Showing posts with label Minnesota Wild. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Minnesota Wild. Show all posts

Thursday, April 16, 2015

(Video) Jason Zucker Goal in Game One Against the Blues



Minnesota Wild forward Jason Zucker scores an absolutely beautiful goal in game one against the St. Louis Blues. Zucker missed 27 games to a broken Clavicle. Zucker's return is like getting a player at the trade deadline. Zucker adds another speedy forward to an already fast lineup.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Enter Devan Dubnyk

On January 14, 2015, the Minnesota Wild acquired Devan Dubnyk (97-91-26, 2.69 GAA, .914 SV%) from the Arizona Coyotes for a third round draft pick in the 2015 NHL entry.
That move appeared to be a steal as Dubnyk started 38 games in a row for the Wild. During those 38 games, Dubnyk went (27-8-2, 1.78 GAA, .936 SV%) and helped the Wild qualify for the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Wild finished with a (48-26-8) record and will play the St. Louis Blues in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Needless to say, Dubnyk helped Wild turn their season around. Without Dubnyk, the Wild would be scheduling their tee times and playing golf. Since the Wild acquired Dubnyk, they’re a plus-43 goal differential. That’s the best in the NHL.
In three games against the Blues, Dubnyk is (2-1-0, 2.62 GAA, and .918 SV%) against the Blues this season.
Last summer, Dubnyk signed a one-year deal worth $800,000.00 with the Arizona Coyotes and will soon to be an unrestricted free agent. Based on his performance with the Wild, Dubnyk is set to cash in during the NHL’s 2015 free agent signing period. The Wild might want to consider offering him to a contract as soon as possible.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Wild Are in the Stanley Cup Playoffs


The Minnesota Wild are going through a rough stretch. The Wild have lost 11-of-13 games (2-7-4) and if the Stanley Cup Playoffs started today, the Wild would be golfing.

Currently, the Wild (18-18-5) are in 12th place in the Western Conference and are seven points out of the final Wild Card spot.

Even though the Wild are struggling, head coach Mike Yeo still has confidence in his team. To many Wild fans, these are empty, meaningless words. They want wins, not platitudes.
“I still have confidence in this group,” Yeo said after Sunday’s game. “Still know what we’re capable of, but there’s no doubt the clock is ticking here.” (Michael Russo)

While there are some fans that will disagree with me. I think it’s a good thing the Wild didn’t fire Mike Yeo. The Wild (45-27-8) are going back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs and since January 13, 2015 have gone 27-9-3 (.730). 


The Wild acquired goalie Devan Dubnyk (27-8-2, 1.73 GAA, .938 SV%). Also, Dubnyk five shutouts and has added two assists. I guess you could say that the rest is pretty much history. 

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

How the Wild Make the Playoffs


Startribune’sMichael Russo had the Wild Playoffs Possibilities’. All of these possibilities make your head spin.  

The Wild would clinch a playoff berth if they defeat the Blackhawks in regulation OR if they win in a shootout AND any of the following occurs:

  • the Flames fail to win in regulation or overtime;
  • the Jets lose in any fashion; or
  • the Kings lose in any fashion.
    * The Wild also would clinch a playoff berth if they lose to the Blackhawks in overtime or a shootout AND any of the following occurs:

  • the Kings lose in regulation;
  • the Kings lose in overtime or a shootout AND the Jets lose in regulation;
  • both the Flames and Kings lose in any fashion; or
  • the Flames lose in any fashion AND the Jets lose in regulation.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Zucker May Return to Wild Sooner than Expected



The Minnesota Wild received some really good news. Their speedy forward Jason Zucker may return to the lineup sooner than expected. In 48 games, Zucker has scored (18g-5a—23pts). Zucker's 18 goals rank him fourth on the team in goal scoring despite missing the last 24 games.
Rachel Blount, Star Tribune – After watching Jason Zucker skate through a full-throttle practice Friday, Mike Yeo was asked if the timetable for the Wild winger’s return had been accelerated. The coach said no, then added — although with lots of qualifiers — that the answer might be an unexpected yes.

“Kind of eyeing possibly the last couple of games [of the regular season],” Yeo said. “But we’ll make sure on that first.”

