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Category: Minnesota-Wild

Minnesota’s Goaltending Situation

from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,

So if you’re Chuck Fletcher, what do you do? If it were me, I’d ride out Kuemper but go out and get some insurance because of Josh Harding’s absence and Niklas Backstrom’s abdominal issue.

Lots of rumors out there tonight that Buffalo will try to flip Jaroslav Halak, whom it acquired from St. Louis today in a package for Ryan Miller, to Minnesota. There’s no doubt Fletcher’s good buddy Tim Murray will try. The impression I got internally though today from the organization is it has little interest in Halak.

We’ll see.

The Wild has inquired about Cam Ward and Martin Brodeur and has had Ilya Bryzgalov offered to them. There’s also Tim Thomas.

It’ll be interesting to see how Fletcher proceeds because while the Wild needs another goalie as insurance, how do you not continue to go with Kuemper as the No. 1?

read on for the Wild win in Vancouver...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Minnesota Wild Looking To Upgrade

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

“Like every team, we have needs, but this year is interesting because with the cap situation so tight on every team, you’re probably only going to be able to address one need,” Fletcher said. “It’s going to be hard to go out and do everything, so you almost need to pick the most pressing.

“We could probably use upgrades, but we’ve become a pretty tight-knit team through this last stretch, so I’d be very comfortable finishing the season with the team we have.”

If Fletcher had to pick one need?

“We’re a team still in the bottom six offensively, yet over the last month and a half, we’re averaging three goals a game. So you want to be a little careful there and decide if you need to really go out and get scoring,” he said.

“I like the way we defend and we have decent depth, but you could always use another defenseman. We have to figure out our goaltending situation, but we like our depth there, too. So throughout our lineup, we’ve had better depth, which is why we’ve been able to overcome all our injuries.

“But that’s not to say you can’t get better depth and find a way to upgrade a particular position.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Shea Weber For The Hart?

from John Manasso of Fox Sports Tennessee,

With defenseman Shea Weber getting hotter and hotter since the middle of December, Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz has increasingly begun making the case for Weber to win the Norris Trophy, given to the NHL's top defenseman.

In recent weeks Weber has almost single-handedly powered the Predators back into the playoff race — his three-point game at Philadelphia on Jan. 16 and two-goal game last Friday against New Jersey stand out as prime examples of his singular contributions in victories — all of which has lent more credence to Trotz's claims while also providing some food for thought.

Unless the Predators make the playoffs, Weber will have a hard time winning the Norris. However, if Nashville does make the playoffs, is it possible that Weber is worthy of an even larger prize? Perhaps he is an even better candidate for the Hart Trophy.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: shea+weber

Zach Parise Named Team USA Captain

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Zach Parise (Minneapolis, Minn./Minnesota Wild/University of North Dakota), who served as an alternate captain for the silver medal-winning 2010 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team, has been named captain of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team it was announced today by USA Hockey. Parise is in his second season as an alternate captain with the National Hockey League's Minnesota Wild.

The XXII Olympic Winter Games will be held Feb. 7-23 in Sochi, Russia. The United States plays Slovakia in its first game Feb. 13.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+usa, zach+parise

After Missing 14 Games, Zach Parise Returns Tonight Against Chicago

from Kent Youngblood at Russo's Rants,

Parise said he’s confident the foot has healed, that there is no risk of re-injuring it simply by playing. He also said he feels worlds better than the first time he returned and tried to play through the injury. “It’s night and day how much better I feel,” he said. “That’s a good sign. It still hurts a little bit at times. It gets sore after {skating]. But it feels better than it did before when I was playing. The biggest test will be playing in a game.’’

Wild coach Mike Yeo said he and his staff will monitor Parise closely. Parise is not necessarily on a minutes limit, but Yeo will keep track of how he’s playing and where his conditioning is.

“No. 1, we want him on the ice,” Yeo said. “We have to get him back in there, and we wouldn’t be putting him in the lineup if he wasn’t ready. …  We’ll monitor it as far as how he’s doing conditioning-wise and how he looks out there. But we have to get him out there and back to playing his best hockey.’’...

