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Blues End the Wild's Season in an all too familiar way, a series autopsy


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Blues End the Wild Season in an All Too Familiar Way, a Series Autopsy

 

I do my best to find the cause(s) of death of this latest Minnesota Wild season and what it means moving forward.  It is not exactly Murder on the Orient Express, but its a all too predictable shame.  Enjoy and discuss...

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Pretty easy analalsys?

I thought starting Fleury was amistake as well, prefering a rotation for 2 older goalies.

Fiala's dissapearance wasn't unprecedented.

The coaching decisions/mistakes were made well before the season. Everyone knew that the Wild were unable to juggle lines, as they relied on chemestry not structure.

Evanson really had little flexability to make line adjustments.

The special teams issue was season long, showing just enough improvement to stop a total rebuild.

In my opinion the only way to keep a player like Schenn from targeting small guys is to either, Injure him out of the game, get rid of small guys, or target their stars.

 

This off season will be Bill Guerin's biggest test to date.

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In my opinion, only 1 line had a decent chemistry during playoffs (Kaprizov 7 g;1 assist; Hartman 0g; 5 assists; Zuccarello 1g; 2 assists). The rest of the lines were not too good in their chemistry for stepping up in production. The last 2 games were a huge disappointment; some missed opportunities and shots into the posts. I even did not feel in those games that we were competing well against Blues. An interesting observations also: in game#1 we had 0 goals ;0 assists; and in game#6 we had only 1 goal placed by our 3 defensemen Dumba (Kulikov and Merrill assisted). Blues were able to place into our net in 6 games 22 goals (an average 3.6 goals per game) vs our 16 goals.  I am also thinking that  Foligno; Spurgeon; Dumba; Greenway were not in their best forms because of the fresh previous to playoffs injuries. And Kaprizov was smashed badly few times during playoffs without referees calls. And why also media started to talk very intense about Fiala trade to NJ right before the game#5? That way will disturb every player in focusing to the crucial game#5 for us. It was also sad for me that we traded during the regular season Rem Pitlick who had a pretty good nose for production as well as we missed an opportunity to use Rossi too. And why did we trade Kahkonen? In his young age I think his stats were even better in comparison to the old Fleury stats this season. And Kahkonen was cheaper than Fleury too. IMO, Kahkonen and Walstedt were our 2 future promising goalies. Our other goalies prospects are not presenting a lot of interest. 

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After watching the fantastic NYR gm 7 OT win over the Pens...
To me, Other than gm 2, The Wild weren't even in the same class of play. The team effort in all areas way outclassed the Wild.
I want a PP like the Rangers have. It didn't look like they tried to set the 'Perfect Play' to even shoot the puck. A couple passes and and least an attempt and cause some havoc and movement.
Biggest difference is when NYR's shot even wide, There was someone there to gather it up and keep the O-zone alive.
How many times did the Wild miss the net and out of the zone it goes? 🤔

Not starting Talbot game 1 was a mistake imo. He kept us in most of the games down the stretch enough to give us a chance to win. That's his job and he did it very well.
Whoever made the decision to ride Fleury like that doesn't make any sense and the fact that now we know it pi$$ed off Talbot, How much did that affect the team overall.
Did they feel that Cam should've played too??
Game 2 Talbot should've at least been given the start and see what happened and go from there. Like Lou Nanne said "Fleury didn't lose any games for us, But he didn't win any for us either".

Guerin put together a team for the PO's very well covering the needs as well as possible but ONLY if everyone played up to their abilities. They obviously didn't.
Did the failure of Fiala have anything to do with Boldy feeling some of the pressure of his first PO's ? Thus throwing any chemistry off and then Fiala trying to do too much also to compensate.
Not blaming Boldy at all, But nothing was clicking with them all series.

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Just an observation, that perhaps st.Louis noted as well,  Fiala’s line didn’t take off until Boldy arrived. 
Did St.Louis take away Boldy’s game thereby negating Fiala?

why did they stick with Duhaime, who was invisible for 4 games and not try Bugstad?  

