The losing streak extends to four games as the Wild fall to 7-7-0 on the year. Tuesday's matchup against the Devils proved to be a frustrating one as the Wild struggled to get anything going offensively until it was too late. Credit where it's due, New Jersey plays a very solid defensive system. The Wild looked lethargic for about 90 percent of this game, which just isn't going to cut it.
The stats don't really tell the full story in this game, especially considering the two teams only spent 40:07 minutes at even strength 5v5. Let's take a look at them anyway.
The Wild continue to win possession battles at even strength, although a lot of this can be attributed to score effects. New Jersey had the better numbers when the score was close. The shot attempt chart from War-on-ice.com better illustrates the game:
The teams played fairly even through the first couple of periods. There were lots of penalties called, shown by the colored bars representing power plays. You can see the Wild did put some good pressure on Cory Schneider late in third, but it was not enough to tie the score.
Not a terrible night possession wise, but certainly not great either. Everyone on the team struggled in ways through the first two periods. Mike Yeo switched up lines in the third and tried to reward players who were stepping up. Jason Zucker played over 17 minutes, the second highest of all forwards next to Mikko Koivu. Mikael Granlund ended up with less than 13 minutes.
Charlie Coyle may have had his worst game of the season, missing opportunities with the puck and taking an ill-advised double minor penalty. Yeo replaced him with Pominville on Koivu's line to start the third period. Granlund also struggled to generate offense all night. He put up a mediocre 43.5% Corsi percentage despite getting 100% offensive zone starts. He finished three for eight in the faceoff dot.
Defensively, Ryan Suter and Jonas Brodin continued to carry the weight. It really is amazing that Brodin can play over 27 minutes a night and be as consistent as he is. He really is putting that sophomore slump behind him. Marco Scandella played well at times but also took three penalties. Jon Blum only played 8:35, but didn't look too out of place in his season debut.
Despite the four-game losing streak, the Wild continue to put up respectable Fenwick numbers. Obviously a lot of this has to do with score effects, but the fact that the team is still putting up a good number of shots is encouraging. Last year when the team went on a long losing streak in December, they were getting outshot pretty badly. The team isn't playing its best right now, but it may not be far off from righting the ship.
Wild Three Stars of the Game
1. Jonas Brodin- Solid all night playing 27 minutes.
2. Mikko Koivu- Seemed to be the only forward to have any drive in the first two periods, finished with four shots.
3. Ryan Carter- Was pretty invisible all night until a sneaky shorthanded goal to put the Wild on the board.