"The Wild beat the St. Louis Blues 5-1 last Saturday in a dominant performance. They made good, crisp passes out of their zone and through the neutral zone. Once they got into the offensive zone, they were aggressive with getting pucks towards the net, which they are scary when they actually do."
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We release three Minnesota Sports Ramble blogs a week: on Tuesday (Minnesota Vikings related), Wednesday (Minnesota Wild related), and Thursday (Minnesota Timberwolves related).
In our classic "Ramble style" bullet-point format, Wild analyst Peter Ripka and Rambling On god-king Erik Ritland discuss the Wilds disappointing loss to the Sharks, their beyond impressive victory against the Blues, and the somewhat surprising depth of the roster.
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Bruce Boudreau said that the Wild made a lot of “egregious” mistakes during their 4-3 loss to the Sharks. He exaggerated a little, as a coach who is frustrated when his team loses a close game often does, but he had a point. Defensive zone coverages abounded, there was one very bad line change, and a horrible turn over. The Wild should have one that game, and minus those 3 "egregious" mistakes they would have.
The Wild have dealt with injuries the last couple games, but it seems like that is shoring up. As of Tuesday night, all current fostered players are healthy. The only player not healthy in any capacity is Eric Staal, who has what they think is a viral illness. If he stays away from teammates and it doesn't become a locker room bug it isn't too concerning. The one injury to a recognizable player is Luke Kunin. He is currently battling some lower body issues, which are due to coming back from his ACL surgery.
Finally, a complete game
The Wild beat the St. Louis Blues 5-1 last Saturday in a dominant performance. They made good, crisp passes out of their zone and through the neutral zone. Once they got into the offensive zone, they were aggressive with getting pucks towards the net, which they are scary when they actually do. This style of play is very sustainable if they continue with the same game plan and don't get frustrated if it isn't quite working early in games.
It's hard not to be impressed with the Wild's new defensive pairing of Seeler and Pateryn, especially compared to last years starting third pair. But a lot of that has to do with not having the trash called Quincy back there. With a relative no-name and a rookie on the pair they have exceeded expectations. Not only are they not a liability, but they are a shut-down pair that can provide a little offense, as we saw in St. Louis.
The depth on this Wild team is easily the best it has been in years. They showed that their depth players can contribute without Staal on Tuesday against the Sharks . Fehr fit nicely into the top six role and Foligno continued his strong play. The only concern I have is that Joel Erickson Ek has not taking that big step forward that he should have by now. He might have to do a Greenway confidence stint in Iowa very soon.
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.
Erik Ritland is a writer and musician from St. Paul, Minnesota. Founder of Rambling On, he has written hundreds of articles and hosted almost a hundred podcasts. He also directs all of the content on Rambling On, created and maintains the website, and is social media content director. Previously, he was Lead Staff Writer for Minnesota culture blog Curious North. Support Erik's music by visiting his music page or buying his music on BandCamp, reach him via email, or find him on Facebook and Twitter.