all three defensemen are unable to go, the Wild might have to make its first call of the year to the Houston Aeros. Who comes up? The guess would be Nate Prosser
, or possibly Jordan Hendry.
What’s up with all the smart kids in the League these days? It doesn’t seem like we can play a game without a team carrying at least one former Ivy Leaguer. The Ducks have George Parros out of Princeton, which is also where Darroll Powe
matriculated. With Nick Johnson
also on the ice, there were three Ivy Leaguers on display tonight.