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A Comprehensive Look at the 2019-20 Minnesota Wild (playoff preview featuring videos: all Goals For, all Goals Against, zone entries, scouting videos of Kevin Fiala, Alex Stalock)

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That’s some dedication- kudos to you for spending the time to research the first team we are up against.  MIN isn’t far off us “on paper”, they have a lot more experience and some very good young players too.  I agree we are definitely deeper (then most other teams too), and I’m glad that ties go to us, think they will be close games and this could end up a deciding factor.   It’s fun to debate and talk about ... hopefully hockey will come back.  The US is a bit of a mess still dealing with Covid, the players would be wise to get out of dodge and join the tournament. 

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I'm anticipating that Donato and Fiala could be a thorn in our sides. 

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Has the NHL made a decision yet on allowing the signing of drafted free agents (such as Tryamkin)? Because if they allow it, no team stands to benefit more than Minnesota. Kaprisov would be a big add, and if the one thing I think could give the Wild an advantage.

 

Failing that, I think this series is Vancouver’s to lose. Wild depend on a lot on older vets, who will likely be still trying to find their rhythm. Whereas Vancouver’s 2 MVPs have been training in Sweden throughout the pandemic. And barring a crazy streak, Markstrom is a significant advantage over Alex “Who?” Stalock and the ghost of Devan Dubnyk.

 

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MILD, meh & mediocre.

 

But IF we blew it, maybe get 1st overall?!.. Be a nice consolation-prize.

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2 hours ago, D-Money said:

Has the NHL made a decision yet on allowing the signing of drafted free agents (such as Tryamkin)? Because if they allow it, no team stands to benefit more than Minnesota. Kaprisov would be a big add, and if the one thing I think could give the Wild an advantage.

 

Failing that, I think this series is Vancouver’s to lose. Wild depend on a lot on older vets, who will likely be still trying to find their rhythm. Whereas Vancouver’s 2 MVPs have been training in Sweden throughout the pandemic. And barring a crazy streak, Markstrom is a significant advantage over Alex “Who?” Stalock and the ghost of Devan Dubnyk.

 

I think I can see candidates from each of the three major positions that could give the Wild an edge. As I mentioned earlier, I think younger guys like Donato and especially Fiala could be their best offensive players.

 

Their defense is far far better than ours, so that is a given.

 

In net, I don't see Stalock being anything better than average, but I do see a possible world where Dubnyk magically finds his old form, which would be very bad news for us.

 

All in all, I do think Vancouver has an edge, mostly in forwards (Top 6 especially) and goal. We'll see how it plays out.

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8 minutes ago, -AJ- said:

Their defense is far far better than ours, so that is a given.

That’s true. But how much better depends on how guys come back. Suter still carries a lot of weight for them. Will he need time to get up to speed, or will the break rejuvenate him?

 

And Dumba was having a tough year, having to play through his recovery. He still likely won’t be 100% until next season...but maybe the break helped him get closer?

 

If those 2 come back strong, then yes - D is a significant advantage for Minny. But if they don't it's not so much.

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Just now, D-Money said:

That’s true. But how much better depends on how guys come back. Suter still carries a lot of weight for them. Will he need time to get up to speed, or will the break rejuvenate him?

 

And Dumba was having a tough year, having to play through his recovery. He still likely won’t be 100% until next season...but maybe the break helped him get closer?

 

If those 2 come back strong, then yes - D is a significant advantage for Minny. But if they don't it's not so much.

True for sure. From what I heard, Dumba was finding his game near the end of the year, so we'll see if that continues. We can only hope Suter is worn down after being played about a million minutes of ice time over the last number of years.

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18 hours ago, Nuxfanabroad said:

MILD, meh & mediocre.

 

But IF we blew it, maybe get 1st overall?!.. Be a nice consolation-prize.

Haha, exactly how I'm looking at it.

Minnesota doesn't scare me at all, and worst case we blow it and keep our 1st rounder. Let's have some fun with it.

 

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53 minutes ago, Hairy Kneel said:

What if Green plays an egg in this one?

If he does not ice a team to win,  he will be called out on it..    and by that I mean every able body to choose from is above Eriksson.

