As we began this article, I feel that it is only necessary to quote Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins saying “You Like That”, after what we witnessed Tuesday night. Tuesday night was our first look at the new look Wild. Charlie Coyle, Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter are all gone. In comes Kevin Fiala and Ryan Donato. Along with those two, the Wild would need to find offense from others with those three not a part of the organization anymore. However, the new look club would have a tough tilt ahead of themselves against Winnipeg with wins needed more than ever if the Wild want to make the playoffs. And the Wild kicked off the “second half” after the trade deadline in dramatic fashion with a 3-2 win over the Jets. Let’s discuss three takeaways from Tuesday night’s contest.
Thing 1: Third period comeback
Going into the third trailing 2-1, the Wild had previously been 2-21-2 trailing after two periods while Winnipeg was 19-3-3. However, what we saw in the final two minutes was an emotional roller coaster to say the least as Wild fans. We saw this team come together and rally for a big two points that could go a long way come the end of the season as to where the Wild end up. It all got started with Jason Zucker on the power-play, and concluded with Joel Eriksson Ek potting the game winner just 26 seconds later.
Thing 2: 8 for 8
The penalty kill the last 19 games has been a disaster allowing 16 goals during that span. However, on the road, the Wild power-play has been hotter than hot. 8 straight road games with a power-play goal continued after Zucker tied things up at 2 late in the third. And with nine of their last 18 games on the road, the streaky man advantage the Wild have on the road could pay dividends for the Wild to squeak into the playoffs.
Thing 3: Ryan Donato remains hot
Honestly, how many of us saw Ryan Donato doing what he is doing when he was traded for Charlie Coyle last week. Six points in his first four games saw some history behind his hot start in a Wild uniform. Only two others have had more successful starts with the Wild. Zach Parise and Pavel Demitra. Pretty good group to be in if you ask me. Granted he has only scored once, but his five assists have been at big times. Two of those assists came Tuesday night on the tying goal and game-winner. If he keeps this up, General Manager Paul Fenton would look like a genius and could give the Wild an offensive spark these last 18 games.