SAN JOSE -- From the time forward Charlie Coyle corralled a headman pass in the neutral zone, to when he scored on a breakaway against Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, it took under four seconds.
Fifteen minutes earlier in that period, Coyle found himself in the same situation: One-on-one against Quick, a matter of seconds to decide on a course of action, but in that instance, Quick made the save.
"I think I might have had him," Coyle said of his first breakaway attempt. "But last second it rolled off."
It appeared Coyle had beaten Quick, but his backhand shot, which got a piece of Quick's right leg, floated wide of the left post.
So Coyle had a decision to make later in the period: Go with the same move, or change things up after previously getting stopped.
He decided on the latter, with a sequence of dekes ending with the puck on his forehand, and a quick wrist shot.
Did Quick's earlier save influence Coyle's change of heart?
"Yeah, kind of," Coyle said. "But the way I came down too, I was more on the left side. I didn't think the backhand would be there, and I didn't know if he'd remember or not."
It's an interesting question both skaters and goalies face. Does an unsuccessful move mean it's time to change things up on the next attempt? Likewise, does scoring a goal mean it's safe to try the same steps, or would a goalie be expecting that?
Also consider the scoring slump the Wild as a team was in. If getting stopped on a breakaway doesn't add questions into the physiological dialogue, it very well might amid a stretch in which the Wild had scored four goals in five games.
"We've struggled as of late, so it feels good to put a few in," Coyle said.