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Category: Minnesota-Wild

Carney Sets The Tone For Wild “D”

from the Star-Tribune,

First, on the ice. He has become the team’s steadiest defenseman. Carney is a plus-21, which would be a franchise record. He plays heavy minutes and in all defensive situations.
“He’s a veteran,” Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. “He’s been in the playoffs, he knows what it takes to win. When you have that, you carry that at different times during the season—that energy that you need to have to win games.”
But there’s more. Carney is also a mentor to the defensive corps—most notably to Burns—Carney’s playing partner. They talk on the ice, of course. But after every shift they talk on the bench. Sometimes Carney will reinforce a good play. Sometimes Carney’s job is to calm down a young player who is struggling.

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Filed in: Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Meet Boogaard

from the City Pages,

They talk about the Boogeyman as if he were another species. At six-foot, seven-inches tall—add three inches in skates—the Wild left winger stands a head above most NHL players (one writer describes him as “yeti-like”). Weighing 250 pounds, he has a gorilla’s arms and hands the size of concrete blocks. They’re always thrown with bad intentions.

But when Derek “the Boogeyman” Boogaard arrives to meet the press, he almost looks like a model out of GQ. Wire-rim spectacles perch upon an improbably straight nose. His chiseled chin rests on battle-scarred knuckles.

continued

Filed in: Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Gaborik For “MVP”

from Darren Eliot at Sports Illustrated,

...That’s why you cannot minimize Gaborik’s influence. It’s quantifiable: he has 28 goals in 42 games—a pace that would lead the league if he had played the full schedule thus far. Point-wise, his half-season tally (50) likewise projected would have him battling Crosby and Thornton.
Because Gaborik won’t produce a full body of work, though, no awards will be forthcoming—certainly not the Ross and very likely not the Hart Trophy. But in the big picture, while he has been the Wild’s focal point for some time, it is now truly his team. Marian Gaborik is the Wild’s MVP, as in Most Visible Presence.

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Fernandez Out For The Regular Season

from Russo’s Rants at the Star-Tribune,

The news of the day is not really a surprise, but goalie Manny Fernandez is done for the regular season. Assistant GM Tom Lynn said Wednesday that in consultation with team doctors, they’re going treat Fernandez like he just got the injury. In other words, he’ll be out three to four weeks to go through the rehab process all over again.

continued

Filed in: Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Watch Out For The Wild

from George Johnson at ESPN,

The rise of the Wild dovetails into superb performances from two men. Returning from a groin injury that cost him 34 games, Gaborik has been the consistent gamebuster everyone knows him to be. Teaming with Todd White and fellow Slovak Pavol Demitra, he’s excelled on the road, where he’s scored 18 of his 25 goals. Fans in St. Paul are likely wondering where the Wild would be if he hadn’t missed all that time, but, in the end, the extended stint on the sidelines might be beneficial. He’s fresh, frisky and on fire heading into the big dance, when it counts most.
“Having Gabby back in the lineup is huge, obviously,” Rolston said. “It gives teams more to think about in matchups. He makes our line better, and in turn, we make his line better. It took this team a while to learn how to win on the road. But we’ve gotten our act together.”

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Backstrom Will Be Hot UFA

from the Pioneer Press,

At the start of the season, Backstrom’s biography merely warranted “In The System” small-print status in the media guide, not the extensive spreads established players receive.
That’s changed. Backstrom has had an 18-8-5 run as a starter for the Wild and suddenly ranks No. 2 in the NHL with a 2.16 goals-against average.
At season’s end, he can become a free agent, and the team he’s expected to start against tonight in St. Paul — Wayne Gretzky’s Phoenix Coyotes — could be big in offseason bidding. Backstrom, 29, has shut out the Coyotes, who need a goalie, twice in two starts this season.
That’s not to say Backstrom is going anywhere. He said he enjoys Minnesota and wants to re-sign with the Wild. But if he finishes the season at his current pace, he’ll have several nice offers with which the Wild will have to compete.

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Rolston Back In Good Health

from the Star-Tribune,

“He is definitely jumping now,” White said after Wild practice Sunday afternoon. “But then, it takes a while to get the legs back.”
Rolston has been one of the team’s most consistent players since putting on a Wild uniform before the 2005-06 season. Last season he played in all 82 games for the third time in four NHL seasons, setting career highs in goals (34), points (79) and plus-minus (plus-14).
He was on pace to duplicate those numbers when, in early February, Rolston got a case of the flu that hit him harder than any 6-4, 250-pound defenseman could.
He could barely walk, much less skate. For nearly a week he was essentially bed-ridden while he recovered.

read on

Filed in: Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Drop The Five Minute Rule

from Michael Russo at the Star-Tribune,

Boogaard said he thinks it’s time the NHL eliminates the last-five-minute instigating rule because it gives opponents license to go after star players during that time.
“The players should decide the game, not other people,” Boogaard said. “Some guys say that rule’s not in the back of their heads, but it is. It’s probably never good to cost your coach 10,000 bucks.”
No kidding. Just ask Kyle Wanvig, whose career with the Wild effectively ended when Lemaire wrote that $10,000 check for Wanvig instigating a fight with Pittsburgh’s Brooks Orpik late in a December game last season.
Boogaard’s contention that the rule should be eliminated comes on the heels of NHL general managers recommending that players should draw an automatic two-game suspension for their fifth instigator penalty, rather than their third.

read on

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

Backstrom It Is

via Russo’s Rants,

Niklas Backstrom is your No. 1 goaltender.
That was the news of the day coming after this afternoon’s practice from gorgeous Vancouver.
...Jacques said the team is playing too well to fiddle with it. He says he wants to see how far this team can go with Backstrom at the helm. Obviously things can change if the team goes south.
But Lemaire said Manny Fernandez will play when the Wild can’t gain any more and/or the teams around the Wild take off either direction.
He also alluded to his dissatisfaction with Fernandez’s effort in practices recently. Manny wasn’t in the talking mood today.

Filed in: 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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