 

anybody who puts up a defensive play argument for him is putting the puck in our own net.

 

This series if it goes is all about an offence that can win it, and a rotation of 4 healthy lines.

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36 minutes ago, SilentSam said:

If he does not ice a team to win,  he will be called out on it..    and by that I mean every able body to choose from is above Eriksson.

 

anybody who puts up a defensive play argument for him is putting the puck in our own net.

 

This series if it goes is all about an offence that can win it, and a rotation of 4 healthy lines.

Arguably the deepest forward group we’ve had since 2011 with everyone healthy.

 

Green should have no problem icing four effective lines without Eriksson in.

 

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1 hour ago, DeNiro said:

Arguably the deepest forward group we’ve had since 2011 with everyone healthy.

 

Green should have no problem icing four effective lines without Eriksson in.

 

Also it will be to see how he adjusts our lines under pressure.  Game to game adjustments especially if someone like Fiala goes nuts out there.

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25 minutes ago, Hairy Kneel said:

Also it will be to see how he adjusts our lines under pressure.  Game to game adjustments especially if someone like Fiala goes nuts out there.

Yea I wonder if he’ll be focused on line matching like AV used to or if he’s comfortable going top line vs top line.

 

I would think a smart strategy would be to have guys like Sutter/Roussel/Ferland/Virtanen shadow guys like Parise and Fiala and hit them every time they touch the puck plus get under their skin.

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2 hours ago, DeNiro said:

Yea I wonder if he’ll be focused on line matching like AV used to or if he’s comfortable going top line vs top line.

 

I would think a smart strategy would be to have guys like Sutter/Roussel/Ferland/Virtanen shadow guys like Parise and Fiala and hit them every time they touch the puck plus get under their skin.

Stick Jake on his hip. Hit him often. I like that strategy. 

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7 hours ago, DeNiro said:

Yea I wonder if he’ll be focused on line matching like AV used to or if he’s comfortable going top line vs top line.

 

I would think a smart strategy would be to have guys like Sutter/Roussel/Ferland/Virtanen shadow guys like Parise and Fiala and hit them every time they touch the puck plus get under their skin.

 

The Wild after the game in Minnesota said that Vancouver was looking for physical play and it actually helped them win. Both Foligno and Hartman talked about that.  Boudreau talked of how Virtanen fighting Zucker sparked them.  He took a beating and it go the rest of the team's attention and willing to sacrifice.

 

Parise was recently telling how one of his earlier coach (I think at college) told him to just stay focused and that whenever he reacted his game fell off.  Parise is a net front goal scorer.  He is used to it.

 

Boudreau talked to Fiala once he started breaking out.  He told him that star players learn how to play through the increased attention.  They don't let hits and abuse throw them off their game and that he can't also be hoping for the calls.  Basically suck it up and play.

 

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5 hours ago, Hairy Kneel said:

Stick Jake on his hip. Hit him often. I like that strategy. 

I think Jake would be excited to have that role. He loves to hit, but it seems like the coach has had him on a tight leash in that area for a long time. Like "put yourself out of position/give up a scoring chance against, or take a bad penalty, and you will be riding the pine." 

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On 6/21/2020 at 10:46 AM, D-Money said:

That’s true. But how much better depends on how guys come back. Suter still carries a lot of weight for them. Will he need time to get up to speed, or will the break rejuvenate him?

 

And Dumba was having a tough year, having to play through his recovery. He still likely won’t be 100% until next season...but maybe the break helped him get closer?

 

If those 2 come back strong, then yes - D is a significant advantage for Minny. But if they don't it's not so much.

 

Spurgeon and Brodin were arguably more valuable than Dumba/Suter.

 

Suter was getting injections to be able to play in January - he really needed the All Star break but not sure if his injury persisted through the rest of the season.

 

Dumba was more of a hindrance than an asset this season but did start to play better towards the end.  Him playing better would just be found money.

 

Despite his struggles the Wild were among the very best teams defensively but let down by goaltending.  Heat maps, advanced stats and more elaborate tracking technology all have the Wild among the very best and the Canucks among the worse defensively.  Goaltending was the difference.

 

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