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Wild 2014/2015 Regular Season


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  • CaptainMusky

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CaptainMusky

Considering they had 43 wins last year, I will say OVER 45 wins this year. Reasoning behind this... They had so many OT appearances with 12!!! OT losses. I see this number dropping leading to extra ticks in the win column.

How will they achieve this? Better PP, adding Vanek will surely help this. We have plenty of guys who can score on this lineup, now we need to produce finishers.

I will admit, it will be VERY tough in the division and western conference this year, but I see Colorado dropping from what they did last year and St Louis is kind of a toss up. Dallas is going to make a push though. I see Chicago, Minnesota and Dallas vying for the Division title. The Wild definitely need home ice in the playoffs for at least the first round.

Having said all that, it will all go in the toilet if we have prolonged injuries to any of the key guys like last year. It was really a miracle they accomplished what they did with the lost games to injury with Harding, Backstrom, Parise, Koivu, Coyle, Brodin, Etc, etc, etc.

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Considering they had 43 wins last year, I will say OVER 45 wins this year. Reasoning behind this... They had so many OT appearances with 12!!! OT losses. I see this number dropping leading to extra ticks in the win column.

How will they achieve this? Better PP, adding Vanek will surely help this. We have plenty of guys who can score on this lineup, now we need to produce finishers.

I will admit, it will be VERY tough in the division and western conference this year, but I see Colorado dropping from what they did last year and St Louis is kind of a toss up. Dallas is going to make a push though. I see Chicago, Minnesota and Dallas vying for the Division title. The Wild definitely need home ice in the playoffs for at least the first round.

Having said all that, it will all go in the toilet if we have prolonged injuries to any of the key guys like last year. It was really a miracle they accomplished what they did with the lost games to injury with Harding, Backstrom, Parise, Koivu, Coyle, Brodin, Etc, etc, etc.

All great points CM but IMO it will come down to tending to win those OT games and at this point I am not sold on that critical position. Conference will be tight and I think we will be just UNDER the 45 but will make a run in the playoffs again.

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CaptainMusky

All great points CM but IMO it will come down to tending to win those OT games and at this point I am not sold on that critical position. Conference will be tight and I think we will be just UNDER the 45 but will make a run in the playoffs again.

I guess I wasnt real clear on that, but that is what I meant. They had 12 OT losses last year (1 pt each), but I see them winning more games in regulation to avoid OT and having fewer games end in an OT loss.

If they get that number from 12 OT losses to 10, that is 2 extra pts. If they avoid OT altogether by winning thats not giving a freebie pt to the other team.

Early reports out of training camp are that Coyle is even a bigger beast, Haula is even more impressive than he was late last year and Niederreiter is more of an animal.

Heck, they may not lose a game! ;-)

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When Yeo said he thought the Wild could contend for a cup or miss the playoffs, I though "huh?" But thinking about it, I can see where he's coming from. I think he may be right on, and the difference between the two won't be very wide in terms of points.

The Wild made some progress last year for sure, but the Central is just going to be brutally tough, and the Wild Card in the West won't be a lot easier. I think the margin for error in the West will be razor thin, and getting off to a good start will be key. With three point games it's just so, so tough to get any ground back if you go into a funk for any length of time. I honestly think it'll take north of 98 points to even sniff the post season.

In the Central alone you have two teams that were very good to start with (Chicago and St. Louis), one that was either good or played out of its collective head for an entire season (Colorado, and personally I think it was the latter. I see them coming back to earth a little this year), a Wild team that was good despite a goalie carousel and some long injuries to key guys, and looking to move up, a Dallas team that on paper at least got a lot better, a Winnipeg team that seems set to be a pesky spoiler, and a Nashville team that's a total cipher - who knows what they'll be with a new coach and revamped roster.

I think the Wild are pretty well equipped to do that. When a kid like Nino is going to struggle to crack the top 6 forwards, you're in a pretty good spot up front. I think our D will be fine - Scandella and Brodin and Spurgeon have another year under their belt, and Suter is Suter. The bottom pair concerns me a little and it'll be interesting to see if they keep Bickel just for the beef factor. But then a Ballard/Bickel 5/6 pair isn't exactly fleet of foot. And does Folin stay as a 5/6/7? I guess when you're agonizing over your bottom pair D would count as a First World Problem in the NHL though... Look at Edmonton's D corps. Cripes, look at Colorado...

To me it will depend on goaltending (duh) and special teams. Hopefully Vanek can improve the power play and the goaltending can just hold serve.

Going to be a very interesting year to say the least.

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I'll go 48 wins and 105 pts.

Shall we make a wager? grin

I'd take that bet in a heart beat. I say we are in a race to make the last spot just like last year. The west is too good.

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Hopefully Vanek can improve the power play

man am I looking forward to watching them on the PP! It should be a thing of beauty!

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Had a few drinks tonight.

Wild miss the playoffs on the last day of the season.

Brodeur gives up a softy 8 seconds into OT..

SRRY guys!.. grin

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46 wins, not sure they get in with that. Vanek may give us 4 extra wins with late goals. Not having the guy skating around with the walker should give us 2 more wins. Having continued goalie issues will lose us 3 extra games (Backstrom healthy, yeah right). Which leads me back to 46 wins from our 43 last yeasr.

