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Our three weekly Minnesota Sports Ramble blogs are released on Tuesday (Minnesota Vikings related), Wednesday (Minnesota Wild related), and Friday (Minnesota Timberwolves related).
Nino to the fourth line, Dumba's offensive surge, a disappointing loss, and a couple good victories are discussed in this edition. As usual, Wild analyst Peter Ripka answers questions from Rambling On god-king Erik Ritland.
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First, the stinger: other than simply not being able to finish, what the hell happened to the Wild in their 4-3 home loss to the Arizona Coyotes, in which they blew a 3-1 third period lead?
They simply stopped playing. Dubnyk was not sharp and the Brodin and Dumba pairing was absolutely horrible. They came out in the third like the game was going to be handed to them.
As you predicted, though, the Wild had rebounded at home, winning their prior two games. What are your thoughts on their high flying, 6-4 win over the Senators?
That was another game that they had blown a 3rd period lead, only they were bailed out by Staal who scored the winner. Dubnyk didn't look sharp in this game either, eventually getting pulled in favor of Stalock for the last seven and change of the game. With that said, the Senators are a very interesting team, as they lead the league in goals scored while also having the most goals against.
The Wild also looked impressive in their 4-2 win over the Jets. How did they manage to beat their playoff foes from last year? How impressed are you with Alex Stalock’s season?
Stalock played phenomenal in that game. The Wild, when healthy and playing well, can compete with any team in the league. They didn't let the Jets dictate the play.
Matt Dumba has an astounding ten goals so far this year. What has he done to find his offensive mojo?
He has fine tuned his shot. It's as hard and quick as it has always been, but now he's finally finding the net. What used to be two feet wide or high is now within the 4x6.
How is Niederreiter looking on the fourth line? Do you agree with the move?
I agree with the move to him on the fourth line. It puts him on his natural side, allowing him to play a simpler game and not press as hard. With that said, that line was a-3 against the Coyotes, so I'd expect something to change for the game tonight in Columbus.
Peter Ripka is the original Rambling On podcast co-host and has been a contributor since its inception. He’s currently the Wild analyst, a position he’s held for several years. A Wild and Twins season ticket holder, his writing combines the passion of a fan and the insight of a beat writer.