Ryan Stanzel's Five Takeaways at Philadelphia
Following Wild games, occasionally Manager of Digital Media Ryan Stanzel will give the Five Takeaways that he'll remember from the contest. Tonight, he looks back at a 4-1 loss against the Philadelphia Flyers:
It’s no coincidence that the Wild scored its first 5-on-3 goal this season in Mikael Granlund’s second game back after missing 11. Although, most Wild fans would have assumed the goal would have read Granlund-to-Pominville, not the other way around. Granlund’s two-man advantage goal came moments after he drew the second minor penalty, taking a cross check and going hard into the boards. The 5-on-3 featured sweet passing, capped off by Pominville’s cross-crease pass from deep in the left circle. A deft move by Pominville, with a quick hesitation fake like he was going to feed Koivu at the top of the right circle. Two (of the three) defenders bit, leaving a clear passing lane to Granlund, who buried a one-time from deep in the right circle.
Ryan Suter established a new franchise record tonight by recording an assist in a seventh straight game. It also marked a new career-high for Suter. His 22 assists rank tied for third amongst NHL defensemen. Suter topped the 30-minute mark for the fifth time in six games, 14th in the last 24 contests and 19th time overall this season.
Confidence - it’s a funny thing. In hockey but all aspects of life, when you’re going, you’re going. And when you’re not, it’s hard to get going. Goalies, defenseman, forwards, it doesn’t matter. When a team is struggling to score goals, it tends to creep into other areas of play as well. Despite allowing an early goal and being down 2-0 tonight, the Wild kept pressing to draw within a goal at the end of one. After Philadelphia killed off a minor to start the second period, it scored again after a Flyers power play ended to make it 3-1.
On that note, sometimes you need to get away and refresh your engine. And the Wild will get that opportunity, as the three-day holiday break kicks in tonight once the team gets home from Philadelphia. There are no NHL practices or games on Dec. 24-26, per the new CBA. The team will refresh, and re-convene on Friday morning at MSP before flying to Winnipeg for a morning skate and then a game versus the Jets that evening.
The Wild announced about 10 minutes before warm-ups that Zach Parise would be unavailable due to a lower body injury. Parise, who has been playing with a badly bruised foot since Nov. 25, missed one game after that injury. Not counting an injury-ravaged 2010-11 season, Parise has missed just five games in his career since it started in 2005. This marks the first season other than 2010-11 he has missed more than one game due to injury.