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sweetshot

Regular season changes--Improved playoff success?

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I believe the Wild should have a good regular season in 2018-2019 and will make the playoffs--with a point total somewhere around 100. Except for Suter, the roster starts the season quite a bit healthier than they were most of last year. Except for Staal, Parise, and Suter, most guys are pretty much in the prime of their careers agewise. The bulk of this team has been playing together for several years. Assuming the roster stays roughly the same, as it appears it will, is there anything the Wild(Boudreau specifically--any changes would mostly be dictated by him I think) could do differently to improve their playoff success?

 

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1 hour ago, sweetshot said:

I believe the Wild should have a good regular season in 2018-2019 and will make the playoffs--with a point total somewhere around 100. Except for Suter, the roster starts the season quite a bit healthier than they were most of last year. Except for Staal, Parise, and Suter, most guys are pretty much in the prime of their careers agewise. The bulk of this team has been playing together for several years. Assuming the roster stays roughly the same, as it appears it will, is there anything the Wild(Boudreau specifically--any changes would mostly be dictated by him I think) could do differently to improve their playoff success?

 

 

Doing the same thing and expecting different results?  Insanity...

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13 hours ago, sweetshot said:

I believe the Wild should have a good regular season in 2018-2019 and will make the playoffs--with a point total somewhere around 100. Except for Suter, the roster starts the season quite a bit healthier than they were most of last year. Except for Staal, Parise, and Suter, most guys are pretty much in the prime of their careers agewise. The bulk of this team has been playing together for several years. Assuming the roster stays roughly the same, as it appears it will, is there anything the Wild(Boudreau specifically--any changes would mostly be dictated by him I think) could do differently to improve their playoff success?

 

 

The team was healthy at the beginning of last season too, and managed to get to 100 points without the services of Parise, Coyle, and Niederreitter for large chunks of the season. So I don't see an issue with them getting to that 100 point mark and making the Playoffs.

 

However, here are the Playoff stats from skaters that have pretty much been the Wild's Top Two Lines:

Last 5 Seasons            
Player Playoff Games Goals Assists Plus/Minus Shots Shooting Percent Shots / Game
Coyle 44 7 8 -17 85 8.2% 1.9
Niederreitter 39 8 10 -7 76 10.5% 1.9
Zucker 31 4 4 -9 63 6.3% 2.0
Parise 36 14 17 -14 110 12.7% 3.1
Granlund 39 8 13 2 91 8.8% 2.3
Koivu 39 6 16 -11 77 7.8% 2.0
Total 228 47 68 -56 502 9.4% 2.2
               
Last 3 Seasons            
Player Playoff Games Goals Assists Plus/Minus Shots Shooting Percent Shots / Game
Coyle 16 3 1 -8 37 8.1% 2.3
Niederreitter 16 1 6 -7 35 2.9% 2.2
Zucker 16 1 2 -9 31 3.2% 1.9
Parise 8 5 1 -4 24 20.8% 3.0
Granlund 16 2 6 -3 38 5.3% 2.4
Koivu 16 4 7 -3 33 12.1% 2.1
Staal 10 1 2 -4 26 3.8% 2.6
Total 98 17 25 -38 224 7.6% 2.3

 

I didn't include Staal in the first set, because he's only been with the Wild for two seasons. I also didn't include the third and fourth lines, because the Wild change those up every season. The only skater that seems to have performed in the Playoffs is Parise. 

 

I know it is a dubious stat, but based on the Plus/Minus, it appears like they don't play defense. But this could also be a function of being out scored. It also appears they are not shooting the puck. Can't score if you don't shoot the puck.

 

Not sure what Boudreau can do with these guys to get them to shoot more. By this stage of their careers, they are set in their ways. As Crease and Assist pointed out, the Wild seem to be content with passing the puck around the perimeter and trying for that long range shot, maybe hoping for a deflection. But a deflection can only occur if you have a player willing to camp out in front of the goaltender and take a beating in order to get his stick on the puck, and it seems Parise is the only player willing to do that. 

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18 minutes ago, IllaZilla said:

 

The team was healthy at the beginning of last season too, and managed to get to 100 points without the services of Parise, Coyle, and Niederreitter for large chunks of the season. So I don't see an issue with them getting to that 100 point mark and making the Playoffs.

