Things look a little better after a 2-0-1 stretch to pivot off a 0-2-1 stretch. So what do we have?
With goals from the likes of Cullen, Clutterbuck and PMB, the Wild has gotten some of that secondary scoring the last couple games. Now, it has to persist. Not necessarily the same guys (where you at Brodz?) but it has to support that first line.
Suter and the defense have been improving. Hards was a mess in the Chicago game, but Backstrom came in and got the win - and took Hards off the hook - and looked good in the process. Few rebounds, and a shootout win. It was vintage sharp Backstrom and we'll obviously need that to continue.
Have had a pretty easy schedule so far, calendar wise if not opposition wise. And they neither played nor traveled last night.
It's the Ducks: some good skill and size up front, solid top four defense. Goaltending continues to be in flux a bit since their contending days/Cup win years, and we'll see rookie Fasth tonight.
GF/GM MIN T17th 2.57 ANH 8th 3.20
GA/GM MIN T14th 2.71 ANH 23rd 3.20
PP% MIN 19th 16.7% ANH T14th 20.0%
PK% MIN 8th 84.6% ANH T28th 66.7%
Players in top 30 league scoring
MIN 2 (Parise T11th, Koivu T16th)
No real feeling on this one, so we'll defer to the home ice advantage, but fold in the Wild playing well right now.
Final score: 4-3 Anaheim in shootout
Wild goal scorer: Brodin