Translation: Zucker, who broke his collarbone on Feb. 9 and wasn’t expected to play for three months, might be back in the lineup next week. Though it was hardly definitive, Yeo’s pronouncement was so surprising that he was asked to clarify it, just to ensure he had been heard correctly. After saying for the past couple of weeks that Zucker was still “a ways away” from getting the green light to play again, Yeo now hopes to get him into the lineup during the three-game road trip that ends the regular season.

The popular winger was clearly overjoyed to hold his own during a demanding, fast-paced practice at St. Thomas Ice Arena. Yeo was almost as happy as Zucker was.

Monday, March 23, 2015

(Video) Dion Phaneuf and Kyle Brodziak Fight



Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf and Minnesota Wild forward Kyle Brodziak drop the mitts. I would say that this was a good fight. I am actually surprised that Phaneuf fought.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Wes Walz explains the Hockey Code: Chris Stewart fights Cody McLeod



FSN hockey analyst and former NHLer Wes Walz breaks down the Hockey code after Chris Stewart fights Cody McLeod. I am very excited the Minnesota Wild picked up a tough guy that can actually fight and play the game.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Differing Opinions of the Wild Dismantling the Av's



As I mentioned yesterday, I am not anti-fighting. I understand the hockey code and I don't think fighting should be taken out of the NHL game. I recently covered this subject in another post at the Hockey Writers.
the NHL game is evolving, and fighting is becoming less prevalent. That’s a positive development. In today’s game, there’s not a lot of room on an NHL roster for a five shift, four-minute player that can only fight.

Okay, in Scott’s defense, over the past five games that he’s played in, the Sharks behemoth has averaged about six minutes a game. That being said, the Sharks have seen little if any production from him. He’s taking up space in the lineup.

Teams no longer can afford to have a tough guy taking up space on the player’s bench. One dimensional players like Scott are a dying breed. So why is a player like Scott still in the NHL?


That being said, what Cody McLeod did at the end of Saturday's game needs to be addressed further. It was a bush league move that should cause him to be fined and or suspended. I predict nothing will happen to Mr. McLeod. According to Michael Russo, the NHL will announce today the Colorado fines for Patrick Roy, Gabriel Landeskog and Cody McLeod.

For those that think that Sean Bergenheim hit on Nathan Mackinnon was dirty, go back and watch the video of Bergenheim's hit on Nathan Mackinnon. This was a textbook example of a clean shoulder-to-chest. Nothing more, nothing less.

I found this blog post on Mile High City and this paragraph is worth reading just to get the other side of the argument. I also found it comical that Avs fans are calling Minnesota a dirty team. The Wild don't even have a designated pugilist and their agitator Matt Cooke is currently on the IR. I have watched 85-90 percent of the Wild's games this season and they are not a dirty team. Especially with Cooke out of the Wild lineup.

If you’re keeping track at home, Kyle Brodziak (4) and Ryan Carter (3) lead the Wild in fighting majors. Those two are hardly heavy weights.
MacKinnon just got elbowed in the face and is bleeding all over the ice. Heads straight to the locker room. No call because these refs are completely overwhelmed by this game. Avs do get a call in their favor...somewhere but I missed it completely. Avs on the PP. Avs PP continues to be more flaccid than a stale banana. Barrie taking all kinds of chances pinching and Iggy does a great job getting back to help mitigate a Wild 2-on-1. Avs running out of time real quick now. (PS on second look, MacKinnon looks to have received a shoulder to the face, not an elbow. I retract my officiating complaints, sort of). (Mile High Hockey)
Maybe the refs didn't call it because it was a legal hit.

Hockey is a physical game and injuries happen as are result of physical contact. Again, this was a legal textbook shoulder-to-chest hit. The players own stick breaks his nose. How does this act warrant McLeod jumping two of the Wild's star players? It doesn't. Also, goons taking a run at star players that don't fight breaks the hockey code. It's a bush league act.

I also think that the NHL doesn't want neanderthal goons taking runs at star players because one of the players was hurt with a legal check or because the other team doesn't want to fight. That's not the Wild game.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Cody McLeod Jumps Mikael Granlund and Fights Charlie Coyle

I want to be clear, I am all for fighting and sticking up for your teammates. I get that, but what the heck is Cody McLeod doing? Or better yet, what is Avalanche coach Patrick Roy doing?

