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DirtofMinny

'18-'19 Outlook

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Posted (edited)

I see the Wild doing pretty well next year.  I think they will more than likely add to their goal production.  A full year of Nino, Coyle and Parise will offset any dropoff from Staal and Zucker.  The Wild took a step backward last year on the defensive side and gave up more goals.  The roster stability is good and I believe the addition of some sandpaper type guys we should see a more rugged group.  That being said the Wild finished 8th in the league with points even with significant time lost to key players. If we get something out of the youngsters that would be a bonus.  Mainly, if Dubnyk can get it going early and not let in so many soft goals we should see an improvement and at the minimum not lose ground.   A lot depends on injuries, as always, but I think they can have another good year.  Maybe at the deadline, they can add a piece that would help them in the playoffs.

 

I see mostly negativity on the board, but I see a solid year once again.   Tell me where I'm wrong.

 

Edited by DirtofMinny

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Unfortunately - I don't see it...  Staal and a couple others had great years - I just don't see them recreating that...  On top of everything else - I have little confidence that Doobie is going to change much... 

 

But, I do agree with you on "the wild doing pretty well next year"...  And that's the issue - them just doing "pretty well"...

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I think the missing ingredient that people have the hardest time with is that we don't have the elite type player. The kind that can put the playoffs on their back and get it done.    Crosby,  Ovechkin, Stamkos, Kane, etc...   I think it will be tough to get a player like that.  Until then, we obviously will need to keep on truckin' and work for the best.  Each year is new, maybe it could happen for the playoffs this year, but I think the regular season should be really solid.

 

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The Wild made a choice in 2012 (and arguably far earlier) that they would attempt to reach champion caliber with lots of good players void of superstars (by not tanking and building through the top of the draft).    If memory serves, in recent history, only Boston has won a Cup without going full tank mode.  Chi, Pitt, LA and Wash, all have the same "tanking it" in common.  

Not to say there isn't hope with the non-tanking  method.   Certainly Nashville is close and LVK defied all conventional thinking with their near miss.       But while both almost made it, when the big moments arrived and the entire hockey world was watching........IMO, WHILE A CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM MUST MESH FROM TOP TO BOTTOM, still it was
Crosby, Malkin, Ovechkin, Kuznetsov, Kane, Toews & Doughty who took over & were too much of a match for in general, a bunch of really good players.     

 

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1 hour ago, DirtofMinny said:

I think the missing ingredient that people have the hardest time with is that we don't have the elite type player. The kind that can put the playoffs on their back and get it done.    Crosby,  Ovechkin, Stamkos, Kane, etc...   I think it will be tough to get a player like that.  Until then, we obviously will need to keep on truckin' and work for the best.  Each year is new, maybe it could happen for the playoffs this year, but I think the regular season should be really solid.

 

 

That's the whole problem with the Wild. They don't have that superstar because they've never finished badly enough to have a shot at that generational talent. So they continue to get a whole bunch of nice players, but no great players. The Wild do not have that player that will pick up the team and carry it across the finish line by himself. They have no go-to scorer, the guy that you want to get the puck to when the game is on the line.

 

I don't think they'll have a bad regular season. I mean last year they still got 100 points without Coyle and Parise for good chunks of the season, and Niederreitter missed almost 20 games. Parise will get hurt, that's a given. But if Coyle and Niederreitter stay healthy, they will probably have a good regular season.

 

The big question they need to answer is "Can they show up for the Playoffs?

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1 hour ago, DirtofMinny said:

I think the missing ingredient that people have the hardest time with is that we don't have the elite type player. The kind that can put the playoffs on their back and get it done.    Crosby,  Ovechkin, Stamkos, Kane, etc...   I think it will be tough to get a player like that.  Until then, we obviously will need to keep on truckin' and work for the best.  Each year is new, maybe it could happen for the playoffs this year, but I think the regular season should be really solid.

 

 

Yea, nothing like unbridled, delusional optimism.  Sure, they haven't done squat the last 6 years of playoff experiences but by doing the same thing all over again it will be different this time.  

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47 minutes ago, CreaseAndAssist said:

 

Yea, nothing like unbridled, delusional optimism.  Sure, they haven't done squat the last 6 years of playoff experiences but by doing the same thing all over again it will be different this time.  

2 choices, give up or keep trying.  I would prefer to keep trying all the while looking to make a splash at the deadline.  Elite center or Elite goalie.  I figure we might as well try to make a splash and if it fails, who cares, no worse for the wear.

 

I think you probably are the same, just won't admit it.  Why else would you post so much on the board?

