Weekly Wild Whangdoodle: Killing It

Games this week:

Back on the road for three games this week, including the first ever trip to Seattle and Minnesota's first matchup with the Avalanche for the season.

 

Games Last Week:

Game 3: Wow, that game against Winnipeg, huh? Eriksson Ek hat trick! Kaprizov with 3 assists, Zuccarello with 4 points, Foligno with a goal and a superman punch.  The Wild were awfully lucky to come out of that with a win - the Jets empty-net goal being called back for offside is something I bet we don't see happen again - but it was crazy exciting to watch, and then turn off in disgust, and then immediately turn back on.
Highlights
Game Stats
Game 4: Once again the Wild allowed the first goal, allowed a power play goal and came back to win in overtime. Goals came from unexpected places in this one, with Spurgeon, Duhaime(!), Merrill(!?) and Hartman accounting for the Wild offense.
Highlights
Game Stats
Game 5: The penalty kill put Minnesota in a hole early on in this one. Two power play goals from Nashville made it 2-0 and that was as close as it got. Kahkonen had his first start, but this wasn't on him really. The Wild were flat and disorganized and never really threatened Nashville in any way.
Highlights
Game Stats
Remind me what these things mean? SelectShow

The Penalty Kill

It's not great.

Notes

  • Quick line check
    • Kaprizov-Eriksson Ek-Zuccarello 55% xGF with a 55% Corsi - The last two games put a dent in these numbers (they were up around 65% before this weekend), but it's only two games, so we'll see where they stabilize.
    • Fiala-Gaudreau-Rask 63% xGF with a 60% Corsi - Damn good possession numbers. Just from watching, this line doesn't seem super dangerous, but they do move the puck into the offensive zone pretty consistently.
    • Greenway-Foligno-Hartman 67% xGF with a 51% Corsi - all the opponents shots are bad shots, all the Wild shots are from dangerous areas with this line on the ice. They've scored four and allowed two at even strength. Weird that this is the high-event line.
    • Bjugstad-Sturm-Duhaime 68% xGF with a 63% Corsi - This is a really good fourth line. With these three on the ice, there hasn't been an opponent goal allowed at even strength this year.
  • On the defensive side, Kulikov and Merrill seem to be just fine as a third pair.  They have started more shifts in the defensive zone than any of the D pairs, and they have pushed the possession the other way (highest Corsi, xG% and High Danger Chances of the three pairings).  They've been a little bit less effective as penalty killers, allowing a bunch of chances, but have allowed only one power play goal against thanks to good goaltending.
  • Brodin and Dumba have been better penalty killers as far as limiting chances, but they have had almost every chance against them end up in the net.

Kaprizov Korner

5 points in 5 games is still good.  But no goals and next to no offense in the last two games is a bit of a concern.  If you look at the (very very early) xGAR numbers in the team stats below, it hasn't been a great start.

But still ... when he finds space, he can do this.

 

Standings and Stats

CENTRAL Games Pts EV xG% EV Corsi EV Sh% EV Sv% PPG/60 PKGA/60
MINNESOTA 5 8 61% 57% 7.3% 90% 7.7 10.7
ST LOUIS 4 8 45% 47% 12.6% 93% 20.6 2.7
DALLAS 5 6 45% 44% 5.0% 95% 9.6 6.4
WINNIPEG 5 5 46% 49% 13.5% 94% 9.6 18.2
COLORADO 5 4 51% 49% 7.9% 90% 4.0 7.1
NASHVILLE 6 4 51% 51% 7.6% 91% 10.4 7.4
ARIZONA 5 1 54% 51% 5.3% 88% 4.3 35.8
CHICAGO 6 1 42% 48% 4.3% 84% 10.0 3.4

Minnesota has the highest Corsi and the highest xGF% in the NHL.  Their underlying numbers are really strong, but their shooting is just OK (shooting percentage tends to fluctuate throughout the season and is not usually a consistent stat at a team level) and the special teams are a bit of a concern.

St. Louis is on an unsustainable bender based on shooting percentage and their power play hitting at a ridiculous rate. They are like the anti-Wild right now.

SKATERS GOALS ASSISTS POINTS xGAR
Zuccarello 2 4 6 2.1
Kaprizov 0 5 5 -0.9
Foligno 2 2 4 -0.2
Eriksson Ek 3 0 3 0.2
Fiala 1 2 3 0.0
Dumba 0 3 3 0.5
Goligoski 0 3 3 -0.3
Spurgeon 1 1 2 1.2
Brodin 0 2 2 0.4
Gaudreau 1 1 2 0.5
Hartman 2 0 2 2.2
Sturm 1 1 2 0.7
Duhaime 1 1 2 0.3
Greenway 0 2 2 -1.0
Merrill 1 1 2 0.0
Kulikov 0 1 1 0.8
Rask 1 0 1 0.1
Bjugstad 1 0 1 0.1

13 thoughts on “Weekly Wild Whangdoodle: Killing It”

  1. Yikes!

  2. The Blackhawks situation continues to just make me sick. I struggled to make it through the victim's interview yesterday. I don't know how anyone could see that pain and not desire some kind of meaningful acknowledgement of responsibility.

  3. The Wild killed all their penalties last night. First time all year not allowing an opponent's power-play goal.

    But then they got run over at 5-on-5 in the second period (14 even strength scoring chances for Seattle!) and couldn't find the tying goal in the third.

    Kind of a weird game to be disappointed about losing since they were pretty well outplayed, but they were really close a couple of times to getting things tied up.

  4. The roster is in flux now.

    Covid hits:
    Zuccarello and Pitlick out 10 days it sounds like.

    Injury hits:
    Goligoski and Kulikov missed the Seattle game. Kulikov sounds like day-to-day, Goligoski sounds week-to-week.
    Greenway was injured in the Seattle game

    Playing poorly hits:
    Jordie Benn and Victor Rask both played against Seattle, but neither played well and it sounds like Evason wanted other options.

    Called up:
    John Lizotte (D) - NHL debut in Seattle
    Calen Addison (D)
    Adam Beckman (W) - NHL debut tonight in Colorado
    Connor Dewar (W) - NHL debut in Seattle
    Kyle Rau (W)

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