Wild play to their power

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:30 AM ET

The Minnesota Wild are making teams pay for taking penalties against them.

Heading into Thursday’s contest against the Edmonton Oilers, the Wild were scoring on nearly half of their man-advantage opportunities this season.

They led the league with 11 power-play goals already this year.

“Right now we’re having lots of success,” said Wild head coach Todd Richards. “Without a question, you have hot streaks and cold streaks and right now we’re in the middle of a hot streak.

“I think it’s just the little things we’re doing. We’re not doing anything special that other teams don’t do. I think our players are committed to doing certain things and Andrew Brunette and Guillaume (Latendresse) are doing a great job out in front of the net, creating traffic.”

The Wild have scored at least one power-play goal in each game they’ve played leading up to Thursday’s contest against the Oilers.

In the team’s first meeting of the season, a week ago, the Wild connected on four of their six power play opportunities.

On Tuesday against the Vancouver Canucks, they netted three power-play markers.

“Right now it’s a positive for us and it’s great to hear other teams saying that they have to be discipline and they can’t take bad penalties against us,” said Richards. “That’s what you want, your power play to be your toughness and that’s what it’s doing.”

A new weapon on the power play for the Wild this season is veteran Matt Cullen, who has three goals with the man advantage, manning the point.

“Matt is a guy that has a shooting mentality and (Marek) Zidlicky is starting to shoot it more too,” Richards said. “We are scoring goals from the back end, but what that’s doing is also creating scrums and we’re able to win the scrums out in front of the net.”


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