Are you alive? Good, I’m glad. I barely survived last night’s action, too. What a ~wild~ ride, right? (OH HUSH, you try to be clever on less than a single cup of coffee).
I’m going to get down to it before I run out of caffeine and words. Per usual, all numbers are 5v5, and score adjusted, and from war-on-ice.com unless otherwise stated.
HOLY FRIGGIN HELL Y’ALL, WE CAME BACK FROM THAT. Listen we’re on a pretty magical ride right now and I think it’s fine to be skeptical about our team’s abilities. After all, we’ve had a terrible track record on back-to-backs. We had to play the same goalie two nights in a row because of injury. WE WERE DOWN 3-0 AFTER THE FIRST FEW MINUTES OF THE SECOND. And then we came back. Because….this team is something else.
- Side Note: I think we can all agree with Jason Demers here.
Lindy Ruff is a damn good coach. This game turned around when he juggled his lines in the second period. It was exactly the spark the team needed to turn on the jets. Let’s stop this whole “well, we could probably upgrade at the coach position” nonsense. No, no we can’t. Not with who’s on the market right now, and honestly – why would you at this point?
Also, I don’t even think this is contested at this point, there’s no team more dangerous in 3-on-3 than the Stars. The Wild had possession for the LARGE majority of 3-on-3 yet barely could do anything with it. We get one opening, and BAM.
- Side Note: Technically, we got two openings, as Sharp’s shot off the crossbar pinged so loudly my cat jumped. It was ridiculous.
- Side Note 2: I’m pretty sure adding 3-on-3 OT was the best innovation in hockey game experience in years. It’s SO exciting.
The Más o Menos
Klingberg (and Goligoski, too, honestly) hasn’t been particularly effective in the last few games, and has made some egregious puck handling errors. However, the duo has been supporting other lines for the last few nights, and I think it’s taking its toll on Benn/Seguin as well, as they haven’t been able to generate as much offense.
- Side Note: This was Nemeth’s first game back from playing on his conditioning assignment in the AHL, and damn son! I’m glad to see he and Oleksiak finally turning around in play, as the first few games they had this season were pretty disastrous. What do we think Nill will get for one of them? I can’t see both sticking with the club too much longer.
- Side Note 2: My theory on the Benn/Seguin thing has actually less to do with Klingberg being an offensive driver (though he obviously is) and more to do with Goligoski being the best (eye-test wise anyway) at getting through the Neutral Zone. I don’t think there’s a defenseman on the team who is better at it. If you can’t get through the NZ, you can’t generate shots. Without the NZ support, it’s hard for Benn/Seguin to be as ridiculous as they normally are.
I’m trying out this chart on y’all as it’s going to be incorporated into some game recaps for the other blog I write for. Basically it shows who on either team drove that team’s offense and defense, but because it’s a relative chart, it doesn’t show you which team was more dominant. (Hint: It was the Stars). What are your thoughts?
- Side Note: See? This supports my NZ theory.
- Side Note 2: The best thing about this team is that while we have amazing individual players, together, they are greater than the sum of their parts. And it’s SO fun to watch.
How about we don’t ever go down by 3 again? That’d be cool.
Also, Oduya, you can’t do this. Let’s not hit people in the head.
Goals on Goals
Let’s watch this Benn play one more time because it’s ridiculous. Other than the Sedins, who makes that pass???