 

However, here are the Playoff stats from skaters that have pretty much been the Wild's Top Two Lines:

Last 5 Seasons            
Player Playoff Games Goals Assists Plus/Minus Shots Shooting Percent Shots / Game
Coyle 44 7 8 -17 85 8.2% 1.9
Niederreitter 39 8 10 -7 76 10.5% 1.9
Zucker 31 4 4 -9 63 6.3% 2.0
Parise 36 14 17 -14 110 12.7% 3.1
Granlund 39 8 13 2 91 8.8% 2.3
Koivu 39 6 16 -11 77 7.8% 2.0
Total 228 47 68 -56 502 9.4% 2.2
               
Last 3 Seasons            
Player Playoff Games Goals Assists Plus/Minus Shots Shooting Percent Shots / Game
Coyle 16 3 1 -8 37 8.1% 2.3
Niederreitter 16 1 6 -7 35 2.9% 2.2
Zucker 16 1 2 -9 31 3.2% 1.9
Parise 8 5 1 -4 24 20.8% 3.0
Granlund 16 2 6 -3 38 5.3% 2.4
Koivu 16 4 7 -3 33 12.1% 2.1
Staal 10 1 2 -4 26 3.8% 2.6
Total 98 17 25 -38 224 7.6% 2.3

 

I didn't include Staal in the first set, because he's only been with the Wild for two seasons. I also didn't include the third and fourth lines, because the Wild change those up every season. The only skater that seems to have performed in the Playoffs is Parise. 

 

I know it is a dubious stat, but based on the Plus/Minus, it appears like they don't play defense. But this could also be a function of being out scored. It also appears they are not shooting the puck. Can't score if you don't shoot the puck.

 

Not sure what Boudreau can do with these guys to get them to shoot more. By this stage of their careers, they are set in their ways. As Crease and Assist pointed out, the Wild seem to be content with passing the puck around the perimeter and trying for that long range shot, maybe hoping for a deflection. But a deflection can only occur if you have a player willing to camp out in front of the goaltender and take a beating in order to get his stick on the puck, and it seems Parise is the only player willing to do that. 

Thanks for the input!--you're right about the lack of SOG, I noticed that also. Last year was horrible; Coyle, Zucker, and Niederreitter were a combined 0-0-0 and had a total of 25 SOG against Winnipeg. You'd think Coyle and Nino would spend more time in front--size is not an excuse for those two.

 I know this won't be a very popular sentiment, but if I'm reading the stats correctly, over the last 3 years Koivu's playoff numbers have improved a ton compared to the 2 years before that, where in 23 games he had 2-9-11 and was a -8 and his shooting percentage was significantly less. Maybe the better numbers the past 3 playoffs was due to "saving his energy"(coasting) during  regular season🤔.

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36 minutes ago, sweetshot said:

Thanks for the input!--you're right about the lack of SOG, I noticed that also. Last year was horrible; Coyle, Zucker, and Niederreitter were a combined 0-0-0 and had a total of 25 SOG against Winnipeg. You'd think Coyle and Nino would spend more time in front--size is not an excuse for those two.

 I know this won't be a very popular sentiment, but if I'm reading the stats correctly, over the last 3 years Koivu's playoff numbers have improved a ton compared to the 2 years before that, where in 23 games he had 2-9-11 and was a -8 and his shooting percentage was significantly less. Maybe the better numbers the past 3 playoffs was due to "saving his energy"(coasting) during  regular season🤔.

 

Let me lay this on you:

  Playoff Games Goals Assists Plus/Minus Shots Shooting Percent Shots / Game FO%
2015-16 6 3 2 0 14 21.4% 2.3 56.7%
2016-17 5 1 1 -1 6 16.7% 1.2 64.2%
2017-18 5 0 4 -2 13 0.0% 2.6 46.3%

 

I broke out his last three Playoff seasons. I don't know about you, but the numbers to me are not trending in a positive direction. Especially that FO%, which is what he is known for.

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1 hour ago, sweetshot said:

Thanks for the input!--you're right about the lack of SOG, I noticed that also. Last year was horrible; Coyle, Zucker, and Niederreitter were a combined 0-0-0 and had a total of 25 SOG against Winnipeg. You'd think Coyle and Nino would spend more time in front--size is not an excuse for those two.

