Should The Wild Be Concerned About Their Defense?

Alexander Shun | @alexpshun

Digital Content Manager |

It was a great victory for the Minnesota Wild on Sunday night as they knocked off the lowly Colorado Avalanche 5-2, bouncing back from a 3-0 blanking they suffered Saturday night at the hands of the Nashville Predators.

With the win on Sunday, the Wild reached the 100 point mark for the third time in franchise history and became the fifth team to hit that mark this season. Although the victory was certainly a welcomed one, there was a potential cause for concern in the Wild's win. 

For the second game in a row, the Wild defense allowed 30 or more shots, this comes after allowing an average of less than 22 shots in their previous eight games.

Against Colorado, the Wild had allowed only 21 shots entering the third period but were out-shot in the final period 11-2 as the Avalanche finished with 32 shots on Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk, one day after the Predators fired 35 shots on Minnesota's Alex Stalock.

"I thought we started to run a little low on gas after that, but we had enough to hang on," Wild Head Coach Bruce Boudreau said following Sunday's win, speaking on his team's lackluster third period. "[Dubnyk] played good to save us in the third period I thought."

Defense was a strength for Minnesota for the majority of the season and they seemed to have figured it out the last week and-a-half, however, in their last two games, they have allowed far too many shots, particularly to an Avalanche team that is statistically the worst in the NHL.

Playing on the second day of a back-to-back can certainly be draining and could account, at least in part, for the high number of shots allowed, but the Wild have played too well all season on the defensive end of the ice to fall apart now.

While Minnesota's offense thrived Sunday, firing 28 shots on Avalanche goalies and scoring five goals, Wild players know that they have to play well on both ends of the ice if they hope to have success come playoff time.

"To win a hockey game it can't be just one thing good or whatever, it has to collectively be the whole team," Mikko Koivu said after Sunday's win. "Each area we're trying to improve and get better, and I think we've done that for the most part for the last week."

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