Minnesota Wild left winger Thomas Vanek is having a great start to his season, and he added to his point totals Tuesday night with beautiful move on Winnipeg Jets defenseman Paul Postma finished off with a picture perfect snipe over the shoulder of netminder Ondrej Pavelec.
The goal, which was Vanek’s second of the night, came after a brutal giveaway by Jets blueliner Mark Stuart. Stuart threw the puck up ice, which landed right on the tape of Minnesota’s Mikael Granlund. Granlund saw Vanek streaking through the neutral zone, put the puck perfectly on his tape and let him do the rest of the work.
With Postma attempting to defend him, Vanek patiently waited to slip the puck between his legs so that he could beat Postma to the outside, then Vanek used what little space he had left between himself and Pavelec to find the top shelf over Pavelec’s glove:
It’s great to see Vanek succeeding so early in the 2015-16 season, especially as the start to his first campaign in Minnesota wasn’t an easy one. Signed to a three-year, $19.5-million deal as an unrestricted free agent by the Wild, Vanek started the previous campaign with just two goals through his first 22 games in a Minnesota jersey. He had fourteen points, but he had been brought in to score and boost the offense.
Vanek, 31, heated up near the end of the season — he finished with 21 goals and 52 points — but then went on another slump in the post-season as he was held goalless through 10 playoff games.
He’s doing well to erase those memories, though. Following Tuesday’s two-goal performance, Vanek now has six goals and 12 points in 14 games while averaging little more than 15 minutes of ice time per game, the eighth-most of any Wild forward. This Vanek guy in Minnesota might work out after all.