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Golden Boldy: Wild outlast Wings 7-4

First career hat trick? Sure

Detroit Red Wings v Minnesota Wild Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images

Wings in Minnesota for a real Wild time! I’ve been told by people who watch that the old trope about this being a boring team is passed and you know what I’m finally ready to listen and give this team a fresh chance.

Wings with two post-All Star wins over Philly finally face a real challenger. Givani and Gemel playing together tonight and Trevor Thompson back in the broadcast booth. Seider versus Kirill is my matchup to watch.

First Period

The game starts off with the Wings scoring within the first 90 seconds of this one. The Larkin line is the second shift out and they immediately make an impact. Raymond just misses an open net, Detroit regains the puck in the neutral zone. Their defender Jordie Benn blows a tire and Larkin slides it in. 1-0 Wings.

Just after the faceoff, Joel Eriksson Ek heads to the box for a hook, giving Detroit a PP. The first two scoring chances on this PP are by Minnesota on shorthanded rushes. Nico Sturm blows the first and Ned blocks the second. Detroit fails to get a good look.

Fortunately, the extension of the play sees Gustav Lindstrom earn his first goal on a floater from the line that heads right past a Joe Veleno screen and finds the top corner. 2-0 Wings.

5:29 in, the Wild get one back as Matt Boldy gets some space in front, spins away from Marc Staal and roofs it over Ned’s glove. 2-1 Detroit.

Detroit takes the next penalty. Marc Staal takes a cross-checking penalty for...well... cross-checking. Minnesota ties it on the power play as a shot-pass from the point gets tipped from the slot past Ned. Boldy with a pair. Mick makes a good observation about the goal being very reminiscent of how the Sedins scored so many. 2-2 tie.

10:45 into the game and Jordan Greenway takes a penalty to give Detroit another shot. It’s as soft as the Staal cross-checking call with, giving us an unpleasant version of consistency. This time the power play actually puts a puck on net and prevents an odd-man rush so that’s nice.

Detroit returns the favor as Leddy loses his stick while simultaneously using it to hook somebody. Minny’s power play looks bad and Pius Suter does good work to help kill it off. Physicality ramps up as the period dies down, as does the line blender for Blash trying to create offense.

The Score: 2-2
The Shots: 11-8 Detroit
Standout Players: Dylan Larkin, Moritz Seider, Pius Suter
Sitdown Players: Marc Staal, Nick Leddy

Second Period

Minnesota jumps on Detroit early on to get a few scoring chances. Boldy nearly gets his hatty about four minutes in as the Wild even up the shot counter. One minute later, Kirill Kaprizov gives the Wild a lead with a snapshot from the circle. 3-2 Wild.

To their credit the Wings start playing better coming out of this, but Minnesota is locking things down along the boards very aggressively. They’re taking all the right angles to take away space and the Wings are unable to move the puck quickly enough to break the pressure.

Detroit’s first real chance comes almost two minutes in as a Kaprizov one-timer misses wide and Larkin just misses feeding a cross-ice saucer to Lucas Raymond on the counterattack.

Moments later, Brandon Duhaime boards Marc Staal, who gets up angry and a scrum ensues. Troy Stecher and Duhaime come out swinging. Jordan Greenway throws a dozen gloved punches. Staal goes for roughing, Greenway goes for roughing. Stecher and Duhaime go for fighting and Zuccarello serves Duhaime’s extra penalty.

The Wings come out of this break with PP2 on the ice for some reason and the Wings don’t score.

Givani Smith makes Jordan Greenway angry but nobody gets mad enough to go sit in timeout.

Tyler Bertuzzi saves a surefire goal that he himself tried to create for the Wild by passing the puck to the middle of the ice. He immediately recognizes the oopsie and makes a diving play back to keep the team within one.

Lucas Raymond trips Kevin Fiala fighting for the puck behind the Wings’ goal. Minnesota PP with 2:39 left. Less than a minute later the Wild have a 4-2 lead on Boldy’s hat trick marker. Puck movement around the outside squeezes the PK box and opens up the space for Boldy for a net-side bank shot off the post and Ned’s skate.

Detroit escapes the end of the period only down by two and will start the third with 1:51 of PP as Jon Merrill takes a slashing call.

The Score: 4-2 Wild
The Shots: 16-15 Detroit (7-5 Wild)
Standout Players: Troy Stecher, Pius Suter
Sitdown Players: Nick Leddy, Michael Rasmussen, Joe Veleno, Filip Zadina

Third Period

Blashill decides to start the period with PP1, which shouldn’t be a surprise but somehow is. They take their time building up to one single chance and it’s a good one but not good enough. Jon Merrill comes out of the box with what might be a breakaway but he recognizes it’s Larkin coming back and he gives up.

Gustav Lindstrom pings the crossbar on a cross-ice Larkin feed. Raymond and Zadina start showing some of their chemistry, but Kahkonen is solid. Seven minutes in Troy Stecher sits for running a pick to help Joe Veleno escape pressure.

Minny makes it 5-2 as Eriksson Ek finishes a scrambled play by tipping the puck at the net-front. Marc Staal lost the positional battle.

Detroit gets the next power play as Kulikov goes for tripping Fabbri. Lucas Raymond makes it 5-3 Wild as Seider feeds Larkin who crosses it to Razor for the one-timer.

I promise there’s hockey between this goal and the Wings pulling Nedeljkovic with more than 5:30 left but nothing I want to talk about. Penalties get turned off for the next 90 seconds but then Fiala takes a double minor for high-sticking Fabbri, but then the refs chicken out and make it a two instead. The game is suddenly exciting but not necessarily in a good way.

Detroit can’t score with the man advantage but they keep six skaters on and 15 seconds after Fiala comes back, Sam Gagner punches a rebound into the open net to make it 5-4 Wild.

Kaprizov ices it into the empty net with 48.5 left. Wings were totally gassed.

Ryan Hartman pours salt on it with 14.5 left. 7-4 Wild.

The Score: 7-4 Minnesota
The Shots: 33-25 Detroit (17-10)
Standout Players: Pius Suter, Dylan Larkin
Sitdown Players: Marc Staal

Conclusion

Weird finish. I once again liked the never-say-die push of this team, but too many mistakes cost them.

I didn’t realize how much I appreciate Troy Stecher. He’s not great or anything, but he doesn’t give up an inch in his own zone. On the other side of the spectrum, Nick Leddy gave up a few inches all over. Marc Staal lost a few more positional battles than he has this season. Not a shocking amount, but I’m not thrilled with it. Even Moe Seider had some troubles.

Overall this game is hard to not put on overall coaching strategy and individual coaching tactics. Lots of decision points to question here. Starting PP2 after a break in play was confusing. Some of the matchups were strange. I get having to lean so heavily on Larkin that late trying to pull even but the guy was absolutely gassed. I get that your best player should get the most time but a five-minute shift absolutely has diminishing returns. I don’t trust Veleno, Zadina, or Rasmussen as much as Larkin but at some point you’ve ridden the captain as far as his legs will possibly carry him. Somebody else has to be able to step up.

Next up the Wings face the Rangers in New York on Thursday at 7pm ET.