It’s time for bubble hockey as the Wild set to forge ahead in the Stanley Cup playoffs from Edmonton. There’s no fans in the building, and post game interviews are conducted over teleconference. That won’t stop 10K Rinks from breaking down and analyzing the series from every angle. Here are the biggest stories from the games in Edmonton involving the Minnesota Wild.
Game 4, Canucks Win Series 3-1
Game 4 was in the bag for the Wild if they had just held on to a two goal lead and a one goal lead late in the third period. The Canucks tied the game with a Bo Horvat tap in from the slot to force overtime. Eleven whole seconds into overtime, the Wild season came to a close. Giles has more on the game.
Game 3 Loss, Facing Elimination
The power play of the Minnesota Wild has now gone a collective 0-13 in games 2 and 3. It has become predictable as well. Too many times the Wild are forcing the puck to Kevin Fiala, rather than creating among everyone else. Tony suggests changing up the power play personnel to get better results.
The Canucks walked away with an easy 3-0 win in Game 3 to push the Wild to the brink of elimination. Penalties plagued the Wild again, but it was the lack of getting to the interior for dangerous shots that did the Wild in. Drew Cove has the game story.
Game 2 Fallout
The Minnesota Wild need to get a whole lot better to get a win in Game 3. The adjustments needed include winning a faceoff, for once, and getting back to a physical brand of hockey. That’s not to mention added discipline to stay out of the penalty box. More on all of the adjustments the Wild should make for Game 3, read here!
Alex Stalock wasn’t overly tested in Game 1. In Game 2, the Canucks got better chances, and Stalock wasn’t equal to the task. It’s not that he is a bad player, but more that he’s limited both in size and ability. With Vancouver having the upper hand in net, the Wild need more from Stalock to get a series win.
Kevin Fiala is Proving He’s For Real, But the Minnesota Wild Will Need More Than Him to Win (Tony Abbott)
It’s really nice to have a game-breaking talent on the team like Kevin Fiala. Though, for the Wild to be successful, the team needs to do more — way more — around him. Tony writes about how the Wild need so many other players to step up and be a scoring threat because, for 57 minutes in Game 2, the Canucks effectively kept Fiala in check.
The Canucks punched back early and often. After taking the lead 24 seconds into the game, Vancouver got the Wild to take numerous penalties that took them off their game plan. Thirteen penalties in all, the game didn’t allow for much to take place at 5-on-5.
game 1 talkers
Wild Power Play: From Threat to Difference-Maker in Game 1 (Joe Bouley)
Dean Evason went in with a game plan to stay disciplined and limit power play opportunities for the Canucks. They also got the benefit of four power plays themselves. It was that power play that became the difference-maker to give the Wild the 3-0 win in Game 1. A full video breakdown that looks at the wrinkles Evason has installed that made it successful.
The Minnesota Wild Stuck to Their System and Dominated Vancouver Defensively in Game 1 (Giles Ferrell)
The Wild held the top guns of the Canucks to just five shots on goal. The Wild do a great job of keeping danger shots at bay, but in Game 1 what the Wild were able to accomplish was magical. Giles breaks down how the Wild were able to stifle the Canucks’ offense.
Jared Spurgeon’s Big Night Reveals the Minnesota Wild’s Greatest Advantage Over Vancouver (Tony Abbott)
The Wild power play was very effective in Game 1. It’s partly because they have one of deadliest playoff power play performers in the league with Jared Spurgeon. (Say that 10 times fast.) Spurgeon delivered the knock-out punch in Game 1, but it’s been a continuation of a hot streak over the last seven years.
The Wild emerged victorious in Game 1. Things were beginning to turn for the Canucks in the 2nd period. That was until the Wild’s 3rd line offered a strong, energetic shift to turn the tide. It led to a penalty taken by the Canucks, and the ensuing Jared Spurgeon goal to seal the victory.
Vancouver vs Wild: Pre-Series Lead Up
Dean Evason is in a Can’t Lose Situation in the Minnesota Wild’s Playoff Series Against Vancouver (Giles Ferrell)
Now that the interim label has been removed, new Wild head coach Dean Evason is in a No-lose situation. If the Wild go on to win the series and advance in the postseason, Evason will show that he was worth the gamble. If the Wild lose, fans won’t mind that chance at landing the first overall pick in the second phase of the NHL Draft Lottery.
Giles, Tony, and Joe talked about the main stories and expectations leading up to the series against the Canucks. Who’s the potential X-Factor? Will it be a fast and skill kid of series of will it be a physical juggernaut? How can the Wild beat Jacob Markstrom? All that plus and more in our roundtable discussion.
Donato, Greenway and Kunin Can Establish Themselves as Part of the Minnesota Wild’s Future When Play Resumes in the Bubble (Tony Abbott)
Ryan Donato, Jordan Greenway and Luke Kunin all show a lot of promise to be good NHL players. That doesn’t mean their position on the Wild is solidified. A stand-out performance by any one of those players in this playoffs could cement their future place on the team. There are factors in the near future that will affect their status. Someone will have to rise the occasion.