 I know this won't be a very popular sentiment, but if I'm reading the stats correctly, over the last 3 years Koivu's playoff numbers have improved a ton compared to the 2 years before that, where in 23 games he had 2-9-11 and was a -8 and his shooting percentage was significantly less. Maybe the better numbers the past 3 playoffs was due to "saving his energy"(coasting) during  regular season🤔.

The first month or so wjen Boudreau was with the Wild Coyle and Nino were on a few PP's together clogging the front of the net. It was a large step in the right direction. Early that season the Wild had a high PP scoring percentage and not too long after that neither were seeing PP time. Why? Ghosts in the closet. I call it the Koivu factor. No one on this team is permitted to out-shine the #1 PP clock killing expert in the league.

 

Coyle has pretty much sucked since he spent so many hours with Brunette after regular team practices. All that extra special attention changed him from a net-crashing threat to a behind the net clock waster like Brunette was when all he had left were two bad knees.

 

During the playoffs watch how many times players pass the puck to Koivu once we cross the blue-line instead of going toward the net or taking shots on their own. It's MIND-NUMBING. See the Koivu factor.

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1 hour ago, IllaZilla said:

 

Let me lay this on you:

  Playoff Games Goals Assists Plus/Minus Shots Shooting Percent Shots / Game FO%
2015-16 6 3 2 0 14 21.4% 2.3 56.7%
2016-17 5 1 1 -1 6 16.7% 1.2 64.2%
2017-18 5 0 4 -2 13 0.0% 2.6 46.3%

 

I broke out his last three Playoff seasons. I don't know about you, but the numbers to me are not trending in a positive direction. Especially that FO%, which is what he is known for.

I looked at the last 3 seasons lumped together and things looked ok. But seeing it per season, yeah, his numbers are definitely not trending in the right direction. I'm not a Mikko hater or apologist, but at his age I guess I'm not surprised at the decline. I know the Wild probably needs him at center right now but...

 

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3 hours ago, sweetshot said:

I looked at the last 3 seasons lumped together and things looked ok. But seeing it per season, yeah, his numbers are definitely not trending in the right direction. I'm not a Mikko hater or apologist, but at his age I guess I'm not surprised at the decline. I know the Wild probably needs him at center right now but...

 

 

This is where the Wild got themselves over a barrel giving Koivu that two year extension with a NMC. Either give him the two year extension or a one year extension with a NMC, but not both. You’d have thought they would have learned their lesson giving Pominville a five year deal with a modified NTC. Now they are stuck with him for two more years. Be interesting to see what they do with him if his skills deteriorate further. Especially since the NHL was cracking down on cheating in the face off circle, which is about all he brings since he isn’t a go-to scorer. Crease and Assist also posted that the team already has his line penciled in as the #1 line over Staals because the team is afraid to upset Koivu. So he gets the #1 line even though he had his worst season since coming into the league.🤔

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, IllaZilla said:

 

This is where the Wild got themselves over a barrel giving Koivu that two year extension with a NMC. Either give him the two year extension or a one year extension with a NMC, but not both. You’d have thought they would have learned their lesson giving Pominville a five year deal with a modified NTC. Now they are stuck with him for two more years. Be interesting to see what they do with him if his skills deteriorate further. Especially since the NHL was cracking down on cheating in the face off circle, which is about all he brings since he isn’t a go-to scorer. Crease and Assist also posted that the team already has his line penciled in as the #1 line over Staals because the team is afraid to upset Koivu. So he gets the #1 line even though he had his worst season since coming into the league.🤔

I gotta be honest about Mikko being on the number one line--I'll believe it when I see it. At this point, I don't see any reason for the team to worry about Koivu being upset, they've gone over the top already giving him a lot more than he's worth at this point in his career. And if he's that upset and going to be a disruption--bench him. Let Granlund or Coyle play center. I mean at some point, and I thought that was when Fletcher left, he wasn't going to have the same influence with management as he had when CF was here.

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Russo in two separate podcasts has suggested that Boudreau has told him that Koivu's role could be "changing" over the course of the season.   In both cases, his comment was in response to twitter questions about Koivu taking on a third line checking role.   One of the times it started with a response to...."does Boudreau like Coyle at center?.   And Russo said yes,.......on the second line!  He then further elaborated that the Wild are so short on right handed wingers, that as the team stands now (Kunin health status etc) it would be problematic to have only have the one on the fourth line (Brown).   He also on a podcast suggested the Wild want to give JEE an opportunity to play with top line wingers.

