Last night’s 4-1 loss to the Jets in Winnipeg looks like a setback for the Minnesota Wild. Still with a few small adjustments and just letting the preseason take its course the Wild should be ready for a better performance Sunday back in St. Paul.
Wow last night’s lost to the Winnipeg Jets was not the finest hour this preseason for the Minnesota Wild. The results from the MTS Center was a 4-1 beatdown by the Jets that should have actually been 5-1 if it were not for a mistake by the officials. Sure there were only two lineup regulars that took the ice for the Wild, but it just seems overall the team that did play could have put up more of a fight.
The Wild came out of the gate looking like a team that would not be denied. They skated a very strong first period that saw the Jets overmatched and it looked like they would roll to an easy win. The Wild shot the lights out putting up 11 shots in the first to the Jets 5 shots. The rushes were plentiful and the Wild seemed to be on point with their puck movements.
The second period started very well with Matt Dumba notching a heck of a power play goal off of a great shot from the point that beat Connor Hellebuyck between the wickets. That 1-0 lead would be short-lived as the Jets got the equalizer two minutes later with Mathieu Perreault getting his own power play goal beating Darcy Kuemper.
The rest of the second period would be a relative back-and-forth as the Jets started to climb their way back into the game slowly. The Wild seemed to be letting up on their north south game and the play all the sudden seem to be pressed by the Jets. In simple terms the momentum of the game turned to the Jets favor, but the Wild still outshot the Jets in the second 12 to 8.
Sep 29, 2016; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Minnesota Wild forward Christoph Bertschy (47) shoots the puck against Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck (not pictured) during the first period during a preseason hockey game at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports
The Wild lost the lead five minutes before the end of the second period and never saw it again as the Jets continued to press the accelerator and dust the Wild. In the third period the pendulum swing was complete as the Wild now looked like the Jets did in the first, back on their heels and playing in their zone a ton.
The Wild’s defense seemed to be letting them down in the third period. As they were stuck in the zone they just gave up shot after shot till the Jets notched 15 more shots and two more goals. If it were not for the lack of video replay in the preseason, the Jets would have had another goal for three in the period.
So taking all this in, it really seems like there’s a few take aways from this game to keep in mind going forward. First is that the lineup tonight was very inexperienced and will be better next game in Carolina, so don’t go and sell your season tickets yet.
Second, Boudreau’s system is taking hold but not completely instituted yet. The Wild looked like they were playing the up tempo and tiring the Jets out just like Boudreau has been preaching in practice. But the issue was the sustainability of the tempo, as the Wild could not completely keep the Jets tired out in the second and third periods.
Finally, the Wild did run into a bit of an issue with rest. A lot of this lineup that took the ice last night at MTS Center has played all three games thus far this preseason. That’s three games in four nights, not including practices which more than likely are just as or more intense for the players than the games.
So heading into the next contest at the X on Sunday against the Hurricanes, things should be better as the regulars who are very fresh will be more of a part of the game. Also look for the roster hopefuls to be fresh too and further educated in practices and in the film room. This team will be better for our viewing pleasure let’s just hope that better comes before October 13th in St. Louis.