Thanks! I try to help where I can. I am working on the first of four draft-focused articles. I will profile 5 players in each of them. I am about 3/4ths done with my first article and I will post it here. I'll leave you in suspense as to what players I will be talking about.
I would love to see the Wild develop a big, punishing defense, but it appears they are intent on having a tinkerbell defense after being last in the league in hits thrown for three out of the last five years...
I agree, I do think they need to go for defense. The two-headed Reilly/Olofsson experiment blew up in their face badly enough they had to pick up Nate Prosser (again) to fill out their back end. Nothing against Prosser, he knows his job and what he is. The problem was that Fletcher believed either Reilly or Olofsson would replace Scandella. Yeah, no. And that defense scares no one when they come over the blueline. Only Dumba will hit anyone. Brodin doesn't want to break a nail, Suter doesn't want to break a hip, Spurgeon just bounces off people, and I've seen parking cones do more damage than Olofsson.
I don't think you draft a goalie with the intent that he will make a good back up. Go after someone with the intent that they will start for you someday. If they don't hack it as a starter, them maybe they do make a good back up. If you go after a back up and they can't hack it, you've got bupkiss...
The Wild don't have a player that really seems to want to have the puck on their stick when the game is on the line. When we absolutely we need a goal, in most cases our guys are looking around at their teammates and saying, "you want this, because I don't." I've always stated that for any young player, call up or what have you...if you want to stand out, be a bit greedy and shoot the puck early and often. As soon as you conform and hesitate and start passing your value greatly diminishes and pretty soon that call up / opportunity comes to an end. Zucker wanted nothing to do with the puck in the playoffs. Same was true of most of the Wild's players. There are only a few during the regular season that seem to want the puck; Staal being one of them...sometimes Parise. On occasion Zucker or Nino. But too many are just happy being there...dishing the puck, whether that's a good idea or not. Because they either don't want the pressure or lack the confidence to bury it. When the going gets tough in the playoffs; not only do we have guys that mostly want to pass first, but if they do shoot they'll only do from the perimeter and that's pretty low-percentage hockey. We don't have the junkyard dog mentality to work our way in close and take away the eyes of the goalie and then pressure the crap out of him for rebounds on a consistent basis. In the playoffs..its often about what team is willing to pay that physical price to either screen, block shots or battle intensely near the crease that ends up being the winner. Our guys are happy to get to the playoffs...then coast so they can start their offseason as fast as possible.
Yeah, I don't disagree with you either.
While I was cautiously optimistic back when they acquired Parise and Suter, I wasn't holding my breath thinking they would be their way to the Cup. To the playoffs sure, but the team needed more to get to the Cup. Since their arrival that hasn't changed at all with the team except they've gotten a lot older (quicker) because they've been burning themselves out; and they aren't talented enough (except in their own minds) to take anything to the next level.
The worst thing is how they've limited younger players and their roles.