The Wild had no business in this game. They were out-played by a healthy margin through 40 minutes of play. Charlie Coyle's opportunistic goal in the first period and stellar goaltending from Devan Dubnyk held the Wild in the game just long enough. It came to life in the third period after a power play goal by Zach Parise was disallowed for incidental contact. Jared Spurgeon would later get the equalizer for the Wild to hold on for the big loser point.
Minnesota played (if you want to call it "playing") the majority of the first period in its own zone. Tampa Bay tilted the ice heavily to the Wild end. Compounded by failed clearing attempts and an inability to connect a breakout pass, to say the Wild were "sluggish" would be an understatement. The Wild were out-shot 12-4 and out chanced 10-3 in the period. looking at advanced stats, the Wild were piss poor at best by getting out shot-attempted 20-6. Either way you look at it, it was a horse poopy period.
Valtteri Filppula opened the scoring with his goal just past the midway point of the first period. The wrist shot sneaked over the right shoulder of Dubnyk on the short side.
Charlie Coyle answered back as he was able to take advantage of Andrei Vasilevskiy mis-handling the puck behind the net. Coyle corralled the puck and didn't waste any time to send a backhander into the open net. That would be just the Wild's second shot on goal at 15:39 of the first period.
Minnesota was quite literally lucky to have escaped the period only down by one.
In the second period, Nikita Kucherov, whose been on a hot streak as of late, took advantage of a failed rim behind the Wild net as it deflected off Jared Spurgeon's skate right to Kucherov crashing down. It didn't help that Granlund failed to keep his man covered and Ryan Suter was caught in no-man's land when the puck went into the net.
The Wild had four power play chances in the game and for the most part looked abysmal. Lots of shots went wide and it had an extremely hard time getting set up in the zone. On the plus side of special teams, the Wild penalty kill was perfect on its only kill of the game.
It happened to be a power play that helped spark the Wild in the third period. Ryan Suter's shot ended up going in off of Parise, who was camped out on front of the net. It looked as if the Wild had tied the game. It ended up getting challenged by the Tampa bay coaching staff for goalie interference. On replays, Zach Parise did skate into Vasilevskiy, who was on the top of his crease. The goaltender reached out with his glove had to push Parise away and the puck went into the net. Parise was clearly out of the crease and Vasilevskiy was in his crease. In years past, it probably would have gone the Wild's way, but Toronto over-turned the goal. It's tough on how to call that one. On one hand, Parise did make contact with the goaltender, but he was also not in the crease and Parise has every right to that ice as any other player.
Wild game-tying goal is overturned after Bolts coach's challenge for goalie interference is successful pic.twitter.com/AHmBuWSUER— Stephanie (@myregularface) January 3, 2016
What do you think?
The Coyle line, with Nino Niederreiter on the other flank really helped the team put together a couple great shifts in a row. They were physical, getting scoring chances, and tough on the Bolts. It was one such shift that Niederreiter made a borderline boarding bodycheck to remove a Lightning player from the puck. Coyle's shot from the right point caromed off the right pad of Vasielvskiy right to Spurgeon. Spurgeom was true on the shot to tie the game.
On to overtime, where the Wild, who had no business even being that close after 40 minutes, saw itself in.
The struggles for the Wild in overtime have been duly noted. Out of seven overtime periods, the Wild was only able to score in one of them for a victory and none have gone to a shootout. It was mostly a 3-on-3 puck possession clinic by the Lightning as it controlled the puck and was able to get frequent line changes during as well. Many times you'd see them kick it back to the neutral zone to re-group before going back on the attack. (The Wild should really take as many notes as they can on that). Mike Yeo sent a number of trios on the ice:
- Mikko Koivu, Charlie Coyle, Ryan Suter
- Mikael Granlund, Marco Scandella, Coyle
- Jarret Stoll, Zach Parise, Scandella
- Matt Dumba, Thomas Vanek Granlund
- Spurgeon, Coyle, Koivu
- Scandella, Parise, Nino Niederreiter
|11 - X||11 - X|
|9 - X||24 - $|
|3 - X||---|