 

So...bottom line, I think there's some hope!

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8 hours ago, sweetshot said:

I gotta be honest about Mikko being on the number one line--I'll believe it when I see it. At this point, I don't see any reason for the team to worry about Koivu being upset, they've gone over the top already giving him a lot more than he's worth at this point in his career. And if he's that upset and going to be a disruption--bench him. Let Granlund or Coyle play center. I mean at some point, and I thought that was when Fletcher left, he wasn't going to have the same influence with management as he had when CF was here.

 

Koivu is too slow now to play anything other than 3C or 4C. But that won't stop the Wild from playing the "Face of the Franchise" at the 2C slot. I'm not jazzed about Granlund or Coyle at center either. Granlund was a mediocre player at best until the Wild moved him to wing, and then he flourished. Same with Coyle. Coyle was a terrible center. Just because Coyle can play center doesn't mean he should play center. He better on the wing. This goes back to what Rotty was saying about the Wild not putting players in roles to succeed because they don't want to upset Koivu, Parise, or Suter. From what I've been hearing on podcasts, it sounds like even though CF has left the club, the Three Stooges still have a direct line to Leipold. So if they are unhappy, they go right to the top.

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9 hours ago, 4Check said:

Russo in two separate podcasts has suggested that Boudreau has told him that Koivu's role could be "changing" over the course of the season.   In both cases, his comment was in response to twitter questions about Koivu taking on a third line checking role.   One of the times it started with a response to...."does Boudreau like Coyle at center?.   And Russo said yes,.......on the second line!  He then further elaborated that the Wild are so short on right handed wingers, that as the team stands now (Kunin health status etc) it would be problematic to have only have the one on the fourth line (Brown).   He also on a podcast suggested the Wild want to give JEE an opportunity to play with top line wingers.

 

So...bottom line, I think there's some hope!

 

I will believe Koivu's role changes when I see it, which I predict will be in about two years when his contract is up. The key word with Boudreau's quote is "could", not "changing". Boudreau is being weasely. Koivu's role could change, it might not change. They might move him to the 3C for one game or even one shift, and if Koivu is unhappy, I guarantee you he'll be slotted into the 2C role the next game or even shift. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, IllaZilla said:

 

I will believe Koivu's role changes when I see it, which I predict will be in about two years when his contract is up. The key word with Boudreau's quote is "could", not "changing". Boudreau is being weasely. Koivu's role could change, it might not change. They might move him to the 3C for one game or even one shift, and if Koivu is unhappy, I guarantee you he'll be slotted into the 2C role the next game or even shift. 

 

 

Probably right...but remember Paul Fenton has no reason to have any allegiance to Koivu.   Obviously Boudreau is no dummy.   When CL & CF hand Koivu a two year NTC, he knows without asking what his coaching marching orders would be.  Now, I believe, there is some hope that Boudreau will have Fenton's complete backing if Koivu plays the "I'm the Kapitan....the face of the franchise card".

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23 hours ago, IllaZilla said:

 

The team was healthy at the beginning of last season too, and managed to get to 100 points without the services of Parise, Coyle, and Niederreitter for large chunks of the season. So I don't see an issue with them getting to that 100 point mark and making the Playoffs.

 

However, here are the Playoff stats from skaters that have pretty much been the Wild's Top Two Lines:

Last 5 Seasons            
Player Playoff Games Goals Assists Plus/Minus Shots Shooting Percent Shots / Game
Coyle 44 7 8 -17 85 8.2% 1.9
Niederreitter 39 8 10 -7 76 10.5% 1.9
Zucker 31 4 4 -9 63 6.3% 2.0
Parise 36 14 17 -14 110 12.7% 3.1
Granlund 39 8 13 2 91 8.8% 2.3
Koivu 39 6 16 -11 77 7.8% 2.0
Total 228 47 68 -56 502 9.4% 2.2
               
Last 3 Seasons            
Player Playoff Games Goals Assists Plus/Minus Shots Shooting Percent Shots / Game
Coyle 16 3 1 -8 37 8.1% 2.3
Niederreitter 16 1 6 -7 35 2.9% 2.2
Zucker 16 1 2 -9 31 3.2% 1.9
Parise 8 5 1 -4 24 20.8% 3.0
Granlund 16 2 6 -3 38 5.3% 2.4
Koivu 16 4 7 -3 33 12.1% 2.1
Staal 10 1 2 -4 26 3.8% 2.6
Total 98 17 25 -38 224 7.6% 2.3

 

I didn't include Staal in the first set, because he's only been with the Wild for two seasons. I also didn't include the third and fourth lines, because the Wild change those up every season. The only skater that seems to have performed in the Playoffs is Parise. 

