Why the Wild Lost

Jonathan Daniel

The Wild lost last night, and frankly deserved to. They didn't play well, and the Blackhawks finally decided to play hockey. This is a surface-level analysis of the numbers.

I haven't seen it here... but about the first caller on KFAN whine line last night just about demanded the head- literally- of Mikko Koivu for his poor play "all playoffs." I won't go into that, as Ger already wrote a great article about it.

There were 8 players with worse CF%'s than Koivu (I'm not counting Bryz, because that would be unfair). Nate Prosser, Charlie Coyle, Zach Parise, Jason Pominville, Ryan Suter, Nino Niederreiter, Mikael Granlund, and Jonas Brodin. All of these players had poor CF%, and negative CF%Rel. That's really bad, and indicates just how badly they played (as well as how well the Hawks stopped them).

Those are some pretty big names. Here's who had a better CF% than Koivu: Jared Spurgeon, Matt Cooke, Erik Haula, Clayton Stoner, Kyle Brodziak, Justin Fontaine, Cody McCormick, Dany Heatley, and Marco Scandella. When our best possession player is a defenseman, things are bad. The Wild's puck possession simply wasn't where it has been, nor where they need it to be.

All of those players had better Corsi percentages than our most important scorers this offseason.

The story gets even better when you look at Fenwick instead of Corsi (Fenwick is unblocked shots, Corsi is all shots). Mikko Koivu had the 2nd best Fenwick percentage on the Wild last night. Granlund had the worst.

Brodin was 2nd-worst, followed by Prosser, Pominville, and Parise.

If you want to blame a single person for the loss last night, that's fine. The Blackhawks finally came to play, and the Wild weren't ready. Few of our offensive players had good games. There was no one person who lost the game for  the Wild; last night was a systematic failure to play against the Hawks, and a failure to put pucks on net. More importantly, the Wild allowed far more shots than they have over the past 2 games. More shots= more goals, and the Wild lost their defensive panash last night. Over the past 11 years, the Hawks have only been limited to 22 shots or less 8 times, and 4 of those have come in this series. Last night was not one of them.

Make like a burrito and wrap up

What really concerns me is that, as much as this seems like last series, there are two big differences. Firstly, the Blackhawks aren't the Avalanche. They have talent, and lots of it (hot sports take, I know). More importantly, the Wild really didn't play poorly last series after game 3. Game 5 wasn't great, but it wasn't awful. Last night's performance by the Wild was pretty poor, and our guys quite simply need to play better.

All statistics via www.extraskater.com at 5v5

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