Category Archives: Game Recaps

HTH game recap 12-3-15 vs Toronto: Baby Duuuuuuubs Edition

Tonight, the Wild got off to a blazing start, with something like 7 shots on goal in the first 5 minutes of the game. Toronto stabilized in the second, and the game was close into the third period, and while the Leafs managed to put the biscuit behind Devan Dubnyk once, it was called back as being offside. The replay was razor close but it was the right call.

Sometimes the possession chart lies, sometimes it does not. Tonight, the chart tells the story of the game quite well, as you can really see how Minnesota jumped down their throats in the first but by the end of the third it was all tied up.

tor min sat count 12315 Continue reading HTH game recap 12-3-15 vs Toronto: Baby Duuuuuuubs Edition

HTH game recap 12-1-15 at Chicago: Suter talks the talk, walks the walk

Sure feels nice to end a slump against the Blackhawks, particularly in their barn. The Wild eked out a win tonight against a talented team on the road, and they sure benefited from getting their skaters back from injury–Parise, Fontaine, and Scandella all laced ’em up tonight. I couldn’t watch the first period due to some damn technical difficulties, but the Wild came out of the gates hot in this one.

min chi corsi chart 12115

The green columns there represent Wild power plays…which is why the lines are flat on the chart here because it’s 5v5 but let’s be honest, “flat” is a great adjective to describe the man advantage for this team. They look slow, they look lost, without a plan. They have a formation they set up but beyond that, there’s no creativity, no risk-taking. It’s ugly out there. And the PK isn’t much better. Miss you Brodziak!

min chi player corsi events 12115

Quick reminder on how to read the above chart–the x-axis (horizontal) is the total number of Corsi events while a player was on the ice at 5v5, the y-axis (vertical) is the differential, so the top half is positive, bottom half negative. I’ve taken the liberty of highlighting Suter’s dominance in this game. Not only was he out there for a lot of the action, he helped direct a great deal of rubber toward the Hawks’ net while preventing shots on goal in his defensive zone. Specifically, he finished the night on the ice for 26 Corsi for, 13 against (+13 overall.) And this was largely against the Kane line too.

min chi shot attempt map

We see that the Wild did a good job of getting shots from all over the ice, and their goals both came from waaaaaay down low. Also, before you tweet me, the x-axis coordinates look flipped here…Suter and Pommer both scored from the right side. Might be a NHL problem, might be a WOI problem. I’ll try to update if it gets fixed. In any case, Minnesota is getting shots on goal from beyond the faceoff circles, which is great to see. Their defense has been contributing more this year it seems, though lately they have sputtered. Glad to have Scandella back, that’s for sure. Chicago seems to have been very clearly trying to get to the “home plate” area, and while there are certainly some high danger shots there, I thought overall they did a good job of limiting the Hawks chances.

It feels great to get this win, but Minnesota is still fifth place in their division. They need to keep grinding and rack up those points if they want to avoid yet another midseason slump. The playoffs are still very much in play, but this team needs to pull it together a little more to really be considered to have a chance against the upper teams in the West.

Up next, Toronto comes to town on Thursday…the Leafs have played alright lately, but another two points are definitely in play. Thanks for reading, and make sure to check out the most recent podcast, and make sure to follow @HTHpod and @BobaFenwick on Twitter!

HTH game recap 11-19-15 at Boston: Subterranean Homesick Blues

The Wild continued their road woes tonight, as they tried their best to skate with the Bruins at TD Garden–but a combination of general sloppy play and disorganized attacks handed them a loss on the last game of a long road trip. I listened to the first half of the game on the radio driving home from work, but this just looks like a team depleted. Pominville and Zucker were banged up in this game as well, which just feels like adding injury to insult. Continue reading HTH game recap 11-19-15 at Boston: Subterranean Homesick Blues

HTH game recap 11-17-15: These Penguins had large talons

Despite their respective positions in the standings, the Wild just looked overmatched against the Penguins in the early part of this game. They were just outmanned–specifically, through the first two periods, the Crosby-Hornqvist-Dupuis line did not allot a shot attempt of any kind (blocked, missed, or otherwise) while on the ice. This was across Minnesota lines, too, not just one particular matchup. The wheels fell off the bus in the second period, and credit them for making a contest of it again in the third, but I think the team’s depth is really starting to show its cracks. In the third of a four-game road trip, the Wild have not had the benefit of last change, and they will certainly be happy to get home. Continue reading HTH game recap 11-17-15: These Penguins had large talons

HTH Game Recap 11-14-15 at Dallas: Not playing with a full deck

This game was another in a recent string for this team where they just come out of the gates sluggish and uncoordinated. Once is a fluke, twice is a pattern, so after both the Carolina and Dallas matchups, it’s safe to say the Wild need to work out some kinks in their early game strategy. It was great to get Scandella back (never heard why he was gone though other than ‘personal reasons’) and I thought he looked pretty good considering he hadn’t had any game action in six days. Lets dive right into looking at the postgame data.

Continue reading HTH Game Recap 11-14-15 at Dallas: Not playing with a full deck

HTH Game Recap 11-12-15 Minnesota at Carolina: An uphill victory

Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes, well…the bear, he eats you. I thought Devan Dubnyk didn’t play that bad in the first period of this game, but he let one in right off a power play faceoff, and then was collided with to allow the second goal. I didn’t think Dumba pushed the defender into Duby that much, so I was a little annoyed that they let the goal stand. But, that early in the game, there was nothing else to do but buckle down and try to get back in the game. Continue reading HTH Game Recap 11-12-15 Minnesota at Carolina: An uphill victory

HTH Game Recap 11-10-15 Winnipeg vs Minnesota: Vanek the Destroyer

When Zach Parise was injured last week, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth, particularly after Dubnyk gave up a couple soft goals against the Predators. With both Parise and Marco Scandella out of the lineup, the Wild needed players to step up and make an impact in order for them to stay competitive in the extremely tough Central division.

On Saturday, Devan Dubnyk pitched a shutout, while this evening, Thomas Vanek stepped up in a big way with two goals en route to a whomping of the Winnipeg Jets. Through 13 games in 2014-15, Vanek had just one goal and eight assists. It would be another nine games before he potted his second goal last year,  just after Thanksgiving. Tonight against the Jets he had six shots, four of them classified by as ‘high danger scoring chances’ … and I think you might already know how a couple of those turned out. Chrsitian Folin made a very nice pass from about the Wild’s faceoff dots to hit Vanek at the blue line, where he confidently rifled one short side past Pavelec. Vanek looked completely in flow tonight, and was thinking several moves ahead of just about everyone on the ice. Continue reading HTH Game Recap 11-10-15 Winnipeg vs Minnesota: Vanek the Destroyer