Tag: Jason Pominville

Nate Prosser, Tomas Hertl

Get your game notes: Sharks at Wild


Today on NBC, it’s the Minnesota Wild hosting the San Jose Sharks at 8 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

• Despite the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul being located more than 2,000 miles away from the SAP Center in San Jose, the Sharks were essentially born from the Minnesota North Stars franchise. Original owners George and Gordon Gund sold the North Stars in exchange for rights to an NHL expansion team in the Bay Area.

• San Jose is in the middle of a 3-game road trip, having played last night at WPG (3-2 win) and closing out the stretch at St. Louis on Thursday.

• Last night, Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored the game winner with 4.5 seconds left in the 3rd.

• This goal at 19:55 was the 2nd-latest regulation game-winning goal in Sharks history. (Jonathan Cheechoo scored at 19:56 in a 5-4 win vs. LA in 2005).

• SJ has gone 3-3-0 in the 2nd half of back-to-back games this season but has never swept both games of its back-to-backs.

• SJ has won 2 of its last 3 since dropping 3 straight before that.

• Minnesota is also a team in search of collecting wins. The Wild, despite splitting their last 4 games (2-2-0), have lost 7 of their last 9 (2-4-3), giving up an average of 4.00 goals per game during this stretch.

• MIN is coming off a 7-1 defeat in Dallas against the Stars on Saturday, by most accounts their worst loss all season:

• The 7 goals was the most given up by MIN all season.

• The 6-goal loss was the largest margin of defeat for MIN all season and the biggest lost since Mar. 6, 2012 at Colorado (also a 7-1 loss).

• Darcy Kuemper gave up 4 goals on 21 shots before being pulled in the middle of the 2nd…Niklas Backstrom allowed 3 goals on 14 shots the rest of the way.


• Sharks captain Joe Thornton will miss his 3rd straight game tonight with an upper-body injury. Thornton was placed on IR on Sunday after he was injured on a hit at ANA on Wednesday. His status is day-to-day.

• Since joining the Sharks in the middle of the 2005-06 season, Thornton has missed only 7 games, having played in SJ’s other 713 regular-season games since then and also all of the Sharks’ 97 playoff games since 2005-06.

• Thornton’s streak of 319 consecutive GP was snapped when he missed Saturday’s game vs. STL.

• Thornton is t-2nd on the team with 33 points (Joe Pavelski – 35) and leads the team with 24 assists… Thornton had played well lately, boasting 5 points (1G-4A) during a personal 5-game point streak and 11 points (2G-9A) in his last 9 games.

• Thornton has fared well against MIN in his career: 36 points (11G-25A) in 38 GP – more points than any other player on the Sharks roster – including 34 points in 33 GP against MIN as a member of the SJ.


• Teams have split thus far, with the home team winning each game…

• Oct. 30 at MIN: MIN def. SJ 4-3 (SO).

• Kyle Brodziak scored twice for the Wild

• MIN outshot SJ 46-28

• Jason Pominville netted the shootout winner in the 3rd roun

• Dec. 11 at SJ: SJ def. MIN 2-1.

• Christian Folin scored 1:03 into the 3rd to tie the game at 1 for MIN…but Joe Pavelski scored the game-winner 45 seconds later to give SJ the win.

• MIN Home Winning Streak vs. SJ: MIN is riding a 7-game home win streak vs. SJ dating back to the 2010-11 season.

• MIN last lost at home to SJ on Apr. 2, 2010, a 3-2 win by the Sharks.


• Joe Pavelski leads the team in goals (20 – 5th in NHL) and points (35). He tallied 2 assists last night and has 3G-2A during a 3-game point streak. He also has 15 points (10G-5A) in his last 14 games.

• Pavelski’s 10 power-play goals lead the NHL.

• The 9-year vet, who has spent his entire career with SJ, is coming off a career year in which he set personal highs in goals (41) and points (79).

• Patrick Marleau, despite being one of 6 Shark skaters with 20+ points this season (28), has been in a 12-game goal slump and has just 4 assists during this stretch – although he did record a helper last night.

• Marleau ranks 2nd on the team in assists with 21.

• Marleau has faced MIN 52 times in his career, tallying 35 points (18G-17A) in those games.

• Defenseman Brent Burns is one of 3 Sharks with 10+ goals this season and leads all Shark d-men in goals (11 – 3rd on team) and assists (20 – 3rd on team).

• Burns totaled 1G-1A last night and now has 1G-3A during a 3-game point streak.

• Burns ranks 3rd among NHL d-men in points (31) and leads the league lead among d-men in goals (11).

• Burns leads the team in TOI/game (23:42) but does have a -7 rating on the season (t-worst on the team).

• Burns was drafted by MIN back in 2003 (1st round – 20th overall) and played from 2003-2011 with the Wild (183 points in 453 games) before being traded to SJ in June 2011.

• Logan Couture is one of 3 Sharks (along with Thornton and Pavelski) with 30+ points this season, boasting 14G-19A (33 poitns). Couture registered his 10th multi-point game of the season last night (2 assists)

• SJ is 8-2-0 this season when Couture has 2+ points.

• Couture’s 14 goals are 2nd on the team.

• John Scott returned from suspension last night (0 points in 4:48 TOI) after missing the last 4 games for punching Tim Jackman of ANA on Dec. 22.


• Zach Parise leads the Wild in points (30) and is tied for the team lead in goals (14 – with Nino Niederreiter).

• Parise had an assist against DAL in MIN’s last game and has 7 points (3G-4A) in his last 7 games.

• Jason Pominville is 2nd on the team in points (28) and assists (20)…Pominville has 8 points (2G-6A) in his last 8 games.

• Pominville led the team in goals (30) and points (60) last season.

