Apparently, Mr. Naegele was the problem.
The Wild beat the Coyotes 4-1 last night to run their current streak to three games, and stay unbeaten in the Craig Leipold era as well.
While beating the Coyotes might not carry the cache of beating, say the Red Wings, for the Wild, it was a solid performance on home ice, continuing the mini-trend and setting the team up for two tough games in St. Paul this week against the Flames and Fowl.
With a re-commitment to team defense, the Wild finally outshot their opponent. They were shooting from everywhere, using screens to beat Bryzgalov, and the Foy-Shep-Fridge line was again very strong, particularly in the offensive zone.
Unlike the previous two games Harding was not under constant seige, though he did have one huge save right after Demitra opened the scoring midway through the second. It was the kind of shot, in the kind of situation, that has bitten the Wild far too often this season, and Hards coming up with the save was that much more important because of it.
Mikko Koivu has now played two games since returning from his broken bone, and he's been a pleasant surprise in both of them. His tenacious D and slick stickhandling - particularly in traffic - suffered no ill-effects from the injury or layoff.
Martin Skoula Report Card
Martin had his third-straight solid game with no major mistakes. When Martin applies himself he is able to make a positive contribution to the team, and he's doing that right now.
Overall: Wild win 4-0-0 (GF 13, GA 6)
In Minny: Wild win 2-0-0 (GF 7, GA 2)
In Phoenix: Wild win 2-0-0 (GF 6, GA 4)
CHICKEN LITTLE SAYS: Satisfactory.
POLLYANNA SAYS: No road trip hangover here!
BOTTOM LINE: Solid-not-flashy two points. Good things happen when you shoot the puck!
STUD: Tempted to give it to Hards again, but Shep scores for the first time since Thanksgiving - and it's a GWG to boot.
DUD: Burns had a brain cramp for the second straight game.