 

I know it is a dubious stat, but based on the Plus/Minus, it appears like they don't play defense. But this could also be a function of being out scored. It also appears they are not shooting the puck. Can't score if you don't shoot the puck.

 

Not sure what Boudreau can do with these guys to get them to shoot more. By this stage of their careers, they are set in their ways. As Crease and Assist pointed out, the Wild seem to be content with passing the puck around the perimeter and trying for that long range shot, maybe hoping for a deflection. But a deflection can only occur if you have a player willing to camp out in front of the goaltender and take a beating in order to get his stick on the puck, and it seems Parise is the only player willing to do that. 

 

Its also a lack of want to move in close for the quality scoring chances.  The team often willfully stays on the perimeter because they don't want to get hit.  Winnipeg and St. Louis didn't even really have to rough us up that much to get this team to avoid the middle of the ice.  Any NHL goaltender should have a fairly easy time making saves without screens and taken from long range you're probably just playing catch.  The stats reflect that as well.  The playoffs have often been about dirty, ugly goals.  

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10 hours ago, 4Check said:

Probably right...but remember Paul Fenton has no reason to have any allegiance to Koivu.   Obviously Boudreau is no dummy.   When CL & CF hand Koivu a two year NTC, he knows without asking what his coaching marching orders would be.  Now, I believe, there is some hope that Boudreau will have Fenton's complete backing if Koivu plays the "I'm the Kapitan....the face of the franchise card".

 

It certainly will be interesting to see. There are all sorts of stories coming out of the Wild. Crease and Assist posted a podcast with Brandon Mieleski who said the Wild had Koivu penciled in as the 1C because they were afraid to upset  Koivu, and now you have Boudreau in another podcast saying Koivu's role "could" change...

 

So who is running the team? Fenton/Boudreau or Koivu?

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2 minutes ago, IllaZilla said:

 

It certainly will be interesting to see. There are all sorts of stories coming out of the Wild. Crease and Assist posted a podcast with Brandon Mieleski who said the Wild had Koivu penciled in as the 1C because they were afraid to upset  Koivu, and now you have Boudreau in another podcast saying Koivu's role "could" change...

 

So who is running the team? Fenton/Boudreau or Koivu?

Better add Suter to your list! 😋

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10 hours ago, CreaseAndAssist said:

 

Its also a lack of want to move in close for the quality scoring chances.  The team often willfully stays on the perimeter because they don't want to get hit.  Winnipeg and St. Louis didn't even really have to rough us up that much to get this team to avoid the middle of the ice.  Any NHL goaltender should have a fairly easy time making saves without screens and taken from long range you're probably just playing catch.  The stats reflect that as well.  The playoffs have often been about dirty, ugly goals.  

 

The Wild have always been that way. Pass around the perimeter and hope for that perfect shot. That's why Mark Parrish was brought in, to sit in front of the net and get garbage goals. I mean think about that. They had to being in a player who knew his specific role was to sit in front of the net and try and get garbage goals because no one else on the team would do that. 

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1 minute ago, 4Check said:

Better add Suter to your list! 😋

 

Well, it makes you wonder. Suter seemed almost gleeful when Fletcher got fired. And after reading the article about his recovery,  he acts like he's the smartest guy in the room. No one knows as much as he does.

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3 hours ago, IllaZilla said:

 

Well, it makes you wonder. Suter seemed almost gleeful when Fletcher got fired. And after reading the article about his recovery,  he acts like he's the smartest guy in the room. No one knows as much as he does.

 

He's been that way since his USNDT days.  I think he was happy, he tried his best not to smile but he couldn't control his relief.  We might see Koivu demoted a few shifts, but if it goes beyond a game I'll be surprised.  Should they worry about upsetting him?  Nope, but will they?  Yes they will, as they always have.  

