Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could convince the world to love jumpsuits as much as he does. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.

Follow Randball on Twitter

Wednesday (Bryzgalov and the comforts of home) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Wild coaching Updated: May 7, 2014 - 10:42 AM

We wrote on Monday that fans needed to stop piling on Wild goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, noting that while he hadn't won a playoff start this postseason at that point, it was also unfair to pin everything on him. For one, he hadn't started a home playoff game yet. And we needed to be realistic about expectations for someone who basically amounts to the Wild's fourth goalie this season.

Shockingly, we're not here to gloat about that after Bryz's Game 3 shutout last night. He was good in net. More confident than he has been. But he was not the reason Minnesota won that game just as much as he wasn't the reason the Wild lost the other two against Chicago. The game turned because Minnesota made plays and Chicago didn't.

That said, we do very much believe there is something to the home ice phenomenon. The last time -- the only time -- the Wild made a playoff run, Minnesota was surprisingly dreadful on its home ice. The Wild was just 1-2 at the X against both Colorado and Vancouver in 2003, then 0-2 against Anaheim for an overall 2-6 home record.

This year, of course, Minnesota is 4-0 in home playoff games and has allowed a TOTAL of three goals in those games. The first three were started by the now-injured Darcy Kuemper, with Bryz getting the call last night. Neither goalie has been overtaxed in any of those games, with Bryz needing just 19 saves -- some of them big ones, undeniably -- to get his first postseason shutout in eight years.

The Wild is taking advantage of matchups obtained by having the last line change after whistles, and on Tuesday it displayed both discipline in giving Bryz clean looks at the puck and patience while the high-flying Blackhawks played a muck-and-grind game.

Afterward, head coach Mike Yeo said he thought Bryzgalov looked more confident and aggressive. For his part, Bryz -- a classic quirky, streaky goalie -- talked about the comforts of being at home. "It's always nice to play at home," he said. "You sleep in your own bed, get in your own routine. Eat your favorite food. Obviously the fan base, it gives you support if you make a nice play ... and give you a boost. ... It creates a nice atmosphere."

We'll see if this is the start of a positive trend for Bryzgalov and a continuation of one for the Wild as a whole in Game 4.


Post By Category

Arts (1) Books (1)
Movies (3) Music (6)
Hobbies (1) Fishing (1)
Society (3) Crime (1)
Sports (523) Baseball (1)
Professional baseball (786) Basketball (13)
College basketball (6) Football (1)
College football (118) Professional football (560)
Technology (1) Food and drink (14)
Politics (1) Transportation (1)
Employment (1) Career development (1)
Cooking (2) Pets (1)
Vikings (1075) Men (3)
Games (1) Gambling (1)
Commercial (1) Animals (3)
Dogs (3) Gripes (1)
Newspapers (1) Beer (6)
Minnesota wine retailers (1) Wine retail + marketing (1)
Bad driving (1) Commuting (1)
High School Sports (1) Family activities (1)
Style (2) Pregnancy (1)
Car buying (1) Retirement (1)
Shopping (1) Chickens (2)
Fruit and berries (1) Weather (1)
Internet (2) Twitter (2)
Video games (2) Web pick (1)
YouTube (1) Birds in the backyard (1)
Business trends (2) Loopholes (1)
Problems on the job (1) The rich get richer (1)
Airlines (1) Midwest getaways (1)
Road trips (1) Skiing (1)
Travel deals (1) Wisconsin (3)
Gopher road games (1) TCF Bank Stadium (1)
NCAA: football (124) Basketball on TV (2)
Gophers coaches (1) Frozen Four (11)
North Dakota (1) College hockey (20)
Fantasy football (12) Golf (84)
Minnesota state tournaments (20) Preps (8)
Soccer (93) WNBA (16)
Wild news (8) Wolves news (393)
NFC (2) Super Bowl (1)
Vikings coaches (1) Behind the scenes (3)
Celebrities (1) Dance (1)
Local TV and radio (2) Ex-players (1)
Injury report (2) Baseball wisdom (1)
Target Field (262) Twins fans (807)
Twins game coverage (17) Twins management (3)
Twins offense (1) Twins pitching (3)
NBA playoffs (1) Wolves draft news (1)
Wolves guards (1) Wolves players (9)
Values and morals (2) Miscreants (1)
Wild coaching (67) Wild game coverage (3)
Wild off-season news (1) Wild player moves (3)
Wild pregame skate (1) Wild trade news (1)
Movies (1) Buffalo Lake-Hector (1)
Ortonville (2) Brad Childress (1)
Stillwater (1) Television (2)
NHL news (97) Outdoors Women (1)
Olympics (2) Olympic hockey (1)
Glen Perkins (1) Health + Beauty (1)
Beer (2) Wine (1)
Public safety (1) Gophers (203)
Pen Pals (1)
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters