Minnesota didn’t ‘drift’ from the plan, got rewarded with ‘huge win’


You would’ve excused the Minnesota Wild for getting frustrated. Last night, this is how badly they dominated the Colorado Avalanche:


By the time Mikael Granlund’s diving goal slid past the spectacular Semyon Varlamov for the 1-0 overtime victory, the Wild had outshot the Avs, 46-22, and held the previously high-flying Colorado offense in check.

“It felt like we were taking it to `em pretty good, so to not get frustrated at that point, not start to drift and get away from our game, that’s what good teams do,” coach Mike Yeo said, per the Associated Press.

Drifting away from the game plan can be particularly dangerous against the Avs. Colorado may not control the puck like the league’s elite squads do, but there aren’t many teams that can punish their opponents’ mistakes with such a deadly transition attack.

For example, this is what can happen when you get a little careless at the Avs’ blue line:

Game 4 goes Thursday at Xcel Energy Center, and all of a sudden the Avs, despite still leading the series 2-1, are facing some adversity. Not only do they need to bounce back from yesterday’s disappointing outing, they’ll have to do it without puck-moving defenseman Tyson Barrie, one of the keys to that aforementioned transition attack.

“Let’s not kid ourselves. This is a huge win for us, not only to get the win but the way that we played the game, the way that we played our game,” Yeo said. “We know that next game is going to be even bigger and a tougher test, and we’re going to have to be real good. But there’s no question that we needed this one.”