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 Philadelphia Flyers:
It’s no coincidence that the Wild scored its first 5-on-3 goal this season in Mikael Granlund’s second game back after missing 11. Although, most Wild fans would have assumed the goal would have read Granlund-to-Pominville, not the other way around. Granlund’s two-man advantage goal came moments after he drew the second minor penalty, taking a cross check and going hard into the boards. The 5-on-3 featured sweet passing, capped off by Pominville’s cross-crease pass from deep in the left circle. A deft move by Pominville, with a quick hesitation fake like he was going to feed Koivu at the top of the right circle. Two (of the three) defenders bit, leaving a clear passing lane to Granlund, who buried a one-time from deep in the right circle.
Ryan Suter established a new franchise record tonight by recording an assist in a seventh straight game. It also marked a new career-high for Suter. His 22 assists rank tied for third amongst NHL defensemen. Suter topped the 30-minute mark for the fifth time in six games, 14th in the last 24 contests and 19th time overall this season.
Confidence - it’s a funny thing. In hockey but all aspects of life, when you’re going, you’re going. And when you’re not, it’s hard to get going. Goalies, defenseman, forwards, it doesn’t matter. When a team is struggling to score goals, it tends to creep into other areas of play as well. Despite allowing an early goal and being down 2-0 tonight, the Wild kept pressing to draw within a goal at the end of one. After Philadelphia killed off a minor to start the second period, it scored again after a Flyers power play ended to make it 3-1.
On that note, sometimes you need to get away and refresh your engine. And the Wild will get that opportunity, as the three-day holiday break kicks in tonight once the team gets home from Philadelphia. There are no NHL practices or games on Dec. 24-26, per the new CBA. The team will refresh, and re-convene on Friday morning at MSP before flying to Winnipeg for a morning skate and then a game versus the Jets that evening.
The Wild announced about 10 minutes before warm-ups that Zach Parise would be unavailable due to a lower body injury. Parise, who has been playing with a badly bruised foot since Nov. 25, missed one game after that injury. Not counting an injury-ravaged 2010-11 season, Parise has missed just five games in his career since it started in 2005. This marks the first season other than 2010-11 he has missed more than one game due to injury.