Sunday, October 20, 2013

3 on 3: The Wild's Four Game Road Trip

(Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Well the Wild wrapped up their four game road trip last night with a 2-1 shootout loss to Florida. The loss put them at 1-2-1 on the road trip, the only win coming against Buffalo. So lets do some three on three to wrap up this trip.

  • Josh Harding continued his stellar play during the road trip. His 1.11 GAA is second in the NHL (behind J.S. Giguere-1.00) and his .948 save percentage is eighth in the league. Nicklas Backstrom is back from injury, but his great play will make it very difficult for Mike Yeo to take him out. We don't want Backstrom to get too terribly rusty on the bench, but you got to think Harding continues to get the nod.
  • With three goals, Jonas Brodin leads all NHL defenseman in goals scored. He also currently is tied with Matt Cooke and Mikko Koivu for the team lead in points with six. Brodin has been far and away the best defenseman on the team to open up the season. Maybe we start to wonder if there a better defensive pairing in the league than Ryan Suter-Jonas Brodin?
  • The team plays six of their next seven games at home. With the woes from this road trip, some home remedies should do this team some favors. We hope.

  • There was three winnable games on this road trip, and the team only came away with one. The game in Toronto should have been 4-1 for the Wild and yet it ended 4-1 for the Leafs. Ben Bishop made some pretty stellar saves to keep the Wild off the board in Tampa, and Tim Thomas looked like his old self last night for Florida. 
  • Just once on this road trip, the team scored more than one goal. They did that in the win against Buffalo and they only scored two goals that night. So many times, the team dominated play getting several opportunities to score and yet, they could not. You would like to think at some point they will start finding the back of the net if they can continue to dominate the play like they did on the trip.
  • Dany Heatley, the player everyone raved about in training camp, has been just awful to start the season for the club. He has just a pair of assists with 16 shots in the team's first nine games. He looks like he has lost a step out there and is a turnover machine when the puck hits his stick. You would like to think he can find some effectiveness as the season rolls on, but for now, this is the part where I eat my words from June.

Follow Giles on Twitter @gilesferrell

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