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I say we are in a race to make the last spot just like last year. The west is too good.

I think we are closer to displacing Chicago or St Louis that coming in 8th in the west. Of course a lot depends on how the team clicks but we still have a lot of room to get better, the kids still have a lot of room for improvement and any time you ad a 30 goal scorer you are improving you team in a big way.

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It will be interesting to see if Bickel makes the big club as a 6-7th D. He had 2 scraps on Monday with Thorburn and Peluso. He can do 2 things we need imo, move guys around the net and stand up for teammates and I don't see why he can't fill Stoner's spot.

http://www.hockeyfights.com/fights/110952

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I do think the Wild are better but Harding out for a while could hurt bigtime. The West is brutal!!! I feel like there isn't much room for error and the season hasn't even begun yet.

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3PP goals sounds good, we could use more of that this season.

+1 - and a higher PK percentage too!

Only a few more days until game 1...too many days.

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I watched the last 2 periods. The PP did look very good. I also thought Dumba and Backstrom looked good.

Dumba looks bigger and can really skate, might be taking a few too many chance for Yeo's liking but the talent is there.

I thought Backs looked more comfortable in net. The first goal was a really nice snipe and the second goal bounced of the D-man's skate and went in. For Winnipeg Eliers looked like the Jets version of McKinnon.

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Haven't seen much of the preseason yet, good to hear Dumba has looked good. Sounds like Zucker and Folin have been decent too, will be interesting to see you makes the cut and if they can hang during the regular season. Lots of talent so competition should be sky high.

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We stunk it up in the first two periods. It got better in the third, but still I think we're a better team than what we showed last night.

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I didn't see the game but it sounds like Koivu was slow and not very productive. I hope he isn't declining.

He has been declining for 2 years

Even the coach knows it. That's why he is on the 2nd line.

Should be on the 3rd line.

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CaptainMusky

Koivu was on decline at the time of his current contract. It is what it is. His money now and the length remaining is concerning me.

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That whole line didn't sound like they played well last night, after playing very well the game in Pitt.

I've said it before and probably will again: don't understand the Koivu haters.

Last season he had 54 points in 65 games, so .83 pts/game. That's a whopping .01 less than Parise. He was 3rd on the team in scoring, 6 behind the leader (Pomminville) in 17 fewer games. He led the team in assists, 8 ahead of Suter, again, with 17 fewer games. He was 13th in the league in assists, and 8 of the players in front of him played at least 75 games. The only one who played less (5 fewer) was Malkin. He's in the top 20 in the league in faceoffs.

I've come to the conclusion that the people that dislike him do so because they can't stop wanting him to be something he's not. He's not a goal scorer. He's just not. He's going to chip in 15 or so a year and that's about it.

What he is, is a big, smart, mobile 200-foot playmaking center with the size and strength to match up against pretty much any line in the NHL, and in the West where seemingly every team - and all the good ones are strong and big up the middle, that's a huge asset. He's a center who plays in every situation against the other team's top line, top PP unit, top PK unit...

I do like him on the second line, because I think Granlund just fits better with Parise, and he seems to have some chemistry with Pomminville. I think that a Vanek-Koivu-Coyle line is going to be pretty productive too, and solid in all 3 zones. Plus it's a pretty heavy line - they're all over 6' and 200 lbs. That's a lot to handle down low.But I could sure live with him on the first line, because he's been productive there too. Stats don't tell the whole story, but they don't lie either.

Winning a battle in the corner of your own zone or covering up an open wing on a backcheck doesn't make the highlights, but it does win games. If you think a player like Koivu isn't valuable because he doesn't score 30 goals/season, you're insane.

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CaptainMusky

RK, Dont you think his production is a by-product of his line-mates? I mean, if he is always lined up with Parise they certainly should have fairly dang similar numbers in points, one gets the goals while the other gets the assist. Right?

He was the ONLY superstar we had for many years, but now, at this point in his career his contract WILL hamper our ability to retain some of our budding stars.

If you want to brag about faceoffs, well there are far cheaper guys that can be as good or better on the faceoff as well. Not just suited.

He and Brodziak are the two wildcards on this team. Aside from those two on the offensive side we are set.

Koivu gets a lot of ice time with our best skaters. Heatley showed at times even HE could get points with those guys as well.

I will give Koivu credit, he earned the deal he made at the time he made it, its just my opinion now that the Wild are paying dearly for it when he is declining and I dont want that to hamper keeping one of our young guys.

If we have to part ways with Coyle because we didnt have money, I will be ticked. A lot of the reasons why Koivu plays where he is because we didnt have anyone else that could AND the fact he was a veteran. Now, you could throw about 3 or maybe 4 other guys in that spot and do equal. Fontaine, Haula, etc I think could do equally well and have a more scoring upside.

Its a nice problem to have a I guess having so much depth.

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Very much agree RK, said many of the same things last year. People just need to accept him for what he is. Can't wait for the Vanek bashers to show up, he is more skill and not nearly as much of the hustle and grit Koivu brings. Now if you could combine them you would have a stud but it doesn't work that way.

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