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Continued: Scoggins: Speedy Haula cashes in on second chance

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Last update: May 7, 2014 - 11:06 AM

Yeo gave Haula added responsibility in Game 3 of the first series after Avalanche rookie sensation Nathan MacKinnon skated circles around the Wild. Haula drew the MacKinnon matchup in home games because, as the Wild’s fastest skater, he had the best chance of keeping pace with the Avs’ human blur.

“His speed helps him a lot,” captain Mikko Koivu said.

Zach Parise said he’s seen more than one opponent caught off-guard by Haula’s speed. That happens occasionally with younger players who haven’t established a reputation.

“All of sudden, you’re trying to check him and he’s three strides behind you,” Parise said. “It’s been good for us because we want to play with that speed. It’s awesome. The way he skates is impressive.”

Haula reached that top gear to create his breakaway in the first period. He still wasn’t sure immediately after the game how much Keith’s hook affected his ability to take a shot.

“Everything happens at such a fast pace,” he said. “Maybe he got a little smack on my hand and maybe I lost it because of that. Or maybe I just lost it.”

That play looked like it might become a defining moment in the game. But given another chance, Haula didn’t lose it when it mattered most.

 

Chip Scoggins chip.scoggins@startribune.com

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