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Mike Doyle's Five Takeaways at Calgary

by Mike Doyle / Minnesota Wild

Following Wild games, Managing Editor Mike Doyle will give the Five Takeaways that he'll remember from the contest. Tonight, he looks back at a 3-1 road loss against the Calgary Flames:

It seemed like a tale of two teams tonight, as the Wild showed strong signs in the first period, but couldn’t pull off a victory in the final two frames. In the first, Minnesota fired 13 shots on goal, scoring once (see Takeaway 3). The team moved the puck efficiently and effectively at times in that first period and looked like the club amid a two-game win streak. However, Head Coach Mike Yeo wasn’t happy with the team’s play.

“I felt as the period wore on, we started to get trapped into playing the wrong way,” Yeo said after the game. “We almost had the sense that things were going to come easy to us.”

Things didn’t come easy for the Wild as the game wore on…

Flames’ goaltender Joey MacDonald shut the door the rest of the way, but the Wilds’ bench boss thought that the squad didn’t take the proper steps towards execution.

“This whole game we took the wrong approach,” Yeo said. “If we want to score goals, we shouldn’t play like that.

“We didn’t execute the right way. We didn’t play our game and the result was what we deserved.”

When the Wild did get scoring chances, the Flames’ goaltender either made a save and even got a little lucky. With the Wild shorthanded in the second period, the club got a great look as it cleared the defensive zone. The puck settled inside the Flames’ blue line and Matt Cullen was streaking in. He was cut off by a Calgary defender and made a spinning backhand pass right onto the tape of Kyle Brodziak. Brodziak caught the pass and moved around the netminder, but just hit the outside of the post.

In the first period, another Wild member hit a career first. After being recalled from the Houston Aeros yesterday, forward Charlie Coyle scored his first-career NHL goal. The big-bodied 20-year-old scored from where he needs to be at this level, right in front of the net. Coyle and Pierre-Marc Bouchard were on a 2-on-1 and Bouchard pulled up at the top of the left circle, while the rookie broke hard to the net. Bouchard found Coyle’s tape and the righty redirected it past MacDonald to pull the game even at one.

At 6-foot-2, 205-pound Coyle will make a living as a net-front presence and today he tallied the first, of what Wild fans hope to be many.

If there is a silver lining to tonight’s game, aside from Coyle’s goal, it’s that the Wild will get a chance at revenge almost immediately. These two teams will meet on Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center.

Flames’ Head Coach Bob Hartley called out his team earlier this week for not being physical enough. The game took on a physical affair, as Calgary brought up 6-foot-4, 225-pound forward Akim Aliu. The Flames’ forward ran Wild defenseman Clayton Stoner behind the net in what could’ve been deemed a charge. Despite being the team’s minor league affiliate’s leader in penalty minutes, Ogie Oglethorpe he is not. Mike Rupp did everything he could to engage Aliu in dropping the mitts to fire up the squad, but the Flames’ forward didn’t oblige and both were hit with 10-minute misconducts.

Okay, usually I don’t fall for gimmicky things, but the Calgary Flames’ Retro Night was, like, totally awesome. The ice girls were dressed in DayGlo clothes, DJ Nitro and the organist played songs from the 80s and the jumbotron constantly flashed footage of NHL games from bygone eras.

And then this happened. The video was played on the big board during the first intermission.

It looks innocent enough until you see the flaming red moustache—instantly recognizable as Lanny McDonald’s. It only gets better from there as the Flames players lip sync “Those Red Hot Flames.” The YouTube description states “The bad 80s arrangement, the soft focus video, the mullets!” This is one of those team videos that seems like a great idea in the moment, looks ridiculous after the fact, but is so symbolic of the time period it becomes a classic retroactively. There is more cheese oozing off of it than a Kraft dinner, which makes it amazing. The best thing about the video might be that I can’t tell if the Flames think they actually look cool doing this or know it’s so ridiculous they just go all in. Whatever the case, thank you 1980s. You made videos like this one possible.

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