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Video: Wild steal one from Caps thanks to Suter’s hat trick

Jan 4, 2014, 10:58 PM EDT

ryansutergetty Getty Images

Ryan Suter might just rank as the clearest no-brainer to make the U.S. Olympic team, yet “wicked shot” probably isn’t prominently on his resume. Still, he made the most of his attempts on Saturday, as his hat trick powered a 5-3 win for the Minnesota Wild against the Washington Capitals.

The Wild only managed a franchise-low 11 shots on goal overall, so there’s something fitting about Suter’s hat trick coming on his only three shots on goal.

He became the first Wild defenseman with a hat trick and it was the first hat trick of his NHL career, according to various onlookers (we’ll clarify if this isn’t true).

His first tally almost seemed to feature Shea Weber-like power:

The second (also on the power-play) was more about accuracy and timing, which is more expected from the 28-year-old:

Finally, he made it 5-3 with this snap shot:

Suter & Co. didn’t get a ton of chances on Saturday, but they obviously made the most of them.

The Wild blueliner seemed as surprised as anyone by his output, as he told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo.

“I can’t get this smile off my face,” Suter said. “I can’t even score two goals in summer hockey.”

  1. hardkor07mn - Jan 4, 2014 at 11:04 PM

    Hell of a game Suter! Nicely done. I guess if the forwards won’t shoot, he might as well. Amazing what happens when u shoot the puck.

    • mp1131211 - Jan 4, 2014 at 11:17 PM

      Their puck possession is a serious problem. And when they actually do have it in the offensive zone, they just cycle it in the corners and back and forth at the the blue line. It was different to see Heatley down in front of Holtby causing problems tonight. That should be his default position, but unfortunately, its rare to see him or other forwards creating traffic.

  2. mp1131211 - Jan 4, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    Suter saved Backstrom’s rear end!

    • cmmorgan32 - Jan 5, 2014 at 1:16 AM

      Suter saved the TEAM’s rear end. That first period was bad all around for Minnesota. Only one shot on goal? Not to mention some of the mistakes and judgment calls that didn’t go their way leading to Washington’s 2 goals. You’re absolutely right that 2 junk plays led to 2 goals (to respond to comments left on a different article). I’m not entirely sold on them being “junk” goals.

      From what I saw (I wasn’t paying close attention since I was also watching football), it looked like Minnesota’s PK thought the deflection would leave the zone so they moved up leaving Johannson with room to move into scoring position. On Green’s first goal, it looked like Washington managed to get a decent pass off and capitalized on Minnesota having to rush back into their zone. Plus, it doesn’t help matters when Stoner gets used as a screen. While Backstrom (arguably) should have the brunt of the blame for goal #1 neither one of those were solely his fault.

      With that being said, it’s nice to see some goals from Minnesota. It’s good to see guys stepping up and contributing. I believe 11 different players ended up with points for Minnesota. It will be interesting to see what adjustments get made if Koivu ends up missing time and whether or not Kuemper or Gustaffson will get any NHL playing time (not knowing how long Harding will be out).

      • mp1131211 - Jan 5, 2014 at 2:02 AM

        That’s what Mike Greenly said (about the D moving up), but I don’t know. Suter was actually moving back toward the net. I thought both Greenly and LaPanta were doing their best to simply ignore Backstrom’s issues tonight. If you watch the capital’s feed on GC, you’ll see that Ovi’s shot doesn’t hit Backstrom’s pad first, it actually hits the bottom of his glove and then his pad and bounces out to the right of him. Meanwhile, backstrom is looking over his left shoulder wondering where the puck went. He finally looks to his right but its too late and the caps player slides it around him. Junk goaltending. Number two, he just got caught sleeping. He was not ready for that shot! and number three… well that was so bad that the broadcasting crew just skipped it when going over the goal summary TWICE.

      • cmmorgan32 - Jan 5, 2014 at 4:36 AM

        Again, I’d need to watch a replay. To me, it looked like Suter moving back towards Backstrom was an “after the fact” type move. If I recall, Brodin and Suter were up far enough for Johannson to get into scoring position. Doing so left them far enough and gave Johannson a clear shot. I’m fairly certain Suter doesn’t move towards the net until after Johannson is in place and after Ovechkin shoots. As I stated, Backstrom isn’t entirely innocent, but he’s not entirely to blame either.

        Goal 2: I can certainly see him not being ready. Once again, good pass from Washington’s D (don’t remember who) ends up reaching the Minnesota blue line resulting in a play developing for Washington before Minnesota’s players can get back there (or even in position). Combine that with a good move by Green past Cooke and Stoner being an unintentional screen for Goal 2.

        Goal 3: That’s either a junk goal or a fluke depending on perspective. Personally, I’d classify it as a junk goal but I can see why some would call it a fluke.

        Again, that first period was absolutely awful for Minnesota. It was nice to see that they were able to turn things around in the 2nd. Yeo must have really chewed them out for them to turn things around like they did. It certainly helps when you’re getting contributions from 11 different guys.

  3. lowenni - Jan 4, 2014 at 11:23 PM

    Five goals on 11 shots for Holtby. I don’t know what’s wrong with him, but I guess we’ll be seeing Gruby in net for the next six or so games.

    • mp1131211 - Jan 4, 2014 at 11:52 PM

      Nothing wrong. Those shots were all rockets and screens and out of control deflections. Wild beat him clean every time.

