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Breaking Down Game 9: Stats & Analysis

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The Wild come back to beat San Jose in a shootout to improve to 6-3-0 on the year.

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

This past week has been quite a dramatic one for the Wild.  After watching a three-goal lead disappear against the Rangers on Monday, the team responded by coming back from two straight two-goal deficits against Boston and San Jose.  Apparently no lead is safe this season.

Let's take a look at some stats:

Team

Corsi %

(Even Strength)

Total Shots Unblocked Shot Attempts Faceoff % Power Play Hits
Minnesota 60.95% 46 59 66.2% 0/1 10
San Jose 39.05% 28 38 33.8% 1/2 14


For a visual representation of how the game went down, check out this awesome chart showing the shot attempt differential from the good people at naturalstattrick.com.

G9
The chart tells most of the story.  The first period was fairly average as the Wild struggled to get anything going.  Turnovers in the neutral zone prevented any sustained offensive zone time and eventually led to San Jose's first goal.  The beginning of the second period continued the trend of back and forth hockey until the Sharks scored on their second power play.  At that point the Wild really took control of the game until they tied the game at 3-3.

Overall it's going to be a good game when you put 46 shots on goal.  Antti Niemi played well and came up with some big saves, but even the best goaltenders are going to let in a few when they see that amount.  Another positive is winning 47 of 71 faceoffs.  Mikko Koivu led the way, winning 22 of 28 (79%).

Player

Corsi %

(Even Strength)

Corsi For Corsi Against Shots Time on Ice
Charlie Coyle 77.8% 28 8 6 17:19
Mikko Koivu 77.5% 31 9 9 22:02
Jared Spurgeon 74.5% 35 12 6 22:31
Jason Zucker 74.3% 26 9 1 18:03
Ryan Carter 69.2% 9 4 3 7:04
Nino Niederreiter 65.0% 13 7 1 13:14
Matt Dumba 64.3% 18 10 3 17:04
Ryan Suter 61.5% 40 25 3 33:49
Justin Fontaine 61.5% 16 10 1 11:14
Stephane Veilleux 60.0% 3 2 1 3:01
Marco Scandella 57.5% 23 17 2 26:51
Zach Parise 53.3% 16 14 2 21:48
Mikael Granlund 47.1% 16 18 2 22:15
Jason Pominville 46.1% 15 17 1 23:00
Kyle Brodziak 44.4% 8 10 4 14:07
Thomas Vanek 42.3% 11 15 1 17:50
Justin Falk 40.0% 4 6 0 9:32
Nate Prosser 40.0% 8 12 0 16:11

Charlie Coyle had a monstrous night with a career high six shots on goal.  He was the lone bright spot in the first period when the Wild were struggling to keep offensive pressure.  Jason Zucker also had a huge game up on the second line playing 18:03 and had a few good looks on the rush including hitting the post in the third.  Zucker, Coyle and Koivu had great chemistry all game and I would expect Mike Yeo to remember that.

The first line of Parise, Granlund and Pominville had a mediocre game at best.  Granlund in particular had quite a few turnovers and the line never seemed to click in the offensive zone the way they usually do.  Granted, they went up against Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski for a big chunk of the game.

The interesting line was the third, with Brodziak centering Niederreiter and Vanek through two periods and Fontaine and Vanek in the third.  The line looked bad at times through the first two periods.  By the third, Yeo tried to mix things up by switching our Niederreiter, arguably the best of the three, for Fontaine.  From then on they clicked, setting up the final two goals that would tie the game at three.  Niederreiter was pretty much absent from the third, but the stats show he still put up decent possession numbers.  I think Yeo's demotion was less about Nino and more about trying to shake up those bottom two lines.

Defensively, Ryan Suter was unsurprisingly excellent.  He had to carry quite the weight when Jared Spurgeon left the game, eventually totaling almost 34 minutes of ice time.  Marco Scandella also had to step up in a big way.  The rest of the D was shaky at best, which doesn't bode well if Spurgeon is out for a longer length of time.  The Wild better hope that Jonas Brodin, Keith Ballard and Christian Folin recover soon, or the blue line could crumble.

Play of the Game: Speedy Brodziak

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Kyle Brodziak and speed aren't usually synonymous, but the center showed his burst in the third period to score his second of the game.  The goal starts with a nice outlet pass by Nate Prosser to get it to Thomas Vanek.  Sharks defenseman Mirco Mueller is forced to cover Vanek as Brent Burns, his defensive partner is caught along the boards and slow to join the play.

Brodz Goal

Mueller decides to take the player with the puck to stop Vanek's shot.  You can see him call out to Burns for him to take Brodziak.  The breakdown happens when James Sheppard catches up to Vanek from behind.  Burns either never heard Mueller, or he saw Shepperd catch Vanek and assumed Mueller would drop back and cover.  Whatever the case, Burns thought Brodziak was covered so he holds up to block a centering pass to Fontaine.  Mueller instead gets caught in the middle of the 2 on 1, not really covering anyone and just watching the middle lane.  It's not enough to stop an incredible backhand pass from Vanek and it's a tie game.  A great burst of speed from Brodziak.

Wild Three Stars

1. Angry Mikko Koivu- Scored a goal in regulation and in the shootout and was dominant all night.

2. Kyle Brodziak- He may have missed a great chance in the first on a breakaway, but he brought his shooting percentage back up with two goals in the third.

3. Charlie Coyle- The former Shark draft pick wanted to show his old team what they missed out on.  No points, but still a great game.

Next up: Saturday vs. Dallas Stars, 7:00 PM

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Stats collected from www.war-on-ice.com