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Category: Minnesota-Wild

Can The Wild Get Out Of The Gate Quickly?

from Rachel Blount of the Star Tribune,

If the Wild is to return to the playoffs after missing out last season, it cannot afford to get out of the gate slowly. Still, it’s impossible to predict just how soon this promising roster can get Richards’ system into its bones—and rid itself of the defense-first style that had become as natural as breathing. Center Mikko Koivu and left winger Andrew Brunette haven’t played a game yet because of injuries, and Pierre-Marc Bouchard, James Sheppard, Benoit Pouliot and Shane Hnidy also have missed valuable ice time.

When they haven’t skated, the coaches have been teaching them the fine points of a more aggressive, attacking offense by diagramming plays on a board and showing them video. But such a philosophical shift requires repetition in the crucible of competition in order to lock it in. Richards hopes his players’ experience and savvy can help them get up to speed quickly, particularly with the major changes on special teams.

more

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

Havlat Stays Loose

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

But one player who has avoided the injury thus far is Martin Havlat.

As Havlat says, “Knock on wood.”

After problems earlier in Havlat’s career, he seems to have solved the issue. Chicago Blackhawks assistant coach John Torchetti said he thinks he knows why.

“Nobody prepares before a game or a practice more than ‘Grizzly,’” Torchetti said of Havlat. “His prepractice and pregame stretch is one of the most intense things I’ve ever seen. Forty minutes, and it’s more rigorous than most people’s workouts.”

While some players do some quick stretching and then hop on the ice, Havlat commits himself to showing up well before practices and games. In an attempt to survive practices or games injury-free, Havlat then puts himself through his sweat-filled regimen.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: martin+havlat

Hard To Shake ‘Lemaire’ Mode

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

Against the Blues, (Todd) Richards found the Wild retreating and making stretch passes to the far blue line, a staple of previous coach Jacques Lemaire.

“It’s a little frustrating and a little disappointing,” Richards said.

Richards, making clear he wasn’t disrespecting Lemaire, said Thursday morning he was finding it hard deprogramming Lemaire’s methods.

more

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Injuries A Concern For The Wild

from Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune,

Wild coach Todd Richards admitted after Monday night’s 5-1 exhibition loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets that he’s worried about how he’s going to get his new team to perfect a brand-new system with a half-dozen or more injured players missing every day.

Wild forwards Mikko Koivu, who practiced Monday, Andrew Brunette, James Sheppard, Derek Boogaard and Craig Weller, and defenseman Shane Hnidy are all “dinged up,” and against the Blue Jackets, the Wild lost Benoit Pouliot because of a strained groin.

The ice was so bad at Nationwide Arena (two Blue Jackets were hurt Monday morning), Richards benched Antti Miettinen and Kyle Brodziak for most of the third period to protect them.

read on

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

Chimera Feels Belanger Should Be Suspended

from Tom Reed of Puck-rakers,

Jason Chimera does not care that Eric Belanger’s rap sheet had been clean before Friday night’s hit from behind that sent the Blue Jackets winger off the ice on a stretcher.

He believes Belanger’s check was dirty and that it merits a suspension.

Chimera returned to Columbus on Saturday after he was held overnight in a St. Paul. Minn., hospital for observation. Belanger, a Wild center, rammed Chimera from behind—driving his face into the glass—as Chimera was trying to help teammates clear the puck from the defensive zone. Chimera’s face was driven into the ga

Chimera, who’s seen a replay, attached a graphic analogy to the hit and Belanger’s reputation as a clean player.

“It was a cheap hit, it was a dirty play,” Chimera said.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: eric+belanger, jason+chimera

Afternoon Line

Ken Hitchcock on how visiting teams are ushered around Xcel Energy Center: “It’s quicker getting through Canadian customs.”

via Michael Russo’s Twitter....

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+hitchcock

Wild Sellout Streak In Danger

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

The NHL’s longest active sellout streak is in danger of ending.

The Wild has sold out all 365 home games in franchise history, including the preseason and postseason, but as the Wild opens the preseason tonight against Columbus, there are tickets available for every game this season.

“We have struggled to renew season tickets in the same way we always do, which is 95 percent plus,” Wild Chief Operating Officer Matt Majka said.

continued

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

Boogaard Gets Advice From Datsyuk

from Bruce Brothers of the Pioneer Press,

So, while rehabbing after shoulder surgery this summer with Jeremy Clark, whose organization in Eagan provides instruction in core strength training, judo and other martial arts, Boogaard seized the chance to go to Russia and work with Detroit Red Wings all-star forward Pavel Datsyuk.

He accompanied Clark, the strength and conditioning coach for Datsyuk’s hockey camps in Yekaterinburg, formerly known as Sverdlovsk, and spent 18 days soaking up tips from one of the NHL’s best two-way players.

“The stuff he can do is just unbelievable,” Boogaard said, noting that Datsyuk also worked with kids ages 10-12 who were able to produce what he labeled “mind-boggling” moves on the ice.

Datsyuk freely dispensed advice to Boogaard, as well, and the native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, said the whole experience was “an eye-opener.”

Will it make him a better offensive hockey player?

Boogaard said in the understatement of the century, that he and Datsyuk “are different players.” Nevertheless, he added, “I feel really relaxed. I seem a little more confident.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: derek+boogaard, pavel+datsyuk

Sykora Signs With Wild

via Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,

The Wild signed winger Petr Sykora today to a one-year contract for $1.6 million. The signing leaves the team $800,000 from salary cap, meaning it’ll be much harder for forwards Colton Gillies and Andy Hilbert to make the team.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: petr+sykora

They Can Still Play, But Where Is The Question

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The news that Petr Sykora will attend the Minnesota Wild camp on a tryout basis is symbolic of the dilemma facing all the veteran NHL players that didn’t get a contract offer this summer, and opted not to play overseas in Russia:

Do they swallow their pride and - with no guarantees - try to earn a roster spot for the first time in forever? Or do they sit at home and await a firm deal and bide their time that way?

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: petr+sykora

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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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