MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Charlie Coyle scored first in Game Four of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Minnesota Wild; a coveted goal that has spoken volumes in this series.
“It felt great. I always like playing with the lead. You feel like you don’t have to play catch-up or take risks, force things,” Coyle said. “You’re playing with the lead, you can stick to your game.”
The Wild understand first goals, and they understand that’s only part of it. The real test is coming back from a deficit against the St. Louis Blues.
“I still think they played pretty, pretty defensive and pretty passive,” said Zach Parise. “But, you know, it’s different when you’re chasing the game as opposed to holding the lead. And all teams are good when they have they lead.”
Which takes us to the Wild’s game plan going in: Be defensive: Be very defensive.
“Keep that four-check as much as we can, play tight in the neutral zone, and when we get to our D-zone we got to try and keep them away from that net,” said Mikko Koivu.
What everyone seems to agree on is whoever wins won’t win by much, and the offense it takes will be very little.
“I thought it was going to be a low-scoring series,” said Coach Bruce Boudreau. “I thought it was going to be a 2-to-1 type game, and I didn’t think we’d get the Pittsburgh’s 5-4-type situation going. They defended so well on the stretch.
And let us never forget if you are a player, these are not dire times — there are wonderful times.
“They’re the most-fun games you want to play,” said Nino Niederreiter. “As a little kid, you always dream of playing those games because at the end of the day, something’s going to happen. There’s always a result, and I think it’s fun.”
The puck drops for Game Five Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.