Following Wild games, occasionally Manager of Digital Media Ryan Stanzel will give the Five Takeaways that he'll remember from the contest. Tonight, he looks back at a 4-1 loss against the New York Rangers:
It didn’t take Mikael Granlund long to make an impact after missing 11 games. Only 4:08 into the game, Granlund won the face-off that ultimately led to Jason Pominville’s goal. Granlund won 8-of-15 face-offs overall and was notable with some tape-to-tape passes too. It was also impressive that Granlund wasn’t afraid to go into the “dirty” areas coming off the injury he had — he went to battle with the big boys in front of the net.
Ryan Suter registered an assist for a sixth-straight game, and this one was an all-world feed. Granlund won the face-off to Pominville, who slid the puck back to Suter at the left point and headed for the far post. Suter bided his time, creeped in closer and threaded a beautiful pass to Pominville cutting backdoor to complete the give-and-go pass. Suter draws laurels for so many great things he does, but sometimes his great passing is overlooked. Suter’s six-game assist streak is his longest since a six-game run with Nashville Dec. 11-22, 2010.
Prior to road games of late, the Wild has spoke of the importance of getting an early lead. It’s easier to play with a lead, obviously, and confidence is always up. It took just 4:08 for the Wild to score first tonight. Equally as important as the goal was the way the Wild played. The aggressive play made the Rangers ice the puck five times in the opening six minutes.
But the Rangers outscored the Wild 2-0 in the second period, and Minnesota has now been outscored 31-23 in the second this season.
We got our first look at Madison Square Garden after its billion dollar “Transformation.” The first thing we noticed was the visiting locker room — which used to be split into two smaller locker rooms — was big, spacious and modern. The scoreboard is humongous, and crystal clear. It even has smaller screens on the underside of the scoreboard so the benches can see it. We did NOT get a look at the million-dollar “bunker suites” immediately behind the benches. Fans have a nice area to go at intermission, and then watch the game from seats right above the bench. It’s certainly updated (and then some), but still has the feel of the Garden.