Once again the Wild yielded the first goal of the game yesterday, and not a good one at that. They were able to overcome that and go on to prevail in a 4-2 victory over a severely depleted Devils squad.
There were a number of positives from yesterday which of course begins with the kids. Luke Kunin scored his second goal and added and assist, giving him five points in the three games since his latest recall.
Joel Eriksson Ek scored his second goal in as many games since his recall. Marcus Foligno backed up his words with a true leadership type performance resulting in his Gordie Howe hat trick.
Fologno has been a force over the last month but the leadership quality coming forth is what really drives his impact on the rest of his mates. In particular he has taken Kunin and Eriksson Ek under his wing to allow them to become more compete players.
Newly acquired defenseman, Anthony Bitetto, is developing strong chemistry with his new team and we are starting to see more of the assets that he brings to the Wild blueline.
Yesterday is nothing to be overly excited about, but those positives make it a game that the depth of the Wild should gain tremendous confidence from.
Today is a new challenge and it is time for the veterans, not named Zach Parise, to start playing with the fire in their bellies every shift, not just the select few when they feel inspired.
Competition breeds excellence, and the fight for contracts and future roles seem to be driving several of the depth players on the roster.
Boudreau needs to challenge his veteran leaders with some role reduction. I believe he will see tremendous results both in the short term and as this team transforms going forward.
It's Always Hockey Day in The State of Hockey!
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