My question is: Wouldn't this be an intent to injure? McLeod took a run against an unexpecting player after the faceoff. I don't know?

Second, Charlie Coyle and Mikael Granlund are skilled players, they're not goons. You really don't want to see Coyle or Granlund stuck in this situation.



If you're a Minnesota Wild, you're probably talking about this today. The Minnesota Wild the Colorado Avalanche are at it yet again. In four games against the Wild the Avalanche has scored a grand total of one goal.
There are rules in place to prevent what McLeod did, but you need the refs to actually call it.

“That’s garbage is what it is,” Yeo said of McLeod’s antics. “You feel it was going that way all game long. They were obviously very emotional all game long. In an emotional type of game, we did a good job of keeping our focus and I really think that was the difference in the end.”

Asked what he thought of Roy putting out McLeod, Yeo said, “We’ve seen the league respond to things like this. There’s rules in place to try to prevent things like that and I’m quite certain that they’ll take a good long look at that.”

We’ll see if the league does examine this and determines the only thing that kept this from being an instigator with less than five minutes left is that the refs decided not levy one for some unexplained reason. (Michael Russo, StarTribune)
Apparently, Av's coach Patrick Roy sent their goon out at the end of the game because of a legal shoulder-to-chest hit.



If you don't believe me that this is a legal hit check out the GIFs embedded below.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Nino Niederreiter's Game-Winning Goal Against the Predators



Check out this is a sweet goal by Minnesota Wild forward Nino Niederreiter. That's the 20th goal of the season for Niederreiter. Nino would score his 21st of the year to ice the game for the Wild. Finally, 21 goals is a career high for Niederreiter.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Minnesota Wild: Zucker and Carter on the IR

Last night’s win against the Vancouver Canucks proved to be very costly. The Wild lost Jason Zucker and Ryan Carter to upper-body injuries. Both players were placed on injured reserve.  
Michael Russo, Startribune – The Wild lost Zucker and Carter to upper-body injuries in the first period.

“We should not expect them back in the lineup in the near future,” coach Mike Yeo ominously said after the Wild’s sixth consecutive regulation win pulled the now 9th-place team (8-1-1 in its past 10 overall) within three points of a playoff spot and six points of Winnipeg heading into Tuesday’s game in northern Minnesota (Manitoba).

I’m told Carter was in a sling after the game and personally it looked to me that Zucker also sustained a shoulder injury. The Wild’s 18-goal scorer (17 even-strength goals) got jolted pretty good chasing a loose puck along the wall by defenseman Luca Sbisa. A few minutes before, Carter crashed hard into the boards after being checked by defenseman Yannick Weber.

The Wild had to use 10 forwards for 50-plus minutes tonight and did look like they started to get gassed late in the game. Jason Pominville credited coach Mike Yeo for helping navigate a convoluted bench as Yeo had to mix and match forward lines all night.
Losing Jason Zucker could prove costly for the Wild.  Zucker's 18 goals makes him the second leading goal scorer for the Minnesota Wild.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Minnesota Wild: Goalie Devan Dubnyk Stops Justin Schultz (video)



Check out this amazing save by Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk as he stops former Wisconsin Badger and current Edmonton Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz. I guess if I was the Wild general manager, I would be looking for a way to Cut Niklas Backstrom and signing Dubnyk.

Rob Klinkhammer's knee-to-knee hit on Matt Cooke (Gif)


I suppose there's not a lot of people that are going to feel sorry for Minnesota Wild forward Matt Cook. I also don't blame them, but this isn't a clean hit at all. This is a dirty knee-to-knee leg check.

Minnesota Wild: Zach Parise Takes A Puck To Mouth In Edmontonb (Video & Vine)



The life of a hockey players is tough. It looks like Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise lost some teeth in this incident because he bends over to pick them up off of the ice. My mouth hurts watching this. Check out the vine embedded below, it illustrates this really well.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Minnesota Wild to get an Outdoor Game



It appears that the Minnesota Wild are finally getting an outdoor game next winter. This is good news for Minnesota Wild fans. First thing that popped into my head: is there's going to be a college hockey outdoor game as well? I am hoping.




Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Suter Gets Two Games

The Department of Player Safety has made the ruling that Minnesota Wild defenseman, Ryan Suter, will be given a two game suspension for his hit to the head on Penguins player Steve Downie.

The hit would happen in the second period of Tuesday night's contest when Suter and Downie were battling for a puck out front of the net. Suter's elbow would then come up and hit Downie in the face. For video on this, scroll down some on the blog, there is a video and a gif posted.

This is the first offense for Suter and will miss the game tomorrow night in Buffalo and Saturday's Hockey Day Minnesota celebration at Xcel Energy Center against the Arizona Coyotes. I guess when it rains, it pours for the Minnesota Wild. I think the team has finally hit its rock bottom.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Wild Struggles Calls for Change



After a December to forget, the Minnesota Wild still are carrying their struggles into the new year after two more losses to San Jose and Chicago. One may think it is time to make some kind of change, but where that is the question?

You can first point the finger at the goaltending as of late. Between Darcy Kuemper and Niklas Backstrom, the two have combined for the second worst save percentage in the entire NHL. Whether they find a goalie through free agency, or they make a trade for one, and hopefully soon, the goalies need to step up, or step back for some new blood in the line up. What they are doing now does not seem to be working too well.

What options are available you might ask? Two goalies come to mind right away for me. James Reimer out of Toronto and Cam Ward out of Carolina. Both of these goalies are proven number one goalies and both would not be that expensive to get either. Also don't forget that Cam Ward is a Stanley Cup winner as well.

One can not forget about Anti Raanta in Chicago either. Corey Crawford is the solid number one there and Raanta is nearing the end of his contract. His .944 save percentage might just be what the Minnesota Wild need in the blue paint to make that push for the playoffs.

A big defenseman is also something that needs to be looked at in the Wild line-up as well. This is a team that lacks grit and a physical presence throughout the line-up, but who to get, that's the other question?

Both Mike Greene out of Washington and Paul Martin out of Pittsburgh are UFA's at the end of the upcoming season and both would be a solid veteran presence on the blue line for the stretch run. Aside from that, there really is not much to expect from a possible trade stand point as of right now to address the lack of veteran presence on the blue line for the Wild.

Finally, the lack of chemistry throughout the forward line-up seems to be a big issue as well. Thomas Vanek can not seem to click with anyone, making his signing seem like one that was wasted by the franchise. Also Jason Pominville can not seem to get going this season either. Now I don't know what happened, but for as talented as the forward roster is, you would think goals would be coming a bit easier than what they are getting right now.

Something needs to change, and very fast for this struggling Minnesota Wild team, or it is gonna leave many experts, and fans alike frustrated, and scratching their heads because this is a team that should easily make the playoffs this season, but are a team that probably will not as of right now.

Blame lies with Wild Goalies



I think that Minnesota head coach Mike Yeo should direct a majority of his anger at the Minnesota Wild goaltenders. No sugar coating it, they've been absolutely brutal. Maybe the Wild front office should have gone out and signed a starting goalie in the offseason, too? Backstrom and Kuemper couldn't stop a beach ball if they had to.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Minnesota Wild: Thomas Vanek Boards Marcus Kruger (Video)



First, I want to be clear, I think Minnesota Wild forward Thomas Vanek is a good hockey player that's having a tough season.

Hoever, this is a stupid penalty that cost the Wild a goal. There's no reason for Vanek to hit Chicago Blackhawks forward Marcus Kruger in the numbers like that. Kruger doesn't even have the puck. For his efforts, Vanek received a five-minute major for boarding.

I wouldn't be shocked if Vanek has a hearing with the NHL's Department of Player Safety.

12:05 Thomas Vanek Boarding (maj) - 5 min against Marcus Kruger

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo Goes off on Team



This was long over due. Finally, Mike Yeo has seen enough garbage and bravo sierra from his hockey team.

After losing 8-of-10 games, Yeo went off on his team at practice today. You can tell by the video, that Yeo uses a lot of course language. Yeo explained his emotional out burst after practice.



Again, I think this response is long over due. This should have happened about five games ago. There is way to much talent on this team to be sitting out of a playoff spot. If the Wild don't pick it up soon, they're going to miss the playoffs. I also believe if the Wild don't recover soon, Yeo is going to be the former head coach of the Minnesota Wild.