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Category: Minnesota-Wild

Wild Off To A Slow Start

from Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune,

If they need help finding “celebrities” to fire up the “Team of 18,000,” I am here to help.

Next game, they should bring back Doug Risebrough. That way Risebrough could get the fans riled, and then the Wild would get to fire him all over again.

Thursday night at the X, it was hard to tell if there were more empty seats or empty Wild jerseys, as the Fighting Christmas Trees played pathetically while losing 5-2 to the beat-up Canucks.

There are four prime figures you could blame for the Wild’s lousy play so far: Risebrough, new GM Chuck Fletcher, old coach Jacques Lemaire or new coach Todd Richards.

Richards is the easiest to pick on because his players have looked so confused and tentative, but every rookie coach should get a little time to learn on the job.

read on

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

Wild Relax, Start Winning

from Bruce Brothers of the Pioneer Press,

After dropping eight of their 10 previous games, the Wild had a relaxed optional practice Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center followed by a loose-goosy morning skate Friday before going onto the ice and that evening and stopping the New York Rangers for a 3-2 home win.

They followed that up by having the regulars skip their morning skate on Saturday in Pittsburgh before posting a gritty 2-1 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins.

Coach Todd Richards saw the tightness when he looked at his players and when he looked in the mirror. He took steps to change that.

As part of that, the coaching staff showed video that included music and pithy commentary to the team, eliciting smiles and laughs from players who had nearly forgotten how.

read on

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

Gaborik’s Gone And So Are The Goals

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

There’s no hiding the first month of the Chuck Fletcher/Todd Richards regime was as successful as a grouse staring down the barrel of a shotgun, but, boy oh boy, the hockey gods sure had a good laugh at the Wild’s expense.

As the Wild keeps losing (it is 3-9), Gaborik keeps scoring (10 goals), although in a fitting twist of irony, Gaborik’s St. Paul homecoming is threatened tonight because of that oh-so familiar “lower body” injury. He hasn’t skated since Monday.

But let’s be honest: Gaborik’s fast start under the Broadway spotlight was as predictable as a rush-hour traffic jam through the Lincoln Tunnel.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+gaborik

Wild Coach Motivating Sykora

from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,

Regarding scratching Petr Sykora last night, Richards said he was trying to put the best team on the ice. Still, he benched Sykora for Derek Boogaard, who only got five shifts.

On Sykora: “He is a proven scorer, but there’s so much more that goes to playing the game of hockey than just finishing.”

He said the coaches went over those areas with Sykora. But Sykora told us after the coaches haven’t told him anything. Richards said he expects Sykora “to be a professional” since this isn’t the first time he’s been scratched (a lot last second half with Pittsburgh) and “have the attitude of sticking it to the coach.” But Richards said the coaches haven’t made up their mind if Sykora will play tomorrow against the Rangers.

more on the Wild…

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

Patrick Kane - Top Shelf

Kane with a laser last night.  Top corner, great shot.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrick+kane

Havlat Maybe, Sykora No & A Real Captain For The Wild

from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,

I had today off but ran into Marty Havlat and his girlfriend at a restaurant in Minneapolis. He hopes to play Wednesday against the Avalanche. He practiced today (Tuesday) but said he does want to test his groin at Wednesday’s morning skate before a final decision is made.

I talked to Rachel Blount, who covered practice today. She said Petr Sykora (groin) skated again on his own and coach Todd Richards said they’re hoping he can rejoin practice any day. He’s still day-to-day and won’t play against Colorado.

Kyle Brodziak missed practice today with what Richards called an “upper-body thing.” But Richards expects Brodziak to play against the Avs, which is why there’s such an understandably vague injury update.

Also, Jaime Sifers was reassigned to AHL Houston.

Lastly, the Wild made the obvious selection of captain with Mikko Koivu in my opinion, and not just because he deserves it, but because the Wild had the bigger picture to worry about.

more and I like the look of the new Russo’s Rants blog…

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

Bruins Will Be Rooting For Kobasew

from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,

The three ramifications: it puts every Bruin on notice that their early season malaise has consequences; it clears Kobasew’s $2.33 million hit off the cap this year and next, creating space either for an immediate deal to bolster the sagging blue line or possibly to extend center Marc Savard; and it gives Claude Julien a chance to juice the roster with a couple of hungry minor leaguers in Brad Marchand, Vlad Sobotka and Guillaume Lefebvre, all of whom were called up from Providence. It’s not a shot at Kobasew’s effort to suggest that this deal was all about addition by subtraction for the Bruins.

And maybe that’s all it was. But it wouldn’t be a surprise to hear that his former teammates will be rooting for Kobasew to provide a big boost to the Wild. At least enough of a lift to keep 29th-ranked Minnesota ahead of the last place Toronto Maple Leafs…the team whose first-round pick the Bruins own this summer.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chuck+kobasew

Wild Struggling

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

This week, the Wild might have to start up the “Save the Season” campaign because a hole—a large one—already has been dug.

Realists could have predicted a slow start to this season.

New coach. New players. New philosophy. Heavy road schedule. Often times, that equates to early-season struggles.

But even the biggest skeptics couldn’t have predicted the Wild would be swept on its five-game, 11-day road trip out west. The Wild only has the sheer incompetence of the winless Toronto Maple Leafs to thank for not being dead last in the NHL.

Of course, 29th isn’t a whole lot better.

read on

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

Wild Trade For Chuck Kobasew

from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,

The Wild has traded Craig Weller, a second-round pick and the rights to Alex Fallstrom to the Boston Bruins for forward Chuck Kobasew.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chuck+kobasew

Wild Need More Production From Their Top Players

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

Five games into the season, the pressure’s already mounting for a Wild team lacking confidence and cohesion, and parked on the Western Conference floor.

Three games into a five-game trip, the Wild has yet to win and faces its first Northwest Division meetings tonight and Saturday at the Oilers and Canucks.

If Martin Havlat misses tonight’s game because of a groin injury—he didn’t practice Thursday—the Wild will be without four of its top nine forwards—or arguably, four of its top six.

“There’s no excuses. We have to find a way. There’s a way [to win tonight],” coach Todd Richards said.

So much has been made the past few days about how youngsters James Sheppard and Benoit Pouliot must step up with so many injuries.

But the Wild needs much better play from its go-to guys as well: Havlat (one goal, minus-6), Mikko Koivu (one goal, minus-5), Brent Burns (one point, minus-7) and Kim Johnsson (minus-6).


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

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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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