“He’s going to help us with puck possession, which will help us get more pucks to the net,” Yeo said. “The way he hounds pucks, his work ethic, his skill level, executing, his skill level? We’re talking about a guy who consistently puts five-plus shots on the board. For a team that’s been having a tough time getting shots, that’s enormous.’’

more including a picture of Parise wearing the official Team USA apparel.  As Younblood notes, the hockey team will miss both the opening and closing ceremonies at Sochi.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: zach+parise

Eugene Melnyk Continues His ‘Forensics’ Work

from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,

I talked to Matt Cooke today about Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk and GM Bryan Murray meeting at league headquarters yesterday to reportedly present its forensics findings from an investigation into Melnyk’s contention that Cooke intentionally sliced defenseman Erik Karlsson’s Achilles’ tendon with his skate Feb. 13, 2013.

Here is Bruce Garrioch's story from the Ottawa Sun today.

A league source told me that whatever discussion the Sens’ brass had with the league, it won’t affect Cooke retroactively nor the Wild. Cooke played for Pittsburgh at the time of the incident.

Cooke told me of the alleged forensics presentation: “I think it’s really strange. It’s almost a full year ago that it happened. I’ve said this from the beginning and I still say it. It was a complete accident. It’s happened two or three times since with other guys (Toronto’s Dave Bolland severed a tendon from Vancouver’s Zack Kassian in November and a week after the Cooke-Karlsson incident, Winnipeg’s Zach Redmond had an artery in his thigh cut by teammate, former Wild Antti Miettinen, late in a practice at Carolina).”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: matt+cooke

Mikko Koivu Out A Month After Ankle Surgery

via the Minnesota Wild,

Mikko Koivu underwent successful surgery this morning to repair an ankle fracture suffered Saturday night vs. Washington. Koivu is expected to make a full recovery and return to play in approximately four weeks.

The captain was placed on Injured Reserve this morning. He currently leads the team in points with 35 (8-27=35) through 44 games this season.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mikko+koivu

Now What Minnesota?

from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,

Mike Yeo opened his postgame news conference saying this feels like “Groundhog Day.”

It was something I know we can all agree with.

The losses keep mounting, the answers are all the same, we’re running out of questions.

“Winning cures everything,” defenseman Ryan Suter said after Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to St. Louis. “You win games, you build confidence. We have to find a way, any way possible, and then you build off of that.”

The Wild’s now 5-12-1 in its past 18 (11 points out of the last 36 available) and has lost six in a row in regulation for the first time in its 13-year history.

There’s now two games left in the homestand against Buffalo and Washington, which means Yeo’s job security is getting flimsier and flimsier. But there’s no doubt he’s going to keep showing up and working to try to get the Wild out of this until owner Craig Leipold and GM Chuck Fletcher tell him otherwise.

I’m pretty confident Yeo will be behind the bench against the Sabres.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Wild Blow A Three Goal Lead

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

The locker room was silent and crestfallen — a common postgame environment lately for the imploding Wild.

But this time, it was different. Stunned players sat with blank “What just happened?” looks after the Wild, in desperate need of a victory, somehow blew a three-goal lead at home Sunday night to a New York Islanders team that is near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, played the night before and deployed its backup goalie.

Wild players were booed off the ice by many of the announced 18,851 irritated spectators after the 5-4 loss. The besieged coach had a hard time finding words. The scrutinized captain didn’t know what to say either.

“There’s no explanations,” said Mikko Koivu, who assisted on goals by Jonas Brodin and Nino Niederreiter on back-to-back, first-line shifts to give the Wild a 3-0 lead only 2 minutes, 59 seconds into the second period. “It just can’t happen. If you ask what happened, I really don’t know right now. I don’t want to say things that I don’t mean.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Update On Zach Parise’s Foot Injury

from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,

Zach Parise continues to work hard off the ice but is not allowed to be on it. I don’t think we’re going to see him for awhile. I don’t know what awhile means, but I hear the latest MRI he had showed a fracture in his foot that didn’t show up the first time around.

Typically stress fractures take four to six weeks. Knowing Parise, it won’t take that long and this shouldn’t affect his Olympic status, but coach Mike Yeo has changed his tune the past few days and stopped calling it day-to-day.

“We’ve got to keep him off the ice until it starts to feel better and then we might have to keep him off a little bit longer,” Yeo said this morning. “We just have make sure he gets a full opportunity to heal. It’s a long season and we need him to have the opportunity to go out and perform and compete at the level that he’s capable of.

“He’s been really grinding it out there. He’s such a competitor, he wants to be in the lineup and it’s been extremely difficult for him. We have to give him a lot of credit for that, but at the same time, we’ve got to make sure he gets better."

more on the Wild...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: zach+parise

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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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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