Cokin’s Corner, Thursday 1/21/16
I managed to grab a winner on the ice on Wednesday night as the Anaheim Ducks notched a 3-1 win over the Minnesota Wild. The Ducks didn’t really play all that well, as they committed far too many defensive zone turnovers that the punchless Wild weren’t able to take advantage of. But perhaps my biggest assist in garnering this win was courtesy of Minnesota coach Mike Yeo.
Here’s the scenario. With just under four minutes remaining in regulation, and the Ducks clinging to a 2-1 lead, Anaheim winger David Perron was whistled for a holding penalty. Good call, really dumb infraction as it was in the offensive zone and accomplished nothing.
Needless to say, I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the Perron faux pas. I was sure Yeo would pull his goaltender and go for the tie with six skaters working against just four for Anaheim. Needless to say, there’s some gamble involved in doing this, as one well-aimed clearing pass into an empty net and the game is pretty much over.
But I thought it was a no-brainer for Yeo under the circumstances. Minnesota is having a terrible time scoring goals, and their power play has produced a pathetic one goal over what is now the last 16 games. With such limited production, I don’t think there’s any question at all the coach has to take the plunge and go desperation mode to try and tie things up.
But Yeo chose to play it safe and the Ducks killed off the two minutes without too much trouble. Yeo finally got his goaltender to the bench in the final stages of the game, but the six on five skater disadvantage was no issue and the Ducks picked off the insurance goal to close things out moments later.
What I found interesting in watching this game on NBC Sports was the broadcast team defending Yeo’s decision to at least some extent. I guess they decided that better safe than sorry was okay. It sure didn’t work out that way for the Wild, and that was more than okay with me.
Pretty good overall here on Wednesday, and off last week’s very poor results, I’ve got three straight winning nights this week. This isn’t even a mini-heater yet, but I’m hoping it’s heading in that direction.
For info on my available services, contact me directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Nevada/Wyoming MWC hookup went about way it figured to go, close nearly the entire way. The Cowboys held a brief 10-point lead fairly early in the second half. But the Wolf Pack went on a good run and from there the issue was in doubt until DJ Fenner nailed a late three to end the suspense. I’ll head to the West Coast Conference for tonight’s free play.
771 SAN FRANCISCO @ 772 SANTA CLARA
Take: SAN FRANCISCO +3.5
San Francisco is not a particularly good team, but the Dons are pretty entertaining to watch. This team plays as if defense is a foreign concept they have no desire to explore. That means the Dons are predictable to an extent. If they’re hitting their shots, they can hang with some pretty good opponents. If they get defensed by the opposition, they basically have no chance because they can’t stop anything.
The good news for San Francisco tonight is that while Santa Clara is a clock milker, it’s not like the Broncos are any good defensively. Against teams in the upper reaches as far as adjusted tempo is concerned, Santa Clara has only two wins. One of those was a narrow escape against San Jose State and they also managed to defeat Portland.
The Broncos are certainly capable of getting a win here. They should get plenty of good looks, and it’s not like the team is incapable of getting hot, particularly when talking about Jared Brownridge. Plus, if the whistles are plentiful, Santa Clara is decent at the stripe. But matching the teams head to head categorically, it’s the Dons owning most of the advantages in the areas I give the most weight to.
The game itself doesn’t have a great deal of meaning aside from the rivalry that exists between these teams. Both the Dons and Broncos are 3-5 in league play, and if either of these teams are still playing past the WCC tourney, it would constitute a major surprise. For what it’s worth, San Francisco has been getting it done on the road, posting a surprising 36-16-1 ATS ledger in its last 53 lined road games. I can see the Dons checking off another winner in the spread column here is what looms as a close game. I’ll take the available points with San Francisco.