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6 minutes ago, CreaseAndAssist said:

 

He's been that way since his USNDT days.  I think he was happy, he tried his best not to smile but he couldn't control his relief.  We might see Koivu demoted a few shifts, but if it goes beyond a game I'll be surprised.  Should they worry about upsetting him?  Nope, but will they?  Yes they will, as they always have.  

For me....Fenton is the X factor.   Will he lead, or let the inmates continue running the asylum?

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11 minutes ago, 4Check said:

For me....Fenton is the X factor.   Will he lead, or let the inmates continue running the asylum?

 

We will probably find out the answer to this question probably within the first few months of this season I'd imagine.  I'm not too optimistic.

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4 minutes ago, CreaseAndAssist said:

 

We will probably find out the answer to this question probably within the first few months of this season I'd imagine.  I'm not too optimistic.

I'm non-commital.   I have no idea if Fenton has what it takes to tell the inmates that they no longer run the asylum.   IMO, his #1 job is acquiring talent.  However, it has to go hand in hand with demanding that the so called "leadership group" he inherited gets a very early smackdown if they pull the same crap of the past 6 years.

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The only likely candidate to become the Wild's #2 Center is Ek. If Ek so much as has 1 turnover in practice playing alongside any top 6 trio that bumps him out of any chances in a 2C role.

 

There's a REASON this team is short on centers. There's also a REASON why the Wild keep trying to make every center a 2-way player that never has the ability to come out smelling better than Koivu.

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On 7/20/2018 at 9:15 PM, sweetshot said:

I gotta be honest about Mikko being on the number one line--I'll believe it when I see it. At this point, I don't see any reason for the team to worry about Koivu being upset, they've gone over the top already giving him a lot more than he's worth at this point in his career. And if he's that upset and going to be a disruption--bench him. Let Granlund or Coyle play center. I mean at some point, and I thought that was when Fletcher left, he wasn't going to have the same influence with management as he had when CF was here.

Clear minded fans all want the threat of a Koivu benching to be a reality. Additionally, (dead horse) it is also long passed time to pull the ‘C’.  Let us list why:

 

1). Poor leadership (no grit, muck, and fortitude - he regularly plays with two tiny line-mates and watches them ge shitcanned with no response - a 220lb ******)

2). Abysmal point production during 5v5 with stunning minutes over the years, and it is declining fast (his linemates create MOST of his points)

3). Points/shots per PP second of possession might be the worst in Wild (league?) history 

4). Significantly declining skating ability, speed, and stamina 

5). Becoming a liability in faceoff circle

6).  He has ZERO ability in OT 3v3

 

and, most importantly,

 

7). He has sabotaged this team and players with striking frequency for his own personal reasons and ego (I will never be convinced that he has ever cared about the Cup Chase, or ANY linemate that cannot deliver realization of MKs interests)

 

He will be an even bigger millstone in 2019....

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10 hours ago, EmptyShelf said:

Clear minded fans all want the threat of a Koivu benching to be a reality. Additionally, (dead horse) it is also long passed time to pull the ‘C’.  Let us list why:

 

1). Poor leadership (no grit, muck, and fortitude - he regularly plays with two tiny line-mates and watches them ge shitcanned with no response - a 220lb ******)

2). Abysmal point production during 5v5 with stunning minutes over the years, and it is declining fast (his linemates create MOST of his points)

3). Points/shots per PP second of possession might be the worst in Wild (league?) history 

4). Significantly declining skating ability, speed, and stamina 

5). Becoming a liability in faceoff circle

6).  He has ZERO ability in OT 3v3

 

and, most importantly,

 

7). He has sabotaged this team and players with striking frequency for his own personal reasons and ego (I will never be convinced that he has ever cared about the Cup Chase, or ANY linemate that cannot deliver realization of MKs interests)

 

He will be an even bigger millstone in 2019....

You make some, IMO irrefutable points.      About the best I can come up with on his behalf, he's a good penalty killer and IMO, would be a good third line checking center.    The problem with those two positives, .......5.5M per is a lot of money for what is typically a roughly 3M or less role(s).