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12 minutes ago, DirtofMinny said:

2 choices, give up or keep trying.  I would prefer to keep trying all the while looking to make a splash at the deadline.  Elite center or Elite goalie.  I figure we might as well try to make a splash and if it fails, who cares, no worse for the wear.

 

I think you probably are the same, just won't admit it.  Why else would you post so much on the board?

I agree that an elite goalie & center would be a huge catalyst.  What I can't figure out, is what Wild assets would entice someone to give up such precious commodities?

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2 hours ago, 4Check said:

I agree that an elite goalie & center would be a huge catalyst.  What I can't figure out, is what Wild assets would entice someone to give up such precious commodities?

 

The Wild have no assets to give up (Well, not entirely true, but do you really want the farm system stripped that bare?) Fletcher  traded a good chunk of them away over the last few seasons trying to get those players that would put the team over the hump with no effect, the Pominville trade being the exception. 

I doubt they will be making any moves at the deadline unless the are out of the Playoff picture and try to trade Staal and maybe Coyle or Niederreitter. Otherwise I just see them calling up rookies from Iowa to shore up the roster. 

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19 hours ago, CreaseAndAssist said:

 

Yea, nothing like unbridled, delusional optimism.  Sure, they haven't done squat the last 6 years of playoff experiences but by doing the same thing all over again it will be different this time.  

Yes that is the problem, however you can change the way you do things with the same team. 

Be more aggressive on the forecheck.

Stop breaking up good lines to “get someone going”. They can get themselves going or find a different role to fill. 

Stop wasting overtime with players not suited to that game. 

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So let me understand the viewpoint of most here.  We are a good team, made playoffs 6 straight years, no easy feat.  We are a bad playoff team.  We have changed coaches.  We have spent to the cap, possibly to undeserved players, but ownership will spend.  Our problem is elite players need 1 or 2 of them.  Very stable roster, but this roster won't get it done in the playoffs.  We don't have assets to use in acquisition of eilte players. 

 

So we are good, but not good enough.  No assets, so can't do anything about it.  So the only option is to completely tank for 1 draft pick.   How is this prudent?  I think you have to keep plugging along and one year, maybe you catch lightning in a bottle. 

 

I really think "tanking" is an absolutely terrible idea.  The last time we had a team tank (North Stars in late 80's) no one would show up to the games and they move to Texas.  Those top picks (Modano and Lawton), one was HOF the other was not even close.  Why not focus on real things instead fantasyland.   We needed tougher guys, I think they have done that.  Cullen for example, provided absolutely no toughness, he was a waste of time.  Pominville, the same.  Now we need the guys we have and brought in to deliver that toughness, especially in the playoffs. 

 

I expect a much-improved 3rd and 4th line.  The top 6 are really the same, but hopefully a healthy season.

 

My biggest complaint is Dubnyk.  He can be very good, but he also crushes our team with soft goals.  If you all remember Jon Casey, he was the same thing.  He could stand on his head and be amazing only to let up soft goals at the worst times.  He made it to the Stanley Cup as our #1.  My fantasyland dream would be that Dubnyk can do the same.

 

Your turn.....

 

 

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Well we kind of changed coaches.

The first year of Boudrou, he coached until playoff time, after that it seemed we had the same coaching as when Yeo was here.

I am interested to see which coach we get this year. The coach that rolled 4 lines for 2 periods and then played the hot hands in the 3rd, or the coach that played the highest paid whether they produced or not.

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This is the good stuff!  Let's talk about what can be done to maximize what we have.

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4 hours ago, DirtofMinny said:

So let me understand the viewpoint of most here.  We are a good team, made playoffs 6 straight years, no easy feat.  We are a bad playoff team.  We have changed coaches.  We have spent to the cap, possibly to undeserved players, but ownership will spend.  Our problem is elite players need 1 or 2 of them.  Very stable roster, but this roster won't get it done in the playoffs.  We don't have assets to use in acquisition of eilte players. 

 

So we are good, but not good enough.  No assets, so can't do anything about it.  So the only option is to completely tank for 1 draft pick.   How is this prudent?  I think you have to keep plugging along and one year, maybe you catch lightning in a bottle. 

 

I really think "tanking" is an absolutely terrible idea.  The last time we had a team tank (North Stars in late 80's) no one would show up to the games and they move to Texas.  Those top picks (Modano and Lawton), one was HOF the other was not even close.  Why not focus on real things instead fantasyland.   We needed tougher guys, I think they have done that.  Cullen for example, provided absolutely no toughness, he was a waste of time.  Pominville, the same.  Now we need the guys we have and brought in to deliver that toughness, especially in the playoffs. 

