The Minnesota Wild have let old coaches go, got a new head coach and assistant coach, and recalled forward Vinni Lettieri after Ryan Hartman was suspended, all in the past 24 hours. Could there be anything more important? The answer is yes because, after a 7 game losing streak, the Wild finally won a game at home. On Tuesday, 11/28/23, the Wild won 3-1 over the St. Louis Blues.
On Tuesday, November 28, the Wild won against the St. Louis Blues at the Xcel Energy Center. This was one of the first central division rivals that the Wild faced, and it was even more important because it was under the direction of their new coach, John Hynes.
Not only did the Wild manage to win the game 3-1, but they also shaped up some areas where they had been lacking. They were able to kill all four penalties that the Blues had in front of Pat Dwyer, the new assistant coach who will be heading up the penalty kill and overseeing the defense.
Two players overcame their beginning-of-the-season slumps: Freddy Gaudreau and Matt Boldy scored in this game. Gaudreau, who was previously on LTIR this season and missed a good chunk of the season, scored his first goal of the season. After circling the net, he took advantage of a screen by Marcus Foligno to shoot one into the top corner over Jordan Binnington’s blocker.
Matt Boldy, who has been struggling after signing a big contract last spring, was also one of the goal scorers tonight. After going through a discouraging dry spell, Boldy scored off of a pass from Jonas Brodin. This came after Boldy served a 4-minute double minor for high-sticking against Blues and former Wild player Oskar Sundqvist.
Both Gaudreau and Boldy needed a breakthrough moment of the season and that came tonight against the Blues. The real test will be whether this momentum can continue and even strengthen with a new bench boss, John Hynes, running the team.
The Wild were able to rule the ice for most of the game. Not only did they kill all of the power plays for the Blues, including a 4-minute power-play for high sticking against Matt Boldy, but they also out-shot the Blues 37-24. In the second period alone, the Wild had 17 shots on goal versus the 5 shots on goal that the Blues had. Filip Gustavsson was key in keeping the Blues out of the net during an extended penalty kill for the Wild.
Overall, the Wild looked like a team that was not only ready to win but also ready to show off for a new coach. Hopefully, they can keep up the momentum against another division rival when they take on the Nashville Predators in Nashville on Thursday.
For more about the new coaches and the Ryan Hartman suspension, listen to the newest episode of Her Wild Side Hockey Podcast.