What makes really me wonder, .........what are you, I and multiple members of this board missing?.    Granted it's VERY early in the Fenton era, but if all you state is factual, why in the world did CF (and early in his tenure apparently Fenton)  remain so infatuated by Koivu's game and leadership?   There must be a mitigating factor.   I am quite disappointed that Russo (who occasionally skates around the edges of your points) hasn't ever directly put your points in question form to either Wild GM.

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    • 2
      Post
      The team was healthy at the beginning of last season too, and managed to get to 100 points without the services of Parise, Coyle, and Niederreitter for large chunks of the season. So I don't see an issue with them getting to that 100 point mark and making the Playoffs.   However, here are the Playoff stats from skaters that have pretty much been the Wild's Top Two Lines: Last 5 Seasons             Player Playoff Games Goals Assists Plus/Minus Shots Shooting Percent Shots / Game Coyle 44 7 8 -17 85 8.2% 1.9 Niederreitter 39 8 10 -7 76 10.5% 1.9 Zucker 31 4 4 -9 63 6.3% 2.0 Parise 36 14 17 -14 110 12.7% 3.1 Granlund 39 8 13 2 91 8.8% 2.3 Koivu 39 6 16 -11 77 7.8% 2.0 Total 228 47 68 -56 502 9.4% 2.2                 Last 3 Seasons             Player Playoff Games Goals Assists Plus/Minus Shots Shooting Percent Shots / Game Coyle 16 3 1 -8 37 8.1% 2.3 Niederreitter 16 1 6 -7 35 2.9% 2.2 Zucker 16 1 2 -9 31 3.2% 1.9 Parise 8 5 1 -4 24 20.8% 3.0 Granlund 16 2 6 -3 38 5.3% 2.4 Koivu 16 4 7 -3 33 12.1% 2.1 Staal 10 1 2 -4 26 3.8% 2.6 Total 98 17 25 -38 224 7.6% 2.3   I didn't include Staal in the first set, because he's only been with the Wild for two seasons. I also didn't include the third and fourth lines, because the Wild change those up every season. The only skater that seems to have performed in the Playoffs is Parise.    I know it is a dubious stat, but based on the Plus/Minus, it appears like they don't play defense. But this could also be a function of being out scored. It also appears they are not shooting the puck. Can't score if you don't shoot the puck.   Not sure what Boudreau can do with these guys to get them to shoot more. By this stage of their careers, they are set in their ways. As Crease and Assist pointed out, the Wild seem to be content with passing the puck around the perimeter and trying for that long range shot, maybe hoping for a deflection. But a deflection can only occur if you have a player willing to camp out in front of the goaltender and take a beating in order to get his stick on the puck, and it seems Parise is the only player willing to do that. 
    • 2
      Post
      For me....Fenton is the X factor.   Will he lead, or let the inmates continue running the asylum?
    • 1
      Post
      Koivu is too slow now to play anything other than 3C or 4C. But that won't stop the Wild from playing the "Face of the Franchise" at the 2C slot. I'm not jazzed about Granlund or Coyle at center either. Granlund was a mediocre player at best until the Wild moved him to wing, and then he flourished. Same with Coyle. Coyle was a terrible center. Just because Coyle can play center doesn't mean he should play center. He better on the wing. This goes back to what Rotty was saying about the Wild not putting players in roles to succeed because they don't want to upset Koivu, Parise, or Suter. From what I've been hearing on podcasts, it sounds like even though CF has left the club, the Three Stooges still have a direct line to Leipold. So if they are unhappy, they go right to the top.
    • 1
      Post
      I will believe Koivu's role changes when I see it, which I predict will be in about two years when his contract is up. The key word with Boudreau's quote is "could", not "changing". Boudreau is being weasely. Koivu's role could change, it might not change. They might move him to the 3C for one game or even one shift, and if Koivu is unhappy, I guarantee you he'll be slotted into the 2C role the next game or even shift.     
    • 1
      Post
      Russo makes a great point in his latest podcast about the fact he feels Fenton needs to see this team play.  Zucker's deal should happen today or he could go to arbitration and we might see just a one-year deal (which means we'll probably lose him).  Beyond that, if the point is to get fresh eyes on the team...Fenton will hopefully be able to decide what he wants after seeing this team play for a season.  It might be painful, but my guess is we see more changes after a season.  
    • 1
      Post
      True, but I think he'll know what he has / doesn't have after 2/3rds of an NHL season...so that would make sense IMO.  

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