It's fitting that the Wild played the Coyotes last night since they've been wandering around in their own little desert for a month or so now. And while I'm not going to make too big a deal out of this one win, it was a much better, more Wild-like effort than we've seen in quite some time.
To the extent that means it was a boring, quiet game punctuated by opportunistic offensive moments, so be it.
But the Wild got a 3-1 win via hard work, attention to detail, stingy defense and good goaltending. Sound familiar?
The kids continue to earn their ice time. Last night JL had Sheppard, Voros and Veilleux/Parrish on a line together, and they were consistently the most energetic line on the ice. SRV got his fourth of the season, Shep got his second and added a helper, and Voros had two (first) assists.
Gaby scored on a breakaway which means he had a defender on him (as opposed to the SO when he doesn't score because no one's chasing him).
Backstrom played well again. Hill, Fedoruk and Voros all displayed a nasty edge (sorely needed with this team) and managed to get under the skin of the 'Yotes at times.
Johnsson had a strong game in all zones.
I'd still like to see the BBR line (Butch, Belanger and Rolston) get it going. They're allowed a little more creative flair (ie drop passes) than our other lines, and when that works it's great, but when it doesn't it just creates chances against. Rolston, in particular, continues to look anemic - though his laser off the crossbar in the waning seconds hopefully portends better things from him.
CHICKEN LITTLE SAYS: We're still only one line deep, and it's the wrong line.
POLLYANNA SAYS: Shep, Voros, SRV...the future looks great!
BOTTOM LINE: Good, solid two points against a conference rival.
STUD: Shep showed Wild fans a glimpse of a future top line power forward type. Seven helpers now for the kid.
DUD: Gotta call out Rolston. He just looks tired. I know he doesn't like playing center, but we need him to be a bigger part of the game than he has been lately.
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