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On 5/15/2022 at 9:07 PM, Alexandron said:

In my opinion, only 1 line had a decent chemistry during playoffs (Kaprizov 7 g;1 assist; Hartman 0g; 5 assists; Zuccarello 1g; 2 assists). The rest of the lines were not too good in their chemistry for stepping up in production. The last 2 games were a huge disappointment; some missed opportunities and shots into the posts. I even did not feel in those games that we were competing well against Blues. An interesting observations also: in game#1 we had 0 goals ;0 assists; and in game#6 we had only 1 goal placed by our 3 defensemen Dumba (Kulikov and Merrill assisted). Blues were able to place into our net in 6 games 22 goals (an average 3.6 goals per game) vs our 16 goals.  I am also thinking that  Foligno; Spurgeon; Dumba; Greenway were not in their best forms because of the fresh previous to playoffs injuries. And Kaprizov was smashed badly few times during playoffs without referees calls. And why also media started to talk very intense about Fiala trade to NJ right before the game#5? That way will disturb every player in focusing to the crucial game#5 for us. It was also sad for me that we traded during the regular season Rem Pitlick who had a pretty good nose for production as well as we missed an opportunity to use Rossi too. And why did we trade Kahkonen? In his young age I think his stats were even better in comparison to the old Fleury stats this season. And Kahkonen was cheaper than Fleury too. IMO, Kahkonen and Walstedt were our 2 future promising goalies. Our other goalies prospects are not presenting a lot of interest. 

I fogot to mention also Zuccarello had an injury before starting playoffs series.

Here what I found about Dumba's injury from Michael Russo twit:

Michael Russo@RussoHockey

18h

In Nashville in first meeting last month, Dumba sustained a dislocated rib, a broken rib and that caused a punctured lung. Was in dire straits, had trouble breathing and taken to hospital. Dumba said he was playing “no matter what” in playoffs.

 

 

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I’m not as hard on Dumba as a lot of posters are, however I do believe he needs a pay cut to stay with this team. 
He is not the player that the team hoped he would turn into. 

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This team is a broken record. Change coaches. First round exit. Bring in big name, high priced free agents. First round exit. Bring in a new GM. First round exit. Get rid of locker room cancers. First round exit. Get a superstar on the roster. First round exit.

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On 5/17/2022 at 10:08 PM, Tomdog said:

I’m not as hard on Dumba as a lot of posters are, however I do believe he needs a pay cut to stay with this team. 
He is not the player that the team hoped he would turn into. 

I rarely get down on players but once the Wild made the deal with VGK to protect Dumba, I started to scrutinize the reason behind it.
Still can't figure it out. It was based on a partial breakout season which we set him up to blast away for goals. A big gamble imo and we lost some quality young players in the process.
I'm also mad at myself for buying in on him (against my better judgement) after that season only to see him go back to the same level before and pretty much since.
I also never used to equte play vs $$ paid, But again, Is his play worth the 6M ? 
I don't feel he has the Hockey IQ for his position and also to be the leader some claim he is. He is almost riding on Brodin's coat tails as maybe by design, 90% of the time Brodin brings the play out of the zone, While Matt's ability is to chip it up the boards at best.
Right now I'd say Middleton plays with more Hockey IQ than Matt does. It's possible he's putting too much pressure on himself but how many more seasons can we afford mediocrity?

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Pretty sure we will have 1 more year of Dumba. Hopefully they can get him to lay off the giat hits and fighting. he also needs to go back to his short backswing slap shot.

As far as wieghing salary into play peformance, it's a salary cap league. Performance for pay always needs to be considered.

I'm not sure Spurgeon earned all his pay this year either. It was an uncharecteristic year for him.

I hope they can find the money for Middleton though, not a superstar but seems very dependable.

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On 5/18/2022 at 11:17 AM, IllaZilla said:

This team is a broken record. Change coaches. First round exit. Bring in big name, high priced free agents. First round exit. Bring in a new GM. First round exit. Get rid of locker room cancers. First round exit. Get a superstar on the roster. First round exit.

