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Wild hoping last change can help turn the tide versus Avs

Apr 21, 2014, 11:51 AM EDT

Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, Paul Stastny AP

In the first two games of Colorado’s opening-round series versus the Wild — both Avalanche victories — Paul Stastny, Nathan MacKinnon, and Gabriel Landeskog combined for seven goals.

The rest of the Avs had two.

Tonight in Minnesota, the Wild will be hoping that having the last change in Game 3 can help shut down Colorado’s trio of red-hot forwards and turn the tide in the series.

From the StarTribune:

That likely will mean top defenseman Ryan Suter and the third line, which should consist of at least veteran Matt Cooke and speedy rookie Erik Haula.

“Obviously I want that matchup for me and for my line and for our team,” said Cooke, who will play his 100th playoff game. “It’s tough when you’re on the road. We’re going to get the last change, and if that’s the way that Coach wants to go, then I’ll be ready.”

Haula is the Wild’s fastest forward, so it would make sense to assign him the task of shadowing MacKinnon, one of the fastest NHLers already at the age of 18. MacKinnon has seven points in the first two games.

As much as the Avs have impressed with their spectacular goals and just-find-a-way-to-win attitude, the Wild have to know they’re not done yet. After all, Darcy Kuemper can’t be any worse than Ilya Bryzgalov between the pipes, and it’s not like Colorado is brimming with playoff-proven veterans who have experience putting teams away.

Remember: of the eight first-round series in last year’s playoffs, two of them saw a team win the first two games, only to lose the series.

  1. spoon9z - Apr 21, 2014 at 12:02 PM

    Brough, was this a piece for a Minny paper? Wow that was laid on thick. How about some objective looks and the other side of the coin or their angle on this? Half the story, guess that’s what min stands for.

    • tved12 - Apr 21, 2014 at 12:12 PM

      Literally the first paragraph of the article is about the Avs. Here, I’ll make it easy for you;

      “In the first two games of Colorado’s opening-round series versus the Wild — both Avalanche victories — Paul Stastny, Nathan MacKinnon, and Gabriel Landeskog combined for seven goals.”

      “The rest of the Avs had two.”

      “As much as the Avs have impressed with their spectacular goals and just-find-a-way-to-win attitude…”

      How is this not objective? He’s complimenting the Avs the whole time while showing “the other side of the coin” as to what the Wild are going to try to slow down the Avs 1st line that’s playing great right now. Also, the name of the story tells it all man.

    • jernster21 - Apr 21, 2014 at 2:26 PM

      Brough is just pissed that he picked the Wild to win this series and the only thing they can think of to turn this thing is around is home ice match ups. Instead of matching up, they might want to try scoring more goals than the other team for starters.

      • strictlythedanks - Apr 21, 2014 at 5:15 PM

        brough made the right choice, bro. Wild in 6, make it 7

  2. robertb655 - Apr 21, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    I agree with Spoon9z, not objective at all. It was like, you did this well, however… And you did that well, however… and by the way… Only to end with stats that he skews to go against the Avs, not to help the Wild. This was written like a writer rooting for Minnesota all the way

  3. imleftcoast - Apr 21, 2014 at 1:08 PM

    I think Brough is also fan of the Canucks who used to take advantage of the Wild and Avs in the cupcake division (boo realignment). I think he’s writing this as someone aware that two teams blew 2-0 series leads last year in the first-round. The Avs were great last game, but the Wild should have won Game 1. The series may not be over yet (remember the egg the Broncos laid in the Super Bowl).

  4. purpleguy - Apr 21, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    Last change with Dany Heatley playing, who skates like he’s in quicksand, ain’t gonna make any difference.

    • guitarisgood4u - Apr 21, 2014 at 3:15 PM

      Could be the Heater’s last chance in the NHL, that certainly has a possibility to inspire him.
      I’m not saying we’re gonna get 50 in ’07 material, but we’ll see.

  5. idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Apr 21, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    “That likely will mean top defenseman Ryan Suter and the third line, which should consist of at least veteran Matt Cooke and speedy rookie Erik Haula.”

    LOL Suter or Cooke have been on the ice for 4 of their 7 goals. 2 more were scored when No Show Parise was on the ice.

    They’re out skilled and out coached.

    Not gonna make a difference.

    • lordfletcher - Apr 21, 2014 at 3:32 PM

      Out coached… Clearly but not out skilled. The Wild have plenty buy for whatever reason in never seems to show consistently this season.

      After game 1, can you really say otherwise? A series isnt won till someone wins on the road for the most part … Let’s see what happens after game 3/4 first. This could end in four or five games but this has the makeup to go the distance if Kuemper plays like he has this early season

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Apr 21, 2014 at 4:24 PM

        After watching these 2 games, it’s quite clear that the Avs have a speed that the Wild don’t have skill to deal with. Their “best” players have been getting out worked and out skated for 105 of the 120+ minutes. Suter, Cook, or Parise have been on the ice all of the Avs goals except 1. The Avs worked out their playoff jitters in game one and haven’t looked back. Game 2 was dominated by the Avs. The score should have been 4 to 1, if the Refs don’t blow that horrible and wrong off-sides call on P.A.

        This series has been lob sided since the Avs shook their jitters. Only San Jose vs LA has been more lob sided.

        The Wild better hope Kuemper can steal a game for them, cause the people in front of him certainly can’t.

      • lordfletcher - Apr 21, 2014 at 4:55 PM

        Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man…

        – the dude

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Apr 21, 2014 at 5:00 PM

        “Take the blinders off, Wild fan.” – Any one who’s watching the series objectively.

      • lordfletcher - Apr 21, 2014 at 10:42 PM

        And what now….. Dur.

  6. lordfletcher - Apr 21, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    What I wish for is a coach who can make in game changes and doesn’t have to draw up a plan on the plane home. Its clear as day to see that you need to match speed against Mackinnon. I like Yeo as a guy, seems great but gets out coached every night and overall roster management is poor

    Trotz for coach 2014/15+

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