Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Behind the Net: Goalies, The Captain, and Shots

  • After allowing 1 goal in his last 73 shots (All in the previous two games against Detroit), Josh Harding has not only proved he has fully returned from his knee surgery, he is proving he is the best goaltender on the Wild roster. On the season Harding is 2-0-1 with a 1.30 GAA and a .965 save percentage in three starts, all coming against Detroit. It would be smart for Mike Yeo to keep starting Harding until this hot streak ends, especially with the inconsistent play from the team's #1 goalie Niklas Backstrom.
  • After being shutdown for for 10 games and 59 minutes of the 11th game, team captain Mikko Koivu scored the game tying goal, off of a deflection, then throw the biggest check of his career to help set up the game winning goal by Devin Setoguchi. Hopefully now that Koivu is on the board with a goal, his stats will take off. Right now, only projects Koivu to finish the year with a line of 7-45-52, which is down from his 17-45-62 line in the previous season. Hopefully, he takes off and so does the team.
  • Despite last nights epic come from behind win, this team still has some things to work on. One of those things is shots on goal. The Wild still rank 27th in the NHL with a average of 25 shots on goal per game. In my previous post, I said that the lack of shots on the power play is a big contributor to this problem. It still is. Last night, the Wild went 0-7 on the PP before Setoguchi's GW PP OT goal. But on those 8 power plays, the team only managed 9 shots. And on a crucial third period 5 on 3 that lasted 90 seconds, Pierre-Marc Bouchard was the only one to shoot (From a awful angle), registering the only two shots on that 2 man advantage. Too much passing happens on the power play still. They need to just start firing pucks at the net and see what happens. Especially when you rank last in the league in goals scored.

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