Kukla's Korner Hockey
Kadri received 2 for goalie interference and Backstom did leave the game.
gif added 8:50pm,
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
After the Chicago Blackhawks eliminated Minnesota in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs last spring, the Wild came to a hard realization about their style.
"We weren't going to take the next step, become a serious contender, unless we changed the way we played offensively," Wild head coach Mike Yeo said Sunday. "I have bit my lip a couple of times on the bench ... but we're going to live with the risk to get more reward."
Minnesota was the ultimate dump-it-in team in 2012-13, constantly trying to put it behind the defence and chase it down. It didn't really work. Its minus-5 goal differential was the worst of any playoff team and it didn't scare the Blackhawks at all in losing the five-game series.
Through 18 games this season, though, the Wild are plus-8. Goaltender Josh Harding's unreal start is a major reason. But so is the organization's decision to try and play more with the puck.
Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher is a believer in advanced statistics. Behind the scenes, there is a lot of research being done on how much of an advantage it is to gain the opposing blue-line as opposed to dumping it in.
continued plus 30 Thoughts...
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
“Two 5-on-3s, you don’t score, you don’t deserve to win the game,” said a bristling Parise, who didn’t score on 21 shots on the road trip – including eight Saturday.
Jonathan Huberdeau and Brad Boyes scored in the shootout, while Parise and Koivu were stuffed by Tim Thomas as the Wild fell to 3-3-3 (nine out of a possible 18 points).
Coach Mike Yeo, who in search of offense mixed up his top three lines, told his team after the game, “We’re not a .500 team. We’re not built to be .500. We’re a better team than that. … I mean scoring chances on the season, we’re close to 2-to-1. So we could sit here and argue we deserve to be better, but the bottom line is we’re not.”
The Wild can’t ask more from Josh Harding, who made 21 saves. He leads the NHL with a 1.11 goals against average and has given up seven goals in seven appearances. Yet he’s only 3-2-1. The Wild has allowed a league-low five 5-on-5 goals (one by Harding) and league-low 21.8 shots per game.
“We’ve got to score more,” Suter said matter-of-factly. “Everyone has to contribute offensively. Everyone has to pick it up. Defense, offensive guys, everyone. When the goalie holds it to one goal against, you’ve got to get those wins for him. It’s a damn shame.”
I really do not enjoy pointing out stories regarding Kaleta, Lapierre and others and I do know the writers have a job to do, but I would rather pointing out names like Datsyuk, Crosby, Stamkos, etc.
There is so much good in this game but it seems the bad grabs the headlines.
Until the NHL, Owners, GMs, coaches and NHLPA start showing some real respect to the fans and the game itself, this is what we get...
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Matt Cooke saw Patrick Kaleta waiting for former Sabres teammate Jason Pominville after Monday night’s game in Buffalo, so he decided to introduce himself.
The two players didn’t know each other.
But knowing that Kaleta faced an in-person hearing with Brendan Shanahan the next day, Cooke wanted to let Kaleta know that he knew how he felt.
"I told him, 'I’ve been there, it’s not fun.’ It’s hard," Cooke told ESPN.com Tuesday night after his Minnesota Wild lost 4-1 in Toronto.
The real reason Cooke wanted to say hi was he had a message for him.
"I laid it out there that if he wants to know what I did, I’d gladly talk to him about it," said Cooke, the NHL’s poster boy as proof former repeat offenders can reform....
“After every game, we look at our lines and we say what do we need to do going forward, and every game we’ll evaluate it. I’m not going to say he’s at his best right now. I’m not, for sure.
“But I also know that he’s capable of more, and I also know that we need him right now. It’s easy to say, ‘Let’s just take him out,’ but with who? Who do you put in instead? The easy thing to do is for us to just give up, but that’s not what we’re going to do. We’re going to keep trying to push him and keep trying to get him better and keep trying to work with him because we know what he’s capable of.”
-Mike Yeo, head coach of the Minnesota Wild on Dany Heatley. More on Heatley and the Wild from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune.
Collars are tightening though. Anxiety will infiltrate this locker room if wins don’t start coming, yes, even though it is a long season. Fans tweeting me are already freaking and calling for heads.
-Michael Russo of Russo's Rants. The Wild have no wins, three losses and two loser points.
from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,
Recently, coach Barry Trotz has been exasperating the situation by saying he hopes Nashville always kicks the Wild’s butt because they “stole” Suter and calling on the fans to keep booing the Norris Trophy runner-up from a year ago.
To get him ready for tonight, Suter’s Minnesota teammates humorously booed him during the morning skate the first time he touched the puck.
Suter and Trotz ran into each other before the skates today.
“He said, ‘I thought you liked me?’ I do like Ryan. I just know Section 303’s not going to let him off the hook. So I’ve just played along with it,” Trotz said. “Ryan’s a big part of our history. He’s an exceptional defenseman, and we know it. One thing you’ll find out about the Nashville fans, they are passionate.
“Ryan is like one of our family, seeing him as an 18-year-old, but he’s the enemy now. So if they want to stay tough on them, that’ll be 303’s decision, not mine. But I read all the blogs. I’m pretty sure he’s not going to be let off the hook for awhile.”
What do you think, should the goal have counted?
Me? I am all for goals, let them all count unless it is thrown in the net!
added 8:44pm, via the Situation Room Blog at NHL.com,
At 1:04 of the first period in the Kings/Wild game, video review confirmed the referee's call on the ice that Kyle Brodziak's shot deflected off Matt Cooke's skate and into the net in a legal fashion. The determining factor was that the speed of the puck propelled it into the net and that Cooke's skate only redirected it. According to Rule 49.2 "A puck that deflects into the net off an attacking player's skate who does not use a distinct kicking motion is a legitimate goal." Good goal Minnesota.
SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has signed forward Jason Pominville to a five-year contract extension, through the 2018-19 season.
Pominville, 30 (11/30/82), ranks tied for 19th in the NHL in assists (with Mikko Koivu) and 26th in scoring since the start of the 2007-08 season. He also ranks tied for ninth in the NHL with 530 games played since the start of the 2006-07 campaign. The 2012 NHL All-Star has recorded 465 points (189-276=465), including 43 power-play goals, 21 game-winning tallies, a plus-41 rating and 147 penalty minutes (PIM) in 588 regular season contests during nine seasons with Buffalo and Minnesota. The 2008 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy Finalist has added 28 points (12-16=28) in 47 career NHL playoff games. He also recorded five points (2-3=5) in seven games for Team USA, skating alongside Wild teammate Zach Parise at the 2008 IIHF World Championship.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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