Another heartbreaking loss for the home team tonight.
Wild got goals from Kaptain Mikko Koivu, and a penalty shot goal from the heavens by Charlie Coyle, but that was enough to beat the Read Wings in their first match up this season. Luckily for the Wild, they can get their redemption tomorrow in Detroit.
One scary moment in the first period happened when Niklas Kronwall fell awkwardly into the boards and was clearly knocked unconscious. He went back to the room with the training staff, but returned towards the end of the 1st period. He didn't not look anywhere near 100% for the rest of the game.
I'll be teaming up with some writers from Winging it in Motown this week to talk about injuries like this, so look for that.
Coach Yeo made a few good points in his post game press conference tonight. In reality, the play of the Wild is all a matter of perspective. The team has gotten a point in 9 of the last 11 games. This was the first home regulation loss in the last 11 games. The team is 7-3-4 in the last 14 games.
Is everything perfect? Not at all, and Yeo touched on that as well. He said point blank that the penalty kill needs to be addressed and fixed. The team has been hovering around 68% lately. He also mentioned that the team needs to get better on winning faceoffs during the PK.
I had a chance to chat quickly with Charlie Coyle after the game. He made a point to turn my question about his confidence into something relating to the team instead of about himself. He touched a little on always wanting to play your best, but finished by saying that the play of the team and the outcome of the games is more important than how he plays.
I have to say that thus far I am pretty unimpressed with Matt Moulson's game for the Wild. He's had a few good goals, and had a strong game against the Islanders, but he was practically invisible tonight. With the amount of guys who deserve time in the top 6 on this team, Moulson needs to get him game into gear and quick.
Overall, despite struggling to get wins (although not points), the Wild are going to make the playoffs, and likely not as the last seed either. Considering where this team finished in the standings over the last 5 years, that is a ton of progress. It might be great yet, but the team is getting there. Have a bit of patience Wild fans.