Wild stole home ice advantage from Stars. They feel that outweighs blowout loss
After a split in Dallas, the Wild are pleased to head back to St. Paul tied at 1-1
Regardless of what it might have felt like after the Minnesota Wild suffered a 7-3 blowout loss to the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night, the sun came out Thursday morning, and everyone had completely turned the page by the time the team landed back in the Twin Cities.
What started as a best-of-seven series is now a best-of-five, and, yes, the Wild have stolen home-ice advantage from the Stars.
That was the message from most players in the Wild locker room Wednesday night, and after a 2½-hour flight home on Thursday afternoon, coach Dean Evason shared a similar sentiment.
“Just nice to be back here at home 1-1, right?” Evason said. “That’s the positive.”
Evason noted how there’s no point to the Wild dwelling on the negatives, so long as they are able to correct their mistakes moving forward.
“What’s the point? The game is over. We’re 1-1,” Evason said. “We’ve got most importantly probably our crowd. Our guys are going to be jacked. Looking forward to getting that puck dropped.”
The way the Wild went about earning a split in Dallas offered both a good example and a bad example of how they want to operate.
In Monday’s 3-2 double-overtime win, the Wild slowed the pace, looking very calm in front of Filip Gustavsson. In the loss, the Wild got caught running around, paving the way for chaos in front of Marc-Andre Fleury.
“Game 1 is how we want to play; Game 2 is how they want to play,” Evason said. “We’ve got to get back to where we’re at. We’ll have some adjustments (with a video session) in the morning. Our group will see the stuff, and they know if we do the right thing, we’ll give ourselves a chance to win.”
There are specific things the Wild have to clean up ahead of Game 3 on Friday night at the Xcel Energy Center.
The home crowd could play a major factor as Wild fans have been known to get pretty rowdy during the playoffs. Perhaps that can carry the Wild as they look to bounce back.
“We leave here 1-1 and we’re ready to rock in Minnesota,” winger Mats Zuccarello said after the loss. “As long as we’re ready to play next game, this game doesn’t matter right now.”
That’s the focus for the Wild moving forward.
“We’ve got home ice advantage now,” Gus Nyquist said. “We’ve got to take care of business at home here and we’ll be fine.”
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