Wednesday, October 9, 2013

3-On-3: Minnesota Wild After Three Games

Today we are going to try a new segment here on the site called 3 on 3. We take a topic, in this case its the Wild as a whole, and give three positives and negatives related to that topic. Now before we dive in please watch the video below and take its advice to heart.

Now, if you have truly calmed yourself, lets dive in.

  • The power play has been clicking, scoring at least one goal in the first three games. Even more impressively, the second PP unit (consisting of all young players) has notched a goal in two out of three games and has looked sharp (sans the last two periods in Nashville's game).
  • Zach Parise has been stellar. He has three goals (should be around five or six, but stellar goaltending has prevented this) in the first three games and has been an absolute terror on the ice for the Wild. At this rate, we could see our first 40 goal scorer since Marian Gaborik roamed these parts.
  • Youngsters Mikael Granlund and Nino Niederreiter have been outstanding. The Wild need their young players to step up and play crucial roles for the team, and the two (and Charlie Coyle, but he is injured) have answered the call. Granlund has three assists and Niederreiter has two assists and have looked like they belong up here in the NHL. 
  • The Wild's penalty kill has been awful. Four out of 10 PKs have resulted in an opposition goal, including a 5-on-3 last night for Nashville that resulted in two goals. Teams have been able to move the puck around on the Wild with little pressure at times. This needs to turn around with divisional opponents Winnipeg and Dallas coming to town Thursday and Saturday.
  • The team has not played remotely consistent as of yet. They will have parts of a game where they play outstanding, but then they bring themselves back down to earth and just look like they don't care. This is not good news for Mike Yeo, who's job security will start to come into question with each passing loss. 
  • Three winnable games have been played, and the Wild are 0-2-1. Obviously, this is the most glaring negative here. All three games the Wild have played are games that should have been won by Minnesota. But they couldn't hold a lead against LA, allowed a goal with seconds remaining in OT against Anaheim, and allowed three first period goals to Nashville before battling back. Not the best start for a team in a new division and trying to make the playoffs for a second consecutive season.

Follow Giles on Twitter @gilesferrell

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