If the Wild is to make the playoffs, it needs to be able to avoid point-less streaks. Tonight is their first chance to do that.
The first step would be finding some secondary scoring (tertiary scoring would be okay, too). Bouchard and Granlund each have one, the other four goals the team has produced have been from the top line (Heatley's three and Parise's one). That distribution in and of itself (66% from the top line) isn't death. It's the dearth of goals overall (6 in three games) that's mildly distressing. The idea after the Nashville game was that a couple days of actual practice might be beneficial towards that goal. Let's hope so.
Brodin's arrival at the NHL is another sign that the youth movement that Fletcher embarked on is set to start paying dividends. I am very excited to see Brodin play, if only to see this marvelous skating ability that the people rave about. But, it's tough to rely on 19-year old defensemen in the NHL. While not without exceptions, theirs is not a track record full of postive surprises. So, it's great that we have the kids on the cusp of the show. But that just reinforces that the ceiling for this time is still probably just making the playoffs, instead of being an actual contender.
Harding back in net tonight, by accounts. I'm interested to see if Yeo intends on truly working a rotation.
In many ways, the Red Wings are the photo negative of the Wild right now.
The Wild is 2-1, the Wings are 1-2.
The Wild is brimming with youth, the Wings are old and decrepit.
The Wild is good, the Red Wings are evil.
Okay, that last one might be a bit of a reach.
How about: the Wild, knock wood, is healthy, the Wings are not.
Darren Helm, Jakub Kindl, Ian White, Colaiacovo, Ericsson and Bertuzzi are all either out or questionable.
I haven't watched any Red Wings action yet, so I can't comment on their play. But I will say that this team is due for a down year. And, if this is it, so much the better for the playoff chances of a team like the Wild.
Goals per game: MIN 2.00 DET 1.33
Goals Against per game: MIN 1.67 DET 3.67
PP %: MIN 15.4% DET 0.00%
PK %: MIN 90.0% DET 57.1%
Wild needs to prevent the losing streak and take advantage of weaker teams - even on the road.
Final score: Wild wins 4-2
Wild goal scorer: Cullen