 

I expect a much-improved 3rd and 4th line.  The top 6 are really the same, but hopefully a healthy season.

 

My biggest complaint is Dubnyk.  He can be very good, but he also crushes our team with soft goals.  If you all remember Jon Casey, he was the same thing.  He could stand on his head and be amazing only to let up soft goals at the worst times.  He made it to the Stanley Cup as our #1.  My fantasyland dream would be that Dubnyk can do the same.

 

Your turn.....

 

 

I don't know if "tanking" is fantasyland......since 9 of the last 10 Cups were won by teams which "tanked" to create their core.  But like I suggested before, Nashville is close without completely tanking.

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I totally agree that the "tanking" scheme is total hogwash fantasy.   For every team that you can claim has tanked (which they probably didn't do intentionally, they just sucked naturally) I could name two teams that have sucked for years and years and still suck, despite the high draft picks - Edm, Buff, Fla, NYI, Tor.   True generational talents are few and far between.

 

Fact is, it's hard as hell to win the Cup and several years of sucking doesn't guarantee anything.

 

Not to mention the Draft lottery.

 

I also agree that the Wild not having a true elite Super Star is a bad thing,  BUT one or two Super Stars absolutely does NOT guarantee a Cup, it takes a team and a lot of luck. 

 

Since the Wild didn't change anything, I expect next season to be very similar to the past year.  But if the team gets lucky avoiding injuries, they could easily advance a few rounds in the Playoffs.

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6 hours ago, DirtofMinny said:

So let me understand the viewpoint of most here.  We are a good team, made playoffs 6 straight years, no easy feat.  We are a bad playoff team.  We have changed coaches.  We have spent to the cap, possibly to undeserved players, but ownership will spend.  Our problem is elite players need 1 or 2 of them.  Very stable roster, but this roster won't get it done in the playoffs.  We don't have assets to use in acquisition of eilte players. 

 

So we are good, but not good enough.  No assets, so can't do anything about it.  So the only option is to completely tank for 1 draft pick.   How is this prudent?  I think you have to keep plugging along and one year, maybe you catch lightning in a bottle. 

 

I really think "tanking" is an absolutely terrible idea.  The last time we had a team tank (North Stars in late 80's) no one would show up to the games and they move to Texas.  Those top picks (Modano and Lawton), one was HOF the other was not even close.  Why not focus on real things instead fantasyland.   We needed tougher guys, I think they have done that.  Cullen for example, provided absolutely no toughness, he was a waste of time.  Pominville, the same.  Now we need the guys we have and brought in to deliver that toughness, especially in the playoffs. 

 

I expect a much-improved 3rd and 4th line.  The top 6 are really the same, but hopefully a healthy season.

 

My biggest complaint is Dubnyk.  He can be very good, but he also crushes our team with soft goals.  If you all remember Jon Casey, he was the same thing.  He could stand on his head and be amazing only to let up soft goals at the worst times.  He made it to the Stanley Cup as our #1.  My fantasyland dream would be that Dubnyk can do the same.

 

Your turn.....

 

 

 

Our turn?  Is this a game?  You expect a much-improved 3rd and 4th line.  Why?  Have you looked at J.T. Brown, Matt Hendricks, Eric Fehr, and Matt Read's production?  Do you think its really going to be THAT much better?  

 

Tanking may not please you, but if you want to get a superstar...its your best chance to draft one is to be bad and get a Top 3 pick.  Its not guaranteed, but you're chances of drafting a super star beyond the 20th pick are far lower.  Is it possible yes...but not likely.  

 

The draft itself wasn't the North Stars fault...the fault was with the North Stars.  They drafted poorly and they were perennially mediocre because of it.  

 

The Wild are going to have virtually the same team they had a season ago, except its going to be an older group (which was already and old-ish team).  And if we're just good in the regular season and have another 3rd or 4th place finish in the division and get bounced in the 1st round of the playoffs is that a success in your mind?  

 

(yawn)  Your turn...

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Imo the guys they signed for the bottom lines were re-arranging deck chairs on Titanic.   Meaningless.  The team needs  Zucker, Cioyle, and Nino  to step up. I'm all in on Grenway.  I watched him at The Ralph at U18 and was thrilled when Wild drafter hunter.  