      • lowenni - Jan 5, 2014 at 12:16 AM

        I’m sorry, but a starting goalie who was invited to an Olympic camp should be expected to have a save percentage above .600. Credit to the Wild for making the most of their limited opportunities, but Holtby has to stop at least one or two of those. You can’t let five goals in on only 11 shots, no matter how great they are, or you let the game slip away from the rest of the team. That’s what happened tonight. Caps fans see that Holtby just doesn’t seem to have those game-saving moments and saves anymore…that’s more what I was addressing.

      • mp1131211 - Jan 5, 2014 at 12:34 AM

        your discussing goalie problems with a Wild fan… I’m not buying it. I’ve seen bad goaltending! In fact, backstrom let a ridiculously soft one in tonight. But every one of Suter’s goals would have gotten past 95% of goalies in the league. The only one he had a chance on was the breakaway, but because Suter broke out of the box, he had horrible positioning on him Maybe the caps problems were not in the net. Seems like Ovechkin could have stepped up a bit more tonight. He was more or less irrelevant tonight.

      • mp1131211 - Jan 5, 2014 at 12:35 AM

        Oh, Ovi got an assist tonight. That’s rare! Well, not entirely irrelevant, but not a very impact. Also, caps defense just looked sloppy as hell

  4. ovechcant - Jan 4, 2014 at 11:44 PM

    The caps announce a name change to the Washington “We’ll Get Em Next Years”.

  5. penguins87and71 - Jan 4, 2014 at 11:44 PM

    Whats with all the disappointing teams in the NHL this year? The Wild have been a huge disappointment this year yes I know that the Wild would be in the Playoffs if they started tonight. I know It doesn’t help that Parise and Harding have not been in the lineup and the Wild have some talented players on the team but they just can’t win. The Wild have been have been the biggest head scratcher for me all year. I just feel like the Wild should have a better record and be in a better position with the talent they do have. Sorry for sounding like a Debby Downer.

    • mp1131211 - Jan 4, 2014 at 11:50 PM

      You know they won, right?

  6. bwana63 - Jan 5, 2014 at 12:02 AM

    Team USA needs to clone him.

  7. strictlythedanks - Jan 5, 2014 at 12:05 AM

    Great game for Sutes.

    Gotta love the Stoner to Suter 4 to 20 connection on the last goal.

    Also, since Im not allowed to say it on pft, Fack the packers.

  8. penguins87and71 - Jan 5, 2014 at 12:23 AM

    Yes I knew they won.

    • mp1131211 - Jan 5, 2014 at 12:36 AM

      Then I don’t get your comment.

  9. csilojohnson - Jan 5, 2014 at 12:30 AM

    Goalie crisis in Washington?
    Love the 4 to 20 connection.
    Id bet Stoner knows all about that.

  10. blomfeld - Jan 5, 2014 at 12:59 AM

    WHY JERSEY NOT STAY TUCK MY BODY ??????????????????? :) :) :) :) :) :)

  11. greej1938l - Jan 5, 2014 at 1:52 AM

    Wild are fine, media overhyped the losing streak. It happens, it helps teams sometimes pull together. Suter had a nice night, now someone else steps up! Hockey for ya!

    • lordfletcher - Jan 5, 2014 at 4:12 PM

      the Wild are not fine and the media has not talked enough about losing 6 games straight.

      Losing 6 straight in the west, almost kills the entire season. If the Wild were playing in the East, I would honestly not worry about losing a few games but the west is just so damn tight and realistically the Wild are possible the 7th to 11th best team without a losing streak (seeing as how badly the forwards have been shooting the puck this year).

      If my Wild make the playoffs, I will $hit my pants with joy!!!!! :)

      • cmmorgan32 - Jan 5, 2014 at 10:33 PM

        You’re absolutely right that the West is more competitive. However, you seemingly fail to take into account how things can change in an instant. L.A. was on a 5 game losing streak and I don’t see that “killing their season” (as of now anyway). There’s a reason why playoff spots (especially in the west) don’t get clinched until the last few games of the season. It is possible for Minnesota to end up with a wild card spot or the spot currently held by Colorado.

      • lordfletcher - Jan 6, 2014 at 12:11 AM

        you are correct its very possible… that’s why I said anywhere between 7 and 11

  12. dcfan4life - Jan 5, 2014 at 9:03 AM

    15 goals allowed in his last 3 games, this time 5 on 11 shots. Sutters last one was well placed but Holtbys got to challenge and take away such an angle. No confidence from Holtby in his play right now. I wouldnt be surprised if hes the healthy scratch next game and we see Grubauer and Nirvirth for a bit.

  13. muckleflugga - Jan 5, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    yeah…well…maybe…perhaps

    suter’s play in the present may give the american entry a look, albeit brief, into the medal round at sochi…

    they’re will be need for something back there…rooskies are looking to school the american’s figure skating b squad on possession control offensive hockey…imagine datsyuk and malkin and ovechkin playing in milieu with like-minded players…

    zoom zooooom

    it’s always tough for teams populated with light bodied finesse fairy-dancers when those players never get a whiff of the puck

    but suter can’t do it alone, no sireee bob

    • strictlythedanks - Jan 5, 2014 at 1:53 PM

      grow a pair, jabroni

    • lordfletcher - Jan 5, 2014 at 4:14 PM

      I am shocked you left this out of your blabble “would you like fries with that”. Willing to bet you say that about 200 times per day.

  14. rebekah319 - Jan 5, 2014 at 6:52 PM

    I have been a long time wild fan for a really long time and when things happen like this I can only smile! I love being part of such good hockey fan moments.. and it was a good time. I am proud of Suter :)

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