Weekly Wild Whangdoodle: Home Opener

Games this week:

First home games of the year as Winnipeg, Anaheim and Nashville come to visit. This coming weekend has a couple of odd 5PM start times.

 

Games Last Week:

The Wild went 2-0 with wins on back to back nights in the greater Los Angeles area. They dominated the Ducks everywhere but on the scoreboard, and then turned around and handled the Kings with a strong second period.

Game 1:
Highlights
Game Stats
Game 2:
Highlights
Game Stats
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Matt Dumba, Activate!

Marcus Foligno's goal with 7.2 seconds left against Anaheim was the highlight of the weekend, he banged home a rebound of a Matt Dumba shot. That was kind of a theme on Friday,  Dumba fired a team- leading 6 shots and 12 shot attempts, and he had the third highest individual expected goals behind Fiala and Foligno.  It was the kind of game you envision when you think of a good Matt Dumba game.

Here's an example shift from the second period. It's maybe the best shift of the game from Minnesota's first line,  but watching Dumba step in again and again from the blue line is fun.

This shift feels like a power play (and for the second half they have an extra skater because Eriksson Ek successfully sells a high stick in front of the net), but Dumba is super dynamic the whole time. His diagonal move at 5 seconds in this video, where he finds a lane without the puck and moves to the front of the net in time with Brodin's shot is pretty great, and you can see him start salivating for that final one-timer about 5 seconds before it happens.

Other Wild Player Notes

  • Brandon Duhaime was really good in his first two games on the fourth line.  Sturm-Duhaime-Bjugstad seems like it works pretty well.
  • Kevin Fiala is ready to go. He got a power-play goal on Friday and picked up an assist on Saturday.  Here's to a productive Fiala from day 1!
  • Cam Talbot stopped 57 out of 60 shots and only allowed one even strength goal in two games. Right now the Wild have a slightly less packed schedule, so we may see a whole bunch of Talbot if he continues to play this well.
  • Ryan Hartman seems like a worthy successor to Joel Eriksson Ek on the third line.  Hartman-Greenway-Foligno have an expected goals percentage of 67% and are outshooting opponents 11-8 when on the ice together (small sample size applies)
  • Alex Goligoski is faster than I thought. That was a pleasant surprise
  • Dmitry Kulikov is such a solid, non-remarkable defenseman. You could watch an entire game, never notice him and then see that he got 15 minutes of ice time in the box score.

Kaprizov Korner

Kirill had two assists in two games, but this one where he sets up Rask is just perfect.

30 thoughts on “Weekly Wild Whangdoodle: Home Opener”

  1. Dumba was awesome again last night, tons of shots with pretty good defense (xG% at 5 on 5 was 81% with Dumba on the ice. Huge number).

    Kulikov-Merrill had a rough night. Only allowed one goal, but did very little possession-wise.

    Kaprizov-Ek-Zuccarello was amazing. 5 goals!

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