The Minnesota Wild, so long a defense-first squad, is presumed to be a team in transition under first-year coach Todd Richards. Will the Wild look substantially different? They lost 2-1 to Columbus in their first game, a very Wild-like score, but then rallied from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Ducks 4-3 in overtime on Tuesday.
Free-agent signing Martin Havlat, whom the Kings mulled over during the summer, has four assists in two games. Former King Eric Belanger centers Havlat and has three points in two games. Here’s what Terry Murray said after watching the Wild on tape…
MURRAY: “I watched their whole game (against the Ducks), actually both games, and wow, what a comeback they had in the third period. They play extremely well. They have defensemen that are up on the play. They’re coming as forwards. Zidlicky is up the ice all the time. Of course when you’re down 3-0, you’re going to really press up and try to get back into the game. They’ve changed a bit, a little bit different than what Jacques Lemaire had in place with them, for system and style. Still very tight through the middle of the ice defensively.”