Another night, another somewhat troubling loss for the Wild. As fans try to pick themselves up off the floor and keep from jumping off the edge, we've got your game re-cap needs here. Wild lose 4-3 to the Ducks in OT.
First things first. Marco Scandella had a horrible gam. He definitely started the game out with a bang. Unfortunately, it wasn't a good bang. He triped over his own skate, and then failed to cover his guy once he gets up and Saku Koivu shoots an easy goal in. Rinse and repeat on the next goal. Before the night was over, Scandella managed to be on the ice for every single goal against.
The period went from bad to worse when the Ducks scored a powerplay goal. The team looked lifeless, and there were very few positives to take away. Next to no puck possession, and spent the vast majority of time in their own zone.
Matt Cooke managed to change the momentum of the game by pulling a penalty with an elbow from Bryan Allen. After 3 fabulous chances, the Wild powerplay looked to be back to last season form of horrible. But Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu teamed up to get a beautiful goal with about 7:30 left in the 1st.
The second started as bad as the first, with the Ducks scoring right away. Somehow, instead of getting themselves together during intermission, the team managed to fall apart even more. Maybe they forget to get their coffee.
The 4th line got things buzzing though. They utterly schooled the Ducks team in their own zone with a crazy amount of pressure that ended up forcing the Ducks to use their time out. Eventually, that energy found its way to the other lines.
Jason Pominville scored the 2nd powerplay goal of the game on the first shot of the power play. If you want to find some gems out of this game, the powerplay is the place to look. After an abysmal season with the PP last season, the Wild have 3 powerplay goals in the first 2 games.
To keep that in perspective, the Wild had 11 total powerplay goals at home last season. Total. Let the fact that the team is over a quarter of the way to that total in just 2 games sink in for a minute.
Heatley started looking pretty bad, and got worse as the game went on. For someone on a contract year, and who came into camp looking as fantastic as he did, it's not looking very good for him. He took a hard slapshot at the net during the 3rd, which ended up with a ring you could hear across the ocean, and Heatley on his back.
Charlie Coyle left the game with about 6 minutes left in the 2nd, and tried to return once. He made it halfway down the tunnel before turning around and heading back to the locker room. It was later announced that he wouldn't be returning to the game. In the post game interview, Yeo said that it wasn't a grave injury, but that it would be a stretch to see Coyle in Nashville Tuesday.
Zach Parise got the party started in the 3rd with a goal at the top of the period. From that point on, it was all Wild, all the time. The puck possession was great, and the Wild really controlled the pace of the game for most of the period.
The first "What is hybrid icing" form the refs happened in the 3rd period as well tonight. Parise had clearly beat the Ducks defender to the hash marks, but the ref blew the whistle and ruled it icing. Would have been an excellent chance for Parise to get his hat trick.
The game eventually went into overtime, but it was heartbreak city version 2.0 for Wild fans. Mathieu Perreault scored the game-winning goal on Niklas Backstrom with 4.9 seconds left in OT. The goal was classic 5-hole, and before anyone jumps on the "WHY DO YOU HATE BACKSTROM", that was absolutely a goal that should have been stopped. Come up with any excuse to make yourself feel better, but it should have been stopped.
On the plus side, Mikael Granlund had an excellent game again, but one area he needs to improve is being more comfortable taking shots on goal. There were multiple times tonight were he could have had a decent scoring chance, but chose to defer to veteran players. Wild fans saw a similar style of play from Brodin last season.
While the result was similar, the feel of this game was completely different, and that point was reflected by the players and Coach Yeo in post-game interviews. It's hard to be excited when the team loses games like this, but at the same time the Wild are clearly doing the right things. Eventually they are going to get the results that everyone is looking for.