The key point in this game is that it’s apparently possible to just buy a winning team. Zack Parise proved his worth in a big way by scoring two goals and setting up two others. Michael Granlund, Jason Pominville and Marco Scandella also scored for the Wild.
Ryan Suter and Mikko Koivo were also involved, tallying two assists each on the night. This was a fantastic display of the offensive power and depth the Wild have on their roster. They spent a lot of money to bring in Zach Parise, Ryan Suter and Jason Pominiville and its paid off for them so far.
All the players that were expected to step up and make an impact did just that. Darcy Kuemper did his job stopping 21 shots on the night to help seal the victory for the Wild. This rookie goaltender has been unbelievable for the Wild in the playoffs so far. He’s got a 3-1-1 record at present, a .913 save percentage in last night’s game, and he’s only 23 years old.
It’s a very impressive resume. And now Kuemper only needs one more victory to carry his team into the next round.
But the Colorado Avalanche will be tough to beat on home ice. The Avalanche didn’t have a terrible game by any means. I believe head coach, Patrick Roy pulled Varlomov way too early to try and tie the game.
However, Paul Stastny scored a beautiful shorthanded goal that silenced the crowd. Matt Duchene played his first playoff game and got an assist, and Ryan O’ Reilly got two assists as well.
I believe this team has a very good chance of advancing to the next round. Gabriel Landeskog, Nat Mackinnon and Paul Stastny must step it up if they hope to advance to round two. More importantly, these guys need to stay out of the penalty box. After all, it was a lazy penalty by Mackinnon that led to the Wild scoring a goal.
Semyon Varlomov needs to rebound from this loss as well. I believe having home ice advantage will have a huge impact on who moves on in this series. However, if Zack Parise, Mikko Koivu and Michael Granlund can silence the crowd early, the Wild will advance for sure. Minnesota will also be looking to Matt Moulson, Jason Pominiville and Dany Heatley to provide some secondary scoring options as well.
I believe it’s going to come down to whichever team’s powerplay unit strikes first. It’s going to be a very exciting finish to the series. I can’t wait to see if Patrick Roy and the home crowd can re-energize his team enough to clinch the series. Or if Zack Parise and Darcy Kuemper can steal the show and cause a huge upset on the road.
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