Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Wild Want The Puck

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...

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


Be the first to comment.

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.


Notify me of follow-up comments?


Most Recent Blog Posts

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