Get 4 superstars on the roster plus one goalie superstar. We are a Stanley Cup winner. 🙂

 

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On 5/16/2022 at 6:50 PM, ClusterChuck said:

Ovechkin...Matthews...Crosby...and our own Kap...Out in RD 1.
Leonard Nimoy Reaction GIF

Malkin also is out after the 1st round. Actually he will be available off season. He will be much cheaper this season than Fiala. And he knows how to fight for the win till the last second of the game and place pucks. I will be happy if he will play with Kaprizov and Zuccarello for our team. But still we need more real stars to keep Kaprizov here. I heard recently, if Kaprizov will go to other team then a half of the fan zone will go with him too from the Wild team. Probably even more. Definitely one star is not enough in our club.

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16 hours ago, Alexandron said:

Malkin also is out after the 1st round. Actually he will be available off season. He will be much cheaper this season than Fiala. And he knows how to fight for the win till the last second of the game and place pucks. I will be happy if he will play with Kaprizov and Zuccarello for our team. But still we need more real stars to keep Kaprizov here. I heard recently, if Kaprizov will go to other team then a half of the fan zone will go with him too from the Wild team. Probably even more. Definitely one star is not enough in our club.

I'd rather not sign yet another 'Past-Prime' player (as good as he is) just to have him for 1 year. That's the old Wild mentality.
That may disrupt any team chemistry as we try to build that with our younger guys.
The 4 stars you mention could be Kap, Boldy, Rossi and someone else via trade or from Iowa. 
Unfortunately for Rossi I fear the expectations on him will be unfair given how Boldy adjusted so quick. Let's hope he comes up and performs as hoped and not put pressure on him from the start.

If Kaprisov continues to play even close to what he has, Then the year before his contract is up will be tough to figure out an extension given the big $$ other teams will offer if it comes to that.
I figure he'll bide his time here and go for the bigger payday when that time comes.

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21 hours ago, IllaZilla said:

Looking at contracts that were comparable to Dumba's...

 

image.thumb.png.ce626f2dc87086379a65ab376bec974d.png

 

 

Were those contracts signed in the same year? 
Salary inflation is real. 
A 6 million player in 2015 would get much more 3 - 4 years later. 
At the time and age of Dumba it looked pretty good, thinking he would improve. 
The peck injury really seems to have set him back. 

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5 hours ago, Tomdog said:

Were those contracts signed in the same year? 
Salary inflation is real. 
A 6 million player in 2015 would get much more 3 - 4 years later. 
At the time and age of Dumba it looked pretty good, thinking he would improve. 
The peck injury really seems to have set him back. 

I think not only injuries affected his play but he does unpredictable mistakes practically every game which is affecting entire team's results. Actually, same as Fiala. But both did during the season unnecessary penalties, which caused specially for Dumba unnecessary  injuries too. And Dumba's shot is not as powerful as he had before. We need a shooter like Zibanejad or Ovechkin, but we do not have it in our team. And I do not remember if we had them in our team's history at all. In my opinion, in general, our team played better when Dumba and Greenway were on injury reserve at the same time during the regular season. Overall we need wins to pass at least 1st round playoffs next season which is so far our minimal goal.

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22 hours ago, ClusterChuck said:

I'd rather not sign yet another 'Past-Prime' player (as good as he is) just to have him for 1 year. That's the old Wild mentality.
That may disrupt any team chemistry as we try to build that with our younger guys.
The 4 stars you mention could be Kap, Boldy, Rossi and someone else via trade or from Iowa. 
Unfortunately for Rossi I fear the expectations on him will be unfair given how Boldy adjusted so quick. Let's hope he comes up and performs as hoped and not put pressure on him from the start.

If Kaprisov continues to play even close to what he has, Then the year before his contract is up will be tough to figure out an extension given the big $$ other teams will offer if it comes to that.
I figure he'll bide his time here and go for the bigger payday when that time comes.

Sincerely, I started to change my opinion recently who is a past-prime player and who is not based on how good he still is. I think even a sport life age is moved to a higher range too. An example is our Zuccarello. Last season he was playing even better than he did in his prime time. Same I would say about Hartman. His results were 2-3 times better in comparison to his younger age in NHL. If both have energy enough to produce then we are happy too about Zuccarello and Hartman.

Malkin is a star. Boldy and Rossi are not. At least not yet. Fiala was close to a star position but he did not proved that during last 2 playoffs seasons in a row. Maybe someday he will. Main criteria to be a star - a consistent an outstanding play during playoffs. If not than star is questionable.

