Fifteen goals in three games. First time in franchise history they have scored five or more goals in three consecutive games. Points in seven straight games. Five straight wins. 10-3-3 in their last 16. One might say it looks like this team is getting the system, working hard to get back into games, opening up the offense and turning things around. Granted, it could all come crashing down around them, but many experts figured it would take until December for the team to really get comfortable in the system, and lord knows the injuries haven't helped things at all. But, all that said, things are looking awfully good for the Wild at the moment.
Tonight's win was fantastic to witness because it didn't require the efforts of one line carrying the team. They didn't need an unhuman effort by their goaltender. They weren't scraping to get back into the game. Heck, they scored five goals, and didn't even get a multi-goal game from anyone. It was 5-1 before things got sloppy for the Wild halfway through the third period, and at that point, everyone was even or better on the +/-. Minnesota amassed 39 shots on goal, had points from 10 different guys and, on the second night of a back to back, were able to give breaks to some of the guys who had heavy workloads on Friday against Anaheim.
Martin Havlat finally had his first multi-point game since October 6, and did so by working hard and making great passes down low. Antti Miettinen scored on a pretty powerplay goal, and now has six goals in his last six games. James Sheppard finally notched his first goal of the season, and Derek Boogaard even got an assist on a fantastic breakout pass to Martin Havlat, who then fed Andrew Ebbett (who has been a wonderful acquisition).
Tonight was the kind of game the Wild fanbase has been expecting and waiting for all season. Minnesota skated hard, forechecked aggressively, forced the opposition to make mistakes in their own end, found the open man and peppered the net. If this is the new system, I'll take it.
Please read the game recap over at On the Forecheck
Hockey Wilderness Three
Questions to Answer
- Can the Wild get points in their 7th straight? Indeed they did. Wild are now over .500!
- Something tells me being at home will cause Jordin Tootoo's chest to puff out and he'll try to pull his crap again. Will I be seen as the prescient one? I guess I'm really confused, but Tootoo behaved again.
- With five goals in his last five games, can Antti Miettinen continue to put goals on the board? Six goals in six games. Not half bad.
- Does playing 30 minutes last night affect Zidlicky and Zanon? Zanon got sloppy late in the game, giving up two goals and ended up a -2, but got a nice break only having 18:58 TOI and Zidlicky went back to his typical 22:34.
- Are we in store for another Nashville vs. Minnesota shootout (not the game deciding kind)? It shouldn't have been. Wild were dominant, but got sloppy after the game was in hand.