Well, that was a letdown.
The Wild couldn't protect a 2-1 lead, and ended up paying for it by letting LA force overtime. That hurt. Then the Wild couldn't figure out a poke-checking Jonathan Quick in the shootout, while Backstrom let in a pair of goals right away. That hurt more.
So the Wild have just a point to show from what was otherwise a very impressive effort agains the Los Angeles Kings. As you're probably going to read about a lot, the Wild did very well against a very good team. The Wild spent a lot of time not being in their zone, which has been a pretty rare sighting around the X. After Mike Yeo spoke during the offseason about improving the Wild's puck possession, I was quite skeptical that it would come to fruition. It's only one game, but it has to be encouraging for the Wild to get handily dominate in that regard.
Anyway, you're going to read more about that, and the Jason Pominville extension, so let's go on to the Walk.
Wild starts strong but loses a shootout to Kings | Star Tribune- Russo's recap.
Wild can't secure extra point, but some good signs in a shootout loss to Kings | Russo's Rants | StarTribune.com- Russo's blog version of the game recap.
Tom Powers: Wild show promise, but a loss is a loss - TwinCities.com- You know Tom: Every silver lining has a cloud.
Souhan: Wild lives up to Yeo's promise to be more aggressive | Star Tribune- Souhan actually got a more favoriable impression. He actually likes Niederreiter. I didn't know Souhan was capable of liking things.
Minnesota Wild: Despite opening loss, three newcomers play well - TwinCities.com- Matt Cooke, Nino Niederreiter, and Keith Ballard had good games, anyway. Especially Matt Cooke's foot.
Wild drop first home opener in franchise history in 3-2 shootout loss to Los Angeles | October | 2013 Articles- Derek details every second of this loss.
Hitting The Post: 30WR: Wild Lose in OT- If you're short on time, you should read Nick's recap.
Minnesota Wild Sign Jason Pominville to 5-Year Extension- A lot of people are saying a lot of things about the Jason Pominville contract. I'll concede that the best way for the Wild to compete in the short-term is to get Pominville extended, and that Pominville is a very good player who is worth the kind of money he's getting, at least now. In short, this extension makes sense, and probably had to happen.
At the same time, I'm much more hesitant to be as on board with it as many of my esteemed colleagues are. 5.6 million is at the higher end of the cap hit that I wanted to see for Pominville, and if they were going to go for that much money, I'd have liked to see a shorter-term deal. 5.6 million isn't all that different from 4.5-5 million in terms of cap management, but 5 years instead of 4 is. Especially when that deal is being signed by a player who will be 31 when that contract extension kicks in. Especially when your youth movement is going to start getting paid somewhere around years 4 and 5.
It makes sense, but there's enough risk involved to not make it a slam dunk.
Wild's Pominville gets five-year, $28M extension | Star Tribune- Russo fails to report whether Pominville indeed bought the other players lunch. These questions are important to me.
Minnesota Wild sign Jason Pominville, friend of Thomas Vanek, to 5-year extension | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- The Vanek angle is not one that will be ignored with this new signing. Unless Pominville is Vanek's only friend, I'm pretty sure this storyline is overhyped.
The Team of 18,001: Jason Pominville Signs 5 Year Extension- Giles weighs in on the Pominville extension.
Wild notes: Cooke comfortable with missing tooth, Kings' hit that caused it | Star Tribune- Russo puts a (toothless) face on an inhuman monster which every damn soul in the X was cheering for, forgetting completely their scorn for his signing.
Tending the Fields
Iowa Wild Release Opening Night Roster; Final Cuts Made- Iowa got their roster in order. No real surprises.
Off the Trail
Ilya Bryzgalov heads to ECHL’s Las Vegas Wranglers on a tryout | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- At least his career isn't getting weird, or anything.
Five players that could steal Sidney Crosby’s Hart | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- This is all moot if Crosby gets injured again.
NHL - The changing value of the captaincy - ESPN- A look at why captains are getting younger and younger.