After Wednesday's loss against the Avalanche, a lot of us were frustrated with the Devils lack of response. Tonight, the Wild got off to a similar start against the Devils, forcing Marty out of the net and forcing Johan Hedberg to take over in the 1st period. The Devils were able to respond immediately and completely dominated the Wild in terms of possession but they just couldn't get the tying goal. Really, it was basically an "A for effort" kind of game. More
complaining thoughts after the game.
The two things i've seen people complain about (myself included), the Zach Parise-Adam Henrique-Ilya Kovalchuk line and the Henrik Tallinder-Mark Fayne pairing were all excellent- especially in terms of Corsi. Fayne and Tallinder shut down the Wild's top unit (Larsson and Greene were on when Heatley scored) quite easily, while Tallinder lead the team in corsi with a +13. The 9-14-17 line absolutely dominated the Wild, going +13, +14 and +13 in Corsi respectively, and contributing for both Devils goals. The Wild's top unit of Dany Heatley, Mikko Koivu and Devin Setoguchi were -16, -14 and -13 respectively. The Devils did a good job limiting the Wild's chances simply because they always had the puck.
While the Devils did completely dominate the game in terms of Possession, the Wild were somehow able to pick their spots. All their goals came off of bad plays by the Devils, as well as some bounces- such as Ilya Kovalchuk skating right into Zach Parise. Probably the best way to describe how the Wild played comes courtesy of Cam Charron in this tweet. The Devils were throwing jabs at the Wild left and right, yet the Wild would never get knocked out.
Also, can the team stop giving the other team breakaways? I know the team's been in a lot of shootouts this season, but just because you've been in shootouts doesn't mean it's commonplace for opposing skaters to be able to go in on goal unchallenged. Thanks guys.
Third Line Inconsistency
If there was one thing that kind of disappointed me was how the third line played. Earlier in the game, they looked solid and they were able to push the Wild around. Mattias Tedenby even had a glorious chance that beat Josh Harding but went wide. My beef with them? Unnecessary penalties. David Clarkson took a dumb goalie interference penalty as well as a boarding penalty at the end of the game, while Tedenby boarded Mike Lundin with around 4 minutes left in the 3rd. All those penalties were easily avoidable, yet they happened.
Mr Consistency's Losing His Edge?
Over the first 20 games of the season, Patrik Elias has been very consistent in terms of his offense- with 20 points and only 3 games where he was held pointless. In the last four games, Elias hasn't recorded a point. He can still drive play, but his lack of offense is hurting the team quite a bit during this stretch. If he can help get some pucks in the back of the net with his playmaking skills or goalscoring ability, it would definitely help the team a lot.
Really, I just want to see the team try and cut down on their mistakes. Better communication would probably be the first step- if the players are communicating, maybe there wouldn't be so many turnovers, odd-man rushes or breakaways because someone's pinching and there's no one back to stop the guy on the breakaway. DeBoer's gotta get these guys talking to each other, because if this team wants to win they've gotta stop making stupid mistakes.
What do you think of tonight's game? Leave your thoughts in the comments. Thanks for reading.