Saturday, May 3, 2014

3 on 3: Game One

Photo: Bill Smith/Getty Images
Wild made a third period rally to tie the game at two last night. But then Chicago turned on the jets, and dusted Minnesota 5-2 in Game One. Lets break out some three on three.

  • After a slow first period, Minnesota dominated the Blackhawks in terms of puck possession. It helped them notch a pair of third period goals to tie the game. The Blackhawks were one of the possession teams in the league this year, and showed that off quite well in the first period. Continued success in this department will go a long ways for the Wild. Winning the possession battle every night is not expected against Chicago, but it is still a big positive from Game One.
  • After a sluggish end to the Colorado series, Erik Haula was up to his old trick again last night. The rookie was seen flying around the ice at his usual breakneck speed, had two shots on goal, and helped set up Kyle Brodziak's tying goal in the third. If Haula can continue to use his speed effectively on against the Blackhawks bottom six, he should be in line to have a nice series.
  • Despite allowing four goals, Ilya Bryzgalov did all he could to keep the Wild in last night's game. If you watch the goals scored on him, there was really nothing he could do on all of them, including the Patrick Kane goal to break the 2-2 tie. If Bryz is able to have games where he can make some nice saves like he did last night, and gets some help from the defense, he will have more stat friendly games that possibly could end up with the Wild in the win column.

  • Minnesota had 19 missed shots on goal last night. Notables included Pominville with four, Granlund had three, and three players were tied with two. That is simply not acceptable when you are playing the Blackhawks. To compare, only one Blackhawks player had two missed shots on goal (Bickell). If you are going to beat Chicago at all, you are going to have to get more shots on net. This is just an observation so it could be wrong, but more of these missed shots seemed to have come on the Power Play, when Minnesota really needed to strike. That has to change for Game Two.
  • Jonas Brodin had the worst night in his professional hockey career last night. He took two high sticking penalties that lead to the first two Chicago goals, and then looked like Dany Heatley (not good) as Patrick Kane skated around him and shelved a backhander to give the Hawks a 3-2 lead. If Jonas could put this game in the garbage as soon as today, that would be great.
  • Mike Yeo did not have many kind words for his team last night. Not good for a team that is in the second round of the playoffs.

Follow Giles on Twitter @gilesferrell

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