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  • Wild Breakdown: How Darcy Kuemper's Shutout Streak Ended


    At this point, Dumba has the option to win the race along the wall and carry it in, or to dump it in hard around the boards so that Koivu might have a chance to recover the puck. Bringing the puck into the zone with two guys really limits the options here. Dumba makes the right choice in my opinion, and carries the puck into the zone.

    Below is the entire failed zone entry in gif form.


    Now, all three Wild players that had originally started the breakout are caught along the boards, not really in any position to receive a pass. Niederreiter has come off the bench and smartly stayed on the wide side of the ice to make himself an option. As Vanek keeps the puck in at the blue line he does not have the time to move it to Niederreiter, which appears to be the best option in this case. He decides to just throw the puck into Koivu and Suter's area, and head to the middle of the ice for a give and go (maybe?). He sort of just drifts off of the blue line. I'm not too sure if he actually had a plan. The problem here is both Suter and Koivu thought Fowler's original clearing attempt was heading out of the zone, so they have already started to retreat from their offensive positions and have little interest in being Vanek's passing partners. With Vanek vacating his position as last man back on the blue line, the Wild have all five players committed to the offensive zone without having control of the puck. Vanek's pass does in fact end up on somebody's stick, it just so happened to be held by a guy in a black jersey. Fowler gets a second crack at moving the puck out of the zone here, and sends an area pass out to the neutral zone where Cogliano is able to pick up the puck and walk in on Kuemper all alone. (He scored.)


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