Games this week:
A weird trip to Pittsburgh on Saturday, only to return to Minnesota to play the Islanders. I wonder if this wasn't meant to be a road trip that had to be changed because the Islanders new arena hasn't opened yet.
Three teams near the bottom of their divisions in the East (7th in the Atlantic, 8th and 7th in the Metro respectively), but the Wild can't really take any wins for granted at this point.
Also, we've got the start of PHF season and the Minnesota Whitecaps start with a rematch of the Isobel Cup final last spring as they play two games in Boston (both games stream on ESPN+). Kind of annoyed that the Whitecaps and Wild play at exactly the same time on Saturday, but that's why multiple screens were invented I guess.
Games Last Week:
|Game 6: It's kind of weird to look back on how good this game was, given the sour taste that the weekend left in our mouths. The Wild thoroughly dominated the Canucks and peppered Thatcher Demko all night long. The score should have ended up more lopsided, but this was a nice complete win. The penalty kill actually looked pretty good, the goal they allowed was a weird one that resulted from a snapped stick that prevented them from getting a reasonable change of personnel.
Rem Pitlick got his Wild debut and looked really good (ominous music intensifies). He got an assist on the game-winner by Matt Dumba, who has continued to have a really great year.
|Game 7: The penalty kill didn't allow a goal! Cam Talbot played awfully well! Everything else wasn't that great. The Wild still had chances to tie this game late, but Kaprizov missed on a mini-break and Eriksson Ek hit the post, continuing a theme of missed opportunities for those two.
Pitlick (COVID), Zuccarello (COVID), Goligoski (injury) and Kulikov (injury) were scratched. and the Wild posted their worst possession and scoring chance numbers of the season by a long shot.
|Game 8: Adding on a Jordan Greenway injury and Rask and Benn being sent to the press box to sit and the Wild turned over a third of their roster in three games. Calen Addison, Kyle Rau, and Adam Beckman (!) got a game here, but the Wild didn't really seem to have it in this one.
The bright spot is Ryan Hartman, who scored the only goals in Seattle and Colorado, and now leads the team with 4.
- Hard to have anything concrete to say about a team that's missing at least one player from every forward line and almost every defensive pair. Feels like they just have to put their heads down and get through the next week or so until they are healthy.
- Cam Talbot continues to be Cam Talbot. He's having a good year so far...**someone whispers something about Cam Talbot starting 7 out of 8 games**
... I'm not thinking about that right now. I'm sure Kahkonen is working hard and will be ready when called on? That's a worry for another time.
- Marco Rossi had three assists in two games last week. I bet we see him in Minnesota before 2022.
- Did you see Mackinnon/Landeskog undress the Iowa line of Dewar-Beckman-Rau? That was a classic Colorado rush and none of them could do anything about it.
This pass by Nathan MacKinnon on Gabe Landeskog’s goal was ridiculous pic.twitter.com/Puo78KVxoK
— Alex Micheletti (@AlexMicheletti) October 31, 2021
This is a sad day, friends. For the first time in a long time, it's tough to find a Kaprizov gif that involves exciting hockey. He got a haircut though, so maybe that will spark something?
Haircut for Kaprizov may mean 🎩 🧢 👒 tonight pic.twitter.com/r2nXpvP7gQ
— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) October 30, 2021
Standings and Stats
|CENTRAL||Games||Pts||PTS%||EV xG%||EV Corsi||EV Sh%||EV Sv%||PPG/60||PKGA/60|
Something has to happen to get that shooting percentage up. The Wild just need a couple games where shots go in. We're one-tenth of the way through the season, and it's going OK. Scoring needs to pick up. That's really the biggest issue right now.