Thursday, May 15, 2014

Playoff Wrap-Up

Recapping the playoffs.

Round 1: Minnesota def. Colorado 4-3
Round 2: Chicago def. Minnesota 4-2

3 Stars

3. Marco Scandella (13 GP, 2 G, 1 A)
Marco does not have the regular stats that cry out for a third star honor. But if you take a look at his advanced stats, you find Scandella to be the best defenseman the Wild had this postseason. Ryan Suter gets all the attention for the Wild defense, but with all respect, he was not the best defenseman for the Wild this postseason. It was Scandella.

2. Erik Haula (13 GP, 4 G, 3 A)
If the Wild had just played the series against Chicago, Haula takes home the top star nod. In the second round, Haula used his speed (which is arguably the best in the NHL) to wreak havoc on the Blackhawks defenders. Haula scored just one goal in the opening series versus Colorado, but followed that up with three in six games against Chicago.

1. Zach Parise (13 GP, 4 G, 10 A)
When it matters most, you need your high paid stars to step up. Parise did just that this postseason, scoring 14 points in 13 games to lead the Wild in scoring during the playoffs. Parise was big in getting the Wild past Colorado in round one, before having difficulties getting on the board in the second round against Chicago. All in all, it was a great postseason for Parise.

Top Plays

5. Granlund goal vs Chicago (Bruce with the backhander!)

4. Haula goal vs Colorado (Haula at yo boys!)

3. Spurgeon goal vs Colorado (toe drag, snipe, celly to tie the game)

2. Granlund goal vs Colorado (Shades of Bobby Orr)

1. Niederreiter goal vs Colorado (Goodnight Colorado!)

It was a game in which the Wild would fall behind, but tie the game. They did that four times, including the tying goal with two and a half minutes left by Jared Spurgeon, to force an overtime in Denver. The pace was up and down for five minutes before Nino Niederreiter fired his shot heard around the State of Hockey, putting him on the same level as Andrew Brunette in Wild lore.

Follow Giles on Twitter @gilesferrell

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