 

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On 5/15/2022 at 8:59 AM, Tomdog said:

Pretty easy analalsys?

I thought starting Fleury was amistake as well, prefering a rotation for 2 older goalies.

Fiala's dissapearance wasn't unprecedented.

The coaching decisions/mistakes were made well before the season. Everyone knew that the Wild were unable to juggle lines, as they relied on chemestry not structure.

Evanson really had little flexability to make line adjustments.

The special teams issue was season long, showing just enough improvement to stop a total rebuild.

In my opinion the only way to keep a player like Schenn from targeting small guys is to either, Injure him out of the game, get rid of small guys, or target their stars.

 

This off season will be Bill Guerin's biggest test to date.

 

Or Evason just let the kids play.  Our attack was a little bit different depending on the line.  They managed to earn wins in games they probably didn't deserve to win.  He probably figured why not see if they can do it again.  

 

Either way, they didn't have an answer and they bulked up to try to prevent Brayden Schenn-type of situations.  

 

Is it a test or is it just post #11 / #20 purgatory?  

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On 5/21/2022 at 10:07 AM, Tomdog said:

Were those contracts signed in the same year? 
Salary inflation is real. 
A 6 million player in 2015 would get much more 3 - 4 years later. 
At the time and age of Dumba it looked pretty good, thinking he would improve. 
The peck injury really seems to have set him back. 

 

No the contracts were signed in various years. So there would be some inflation there. But there is also the age at signing and the games played and points generated at the time of signing. Dumba played a lot more games and has a lot more points than the rest of those players at the time of signing. I blame that on Fletcher keeping him up for those 13 games in 2013-14. Burned a whole year on his rookie contract for 13 unremarkable games. Just stupid. If he hadn't kept Dumba up in 2013-14, maybe he'd be more in the $5M range.

 

I think the injury has set him back too. But if you extrapolate his numbers out, he's getting back to that 50 point benchmark (just in time for a new contract 😉)

 

image.png.d750210bef6d27aaae312391d429677f.png

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Was going to post this a while back - but figured people would think I was just piling on Dumba...  Not sure if they keep these stats - but noticed it in the regular season and very much in the playoffs every game - and that was the number of turnovers from Dumba on the breakout - as he mostly tried to just bang it up the boards. In one of the PO games I counted 5 - each leading to obviously a turnover in our zone - and the Blues regrouping for an attack...  I don't recall him doing that much in past years or I would have noticed - but this year - it happened a lot - and watching it happen each game several times...

 

Fiala was another one who caught my eye regarding turnovers...  A skilled player - you bet - but the amount of turnovers on just normal plays seemed to happen a lot with him for some reason - even though he had decent numbers this year - makes you wonder what his numbers could have been...

 

And now we're kind of right back into a goal tending dilemma as well - we have to worry about Talbot for #1 and few options to groom another #2 like what they had - all the while hoping Talbot stays after next year... 

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8 hours ago, Confrontational said:

Was going to post this a while back - but figured people would think I was just piling on Dumba...  Not sure if they keep these stats - but noticed it in the regular season and very much in the playoffs every game - and that was the number of turnovers from Dumba on the breakout - as he mostly tried to just bang it up the boards. In one of the PO games I counted 5 - each leading to obviously a turnover in our zone - and the Blues regrouping for an attack...  I don't recall him doing that much in past years or I would have noticed - but this year - it happened a lot - and watching it happen each game several times...

 

Fiala was another one who caught my eye regarding turnovers...  A skilled player - you bet - but the amount of turnovers on just normal plays seemed to happen a lot with him for some reason - even though he had decent numbers this year - makes you wonder what his numbers could have been...

 

And now we're kind of right back into a goal tending dilemma as well - we have to worry about Talbot for #1 and few options to groom another #2 like what they had - all the while hoping Talbot stays after next year... 

That's one of the biggest things I've noticed too. He rarely carries it out himself and often if not by design, Dishes it off to Brodin when he's not chipping it up.
It's not "piling on" but disecting issues like we'd do with anyone that makes repeated moves that doesn't end well.
Fiala included, Talbot or Fleury and so on.

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