Following Wild games, occasionally Manager of Digital Media Ryan Stanzel will give the Five Takeaways that he remembers from the contest. Tonight, he looks back at a 5-4 loss against the New York Rangers:
Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo often says it’s about the response. Well, the Wild will get a chance to respond quickly after tonight’s 5-4 loss to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Minnesota, which led 3-0 after the second tonight, heads Boston to face the Bruins in 21 hours. Coming back from losses — all different kinds — is part of the process of becoming a championship team.
Wild fans were saying “uncle” by the midway point of the second period when it appeared as though the team had possibly lost three players for the game due to injury. Thankfully, Jonas Brodin and Zach Parise returned. Erik Haula did not.
To recap: with 16 seconds left in the first, Chris Kreider launched Brodin in the air and into the end boards behind the net. Brodin went face first, was helped off, but returned midway through the second. On the ensuing five-minute power play, early in the second, Parise took an errant stick just above his upper lip. Blood was everywhere. After getting stitched up, he returned. Before the midway point of the second, on a rush, John Moore targeted Erik Haula’s head and was given a match penalty and ejected.
With another game tomorrow night in Boston, Minnesota has Kyle Brodziak waiting in the wings if needed.
Yeo mentioned this morning how the New York Rangers are fast — both in how they play and how they skate. But the Wild, fast in its own right, definitely outplayed the Rangers for the first two periods. It was clear early on that the Wild was outskating the Rangers. The forecheck was outstanding. The Rangers were having trouble getting the puck out of their own zone, and if they did, getting it behind the Wild defensemen was another matter.
Sure, the hot topic at tomorrow’s water cooler will be the power play. But after morning skate, Yeo reiterated he wasn’t worried about the team’s man advantage, as long as his team is handling it the right way and not letting it affect the next shift.
Let’s flash back to just after the Wild’s first unsuccessful five-minute power play tonight. Just 45 seconds after it expired, Nate Prosser scored his first goal of the season. Only 55 seconds after that, Matt Cooke netted his second of the season.
The power play will come. The shifts after special teams are huge. You’ve got to stay focused. The Wild is doing that, and winning those shifts.
As has become customary this season, the Wild outshot its opponent, 30-20. In fact, shots attempted were 54-31. What’s remarkable about that is the fact at the Wild won just 36 percent of its face-offs, meaning the Rangers started with possession 64 percent of the time. To dominate a game that much when giving up possession means the Wild played extremely well without the puck, to get the biscuit back.