• Thomas Vanek is 3rd on the team in points (24) and now has 7 goals after finding the back of the net against DAL. Vanek has 10 points (5G-5A) in his last 12 games. Vanek is in his first season in Minnesota (signed in the offseason) has scored 20+ goals and totaled 40+ points in each of his 9 seasons in the league.

• Ryan Suter leads the league in time on ice/game (29:29) after leading the league in this category the past two seasons. Suter is 4th on the team in points (22) and 1st in assists (21 – t-5th in NHL among d-men).

• Suter has gone without a point in his last 5 games and scored his only goal in MIN’s season opener against COL on Oct. 9.

• Nino Niederreiter is tied for the team lead in goals (14) but has gone the last 8 games without one and has 0 points in 5 career games against the Sharks.

• Niederreiter has 18 points this season (played in all 37 games) – halfway to his career high of 36 set last season (in 81 GP) – and has already tied his goal total from a season ago in 44 fewer games.

• Darcy Kuemper is coming off a 4-goals-allowed-on-21-shots outing in Saturday’s loss at Dallas. The Wild goaltender had a strong start to the season but has struggled in net since Nov. 22.

• Kuemper started both games against SJ this season, allowing 3 goals in the October-win and 2 goals in the December-loss.

Wild activate Backstrom from IR, demote Curry

Boston Bruins v Minnesota Wild

The Minnesota Wild did some goaltending shuffling in preparation for their Wednesday matchup with the Columbus Blue Jackets, although the plan seemingly remains to go with Darcy Kuemper in net regardless.

The team announced that Niklas Backstrom was activated from injured reserve while John Curry was demoted to the AHL.

As the Pioneer Press reports, the Wild are hoping that Kuemper’s Monday win is a sign that their issues in net might be clearing up. It’s been a struggle, though.

“It’s tough to even comment on it,” Jason Pominville said. “For me, it’s something in the past that I had never really seen before. Since I’ve been here, it’s been that way where there’s been unfortunate injuries and guys sick. It’s really been unfortunate that we can’t have somebody that just takes the lead and takes the net for a while.”

If Kuemper can’t step up, maybe Backstrom can grab hold of the net instead.

Parise: ‘We’ve got to stop losing’

Minnesota Wild v Arizona Coyotes

Yesterday, we noted how frustrated the Minnesota Wild must be, what with all the games they’ve lost despite outshooting their opponents.

Turns out we were on to something. The Wild are indeed pretty frustrated.

“It’s extremely frustrating,” Jason Pominville said, per the Pioneer Press.

“There’s frustration for us right now,” Zach Parise concurred.

The Wild are trying to stay positive despite not having won back-to-back games in a month. Saturday they host a tough opponent in the Predators. Tuesday, it’s the Flyers paying a visit, followed by the holiday break.

After Christmas, Minnesota has back-to-back games against the Jets, a team that 1) will be without its four best defensemen until the New Year and 2) currently occupies one of the wild-card spots the Wild would love to have for themselves.

So yeah, two big games right there.

“We’ve got to stop losing,” Parise said. “Stringing a couple wins together is the only way to get out of it.”

Related: Wild need to stop treading water, go on a run

Video: Eriksson’s OT winner leads Bruins past Wild


Loui Eriksson’s overtime winner helped the Boston Bruins snap a three-game skid with a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild Wednesday night.

With the goal, Eriksson joined some exclusive company.

Carl Soderberg and Kyle Brodziak exchanged first period goals 27 seconds apart.

Patrice Bergeron had the Bruins’ other goal while Jason Pominville tied the game 2-2 at 11:39 of the third.

Minnesota has now lost two straight and three of four.

Niklas Svedberg made 35 saves in the win while Niklas Backstrom stopped 22 shots in a losing cause.

Parise says fans should stop booing the Wild power play


Zach Parise totally understands booing the Minnesota Wild’s power play.

Still, he also reminded fans about something in an interview with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune: such jeering isn’t improving anything.

“It doesn’t help,” Parise said.

” … They’re frustrated, and I understand that. And they have a right to be frustrated. We’re frustrated, and then when we get booed, we get more frustrated, and then it snowballs.”

Parise, 30, showed a sense of humor regarding the struggling special teams unit, joking that they sometimes feel like booing themselves.

A quick look at the Wild power play

Power plays often ebb and flow, something the Star-Tribune points out. Even so, it’s tough not to be worried about a power play that has only produced seven goals and converted on nine percent of its chances, with only a Buffalo Sabres unit of potentially historic poorness* being less effective.

The more important question is: how much of this is based on bad luck?

To break that down, let’s consider chances more than results. (Stats via War on Ice).

The Wild have generated 133 shots for on the power play, tying them with the Islanders and Maple Leafs for seventh in the NHL. If you change the dynamics of the experiment a bit and look at averages (shots for per 60 minutes), they slip a bit to 14th (53.03 per 60). The point is that they seem to be producing a decent number of chances.

More bounces to come?

Sure, not all shots are created equal, yet the low shooting percentages of certain Wild forwards inspire visions of a better future. Thomas Vanek has only scored on 5.1 percent of his shots. Jason Pominville’s success rate is just 5.9 (and, unlike Vanek, he’s shooting as much as ever). Mikko Koivu’s been even less lucky with a 4.5 percentage.

Those are three key Wild forwards who should see more puck luck over the long haul, and Minnesota’s power play might reap the benefits.


Not that long ago, the word “regression” made Wild fans queasy. In the case of the 2014-15 team’s power play, it actually argues for better days, even if the unit only upgrades to merely average.

In other words, Wild fans should give Parise & Co. a break.

* Buffalo only has five power-play goals, good for a 6.8 percent success rate. The Sabres allowed three shorthanded goals, which means their PP’s a pathetic +2. Yikes.