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Category: Minnesota-Wild

Fight Leads To Wild Comeback

from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,

Wild down 3-zip. Playing absolutely hideously. Coughing up pucks. Giving up 2-on-1’s and 3-on-2’s and even an astonishing 4-on-1. Getting zero done in the offensive zone.

And then … a couple choice words during the second intermission and a fight, and the first-ever Wild comeback from three goals down in the third for a W.

Yes, I know there are people who hate fights, but tonight, there was an example about what a fight can do to a hockey game.

Kinda like when Stephane Veilleux got goaded into fighting Dion Phaneuf in Calgary once when the Wild was ahead 3-0, George Parros decided to fight John Scott. Well the 6-foot-8 Scott absolutely clocked the experienced fighter with a right uppercut. He went down, and for the first time in the game that wasn’t Carlos Gomez scoring at the Metrodome, the Wild fans had reason to cheer.

And, said Todd Richards, “It stirred up some emotion on the bench.”

more and watch the lengthy highlights of the game below…

Continue Reading »

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

Pierre-Marc Bouchard Suffering From Headaches

via Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,

Wild GM Chuck Fletcher just announced that center/winger Pierre-Marc Bouchard came to coach Todd Richards after this morning’s skate to tell him he’s still not feeling well and had trouble sleeping last night with recurring headaches.

He’s been taken out of the lineup and the Wild will “seek out some medical solutions.”

Bouchard missed much of training camp with what was said to be an illness. He was dropping hints the last week to the media that he wondered if he had a concussion and “was not 100 percent.” He missed the last eight games of last season with a concussion.

Fletcher made clear that he doesn’t think it’s a concussion and that “he had a virus and the bloodwork showed he had a virus” and was telling the team he was feeling better.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pierre-marc+bouchard

Havlat Brings His Game To Minnesota

from Bruce Brothers of the Pioneer Press,

Martin Havlat is no Marian Gaborik.

Many associated with the Wild believe that’s a good thing.

When Gaborik, the Wild’s all-time scoring leader and all-time leader in groin injuries, skated away to the New York Rangers through free agency last summer, Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher moved quickly to obtain Havlat, another Eastern European scoring sensation whose statistics are similar to Gabby’s.

Said Fletcher: “They’re different hockey players. The intention wasn’t to replace Marian Gaborik, but (Havlat) was one of the top free agents available.”

At 28, Havlat is “entering the prime of his career,” Fletcher noted. “He’s a talented player, a player who was nearly a point-a-game player in Chicago last season, a dynamic offensive player. He can score goals, but he’s also a terrific playmaker.”


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

A Successful ‘Team’

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

...as the Wild officially begins its next chapter tonight against the Blue Jackets, the new regime—GM Chuck Fletcher and coach Todd Richards—promises collaboration.

“He still will have final say on line combinations and usage of players and I’ll still have final say on trades and player signings,” said Fletcher, beginning his 17th year in the NHL and first as a full-time, non-interim GM. “But to think we operate independently of each other in today’s NHL is naïve and really dangerous.

“Maybe I have a different perspective because I grew up the son of a very successful NHL GM [Cliff Fletcher] who had terrific relationships with his coaches. But I believe if the coach and the manager are not completely in synch and supportive of each other in terms of decision-making, you have no chance of being successful.”

more plus some interesting notes on some Risebrough/Lemaire issues when they were with Minnesota…

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

Off The Ice

Don’t miss the newest episode of NHL Network’s ‘Off the Ice’ featuring Henrik Lundqvist, Niklas Backstrom, and Jonas Gustavsson.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: henrik+lundqvist, jonas+gustavsson., niklas+backstrom

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.


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.


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

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.


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

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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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