Good evening Wild fans. I would like to re-introduce myself to the hockeybuzz community, given I have been extremely busy of late and am here to make my second blog of my tenure here.
The last two contests the Wild have played in have given them extreme confidence. If you have only seen the results of these two games, you might think otherwise. Thanks to some unfortunate late occurrences Saturday in Dallas, we lost 4-3.
As being in attendance at the game Sunday night vs. St. Louis, I believe we didn't deserve the result we got. That game ended in a 3-2 shootout loss, to arguably the best shootout team in the entire NHL. To add, the Wild also held the Blues to 1 shot in roughly a 23 minute span.
A loss, for confidence.
The Wild gained many things in that shootout loss to the 1st place Blues, who sit atop the Western Conference and the entire NHL. They played incredible defense, allowing only 24 shots to find their way to goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, who made his Wild debut that night.
They got a strong performance from the new goaltender, who, after 3 shots let in 2 goals, but settled in to stop the next 21 he faced. Also, speaking of new faces, Matt Moulson got the game-tying goal in the second period that would eventually send us to overtime.
Now, to the playoffs...
If you were to take a look at the Wild's schedule this month of March, you would see a flurry of games in many different places, including 3 sets of back-to-back games. The Wild sit in the 7th position in the Western Conference with 76 points. They have that lead with worry, as the Dallas Stars are on their tail with 72 points.
If you have followed the Wild closely the past few seasons, you should be able to notice a trend: A fast paced start, sitting atop the NHL for a given period of time; then, reality sets in and they come back to a normal pace; then they start winning again; then around the middle of March, they fall off the map, and last season, almost losing their playoff spot to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
This season is
Why is this season different? Well, Mikko Koivu is returning from ankle surgery, hopefully on the rise. Zach Parise and Ryan Suter have continues their aura of consistency all year long, and they're still finding ways to make the team better. Jason Pominville has 23 goals on the year, and next to Bronze-medal Olympian Mikael Granlund, the duo can be extremely lethal. Not to mention, Darcy Kuemper playing phenomenally; Jonas Brodin, Jared Spurgeon, and Marco Scandella coming to be consistent every night, and the new addition to the Wild family, Matt Moulson, who has 18 goals on the season and is currently on an 8-game point streak.
(Jonas Brodin, Mikael Granlund, Darcy Keumper)
The Wild have the pieces in place to get further than just the first round of the NHL playoffs this season, and let's wait and see what they can do.
I would like to end this blog sending out my dearest condolences to the family and especially the man himself, Mr. Rich Peverly of the Dallas Stars. Tonight, he experienced a "cardiac event" on the bench during the Stars' game against the Blue Jackets. I wish him a speedy recovery, and keep him in your thoughts in these coming days.
Stay Classy Minnesota.