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8 hours ago, CreaseAndAssist said:

 

Our turn?  Is this a game?  You expect a much-improved 3rd and 4th line.  Why?  Have you looked at J.T. Brown, Matt Hendricks, Eric Fehr, and Matt Read's production?  Do you think its really going to be THAT much better?  

 

Tanking may not please you, but if you want to get a superstar...its your best chance to draft one is to be bad and get a Top 3 pick.  Its not guaranteed, but you're chances of drafting a super star beyond the 20th pick are far lower.  Is it possible yes...but not likely.  

 

The draft itself wasn't the North Stars fault...the fault was with the North Stars.  They drafted poorly and they were perennially mediocre because of it.  

 

The Wild are going to have virtually the same team they had a season ago, except its going to be an older group (which was already and old-ish team).  And if we're just good in the regular season and have another 3rd or 4th place finish in the division and get bounced in the 1st round of the playoffs is that a success in your mind?  

 

(yawn)  Your turn...

Yes, I do, can't be any worse than Cullen no matter who you put out there.  Probably the softest bottom 6 in the league.  BB needs to push the bottom 6, big time.  Got to see some big hits.  

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I really think the wild’s season will turn on the play of Eek, Kunin, Greenway and goaltending. 

The vets are what they are, probably no surprises from them. 

I haven’t seen greenway much, but not impressed yet. I thought kunin was better than Eek before they went to minors, but then got hurt right away. 

If the new crop of young guns play well, we’ll be ok. 

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9 hours ago, DirtofMinny said:

Yes, I do, can't be any worse than Cullen no matter who you put out there.  Probably the softest bottom 6 in the league.  BB needs to push the bottom 6, big time.  Got to see some big hits.  

It will be  interesting watching Greenway.   Certainly 11 games is not a very good sample size.   But I was a bit surprised on his lack of physicality.   I would guess he was still so focused on his positioning responsibilities, that he was perhaps overthinking his next positioning assignment rather than finishing his checks.

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Posted (edited)

Goal tending hasn't changed and won't get any better. Last year they lacked defensively and with Suter injured it leaves them in a worse position than last year.

 

Offensively everyone got older. If you thought Koivu looked slow last year this year he'll look like a boat anchor if he expects to step foot on the ice at every opportunity - like always. That alone is pathetic.

Staal got a year older yet though all of last season with Zucker and Nino or Granlund flanking him that's not too bad. Outside of them the rest of the cast will be role players filling space because they're not supposed to get creative unless Mikko goes down.

Parise will again likely play about half the season. Not being on the top line will gain him about a dozen more games without being a totally prime human target for teams to practice their cross-checking routines on... So that's a plus.

 

Special teams are going to suck. Without Suter on the left point expect the dismal Koivu - Granlund - Parise crew to waste even more time dinking around the perimeter playing keep-away with defending players from other teams standing all but idle watching the circus do nothing to feed the puck inside. These guys are like scared rabbits with eagles flying overhead casting their shadow on them causing nothing but fear. Not a damn one of them has the balls to take it to the net.

 

Unless Greenway steps out huge players like Ek, Coyle, Kunin and the rest of the merry gang have nothing to prove to win inner-team battles to vie for BETTER ice time than just shuffle between the 2nd, 3rd and 4th lines hoping they get press box time so they don't have to keep being used wrong and constantly be humiliated by Koivu, Parise and Suter by throwing them under the bus.

 

The commentators this year will be promoting more of the same old BS as always by NOT calling it like it is.

 

And once again the refs will let other teams knock the snot out of Wild players because now they're even more tired of their phucking whining about knit-picky crap going on during games because not a damn Wild player has enough pride or courage to make other teams stop the bullschitt and get down to some real hockey.

Edited by rottenrefs

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11 hours ago, DirtofMinny said:

Yes, I do, can't be any worse than Cullen no matter who you put out there.  Probably the softest bottom 6 in the league.  BB needs to push the bottom 6, big time.  Got to see some big hits.  

 

  Just remind you – Matt Cullen is our Minnesota legend and always will be, who is still easily playing at his age in NHL since 1997. Who was else such a most productive player for the 4th line with an average of 12.3 goals per season in 21 years through his career? That is a rare professional talent to find his personal role position in NHL. Why the Pittsburgh took him again this year at his age? They understood well- his treasure is in the better production of the 4th line. Even during the playoffs last season Matt had a goal and one assist in 5 games for our team too. Who was else native out of Minnesota who had 3 Stanley Cup titles? Just do not remember. Not many people out of Minnesota coaching staff, managing staff, fans realized that deeply. Probably, Foligno-Cullen-Winnik line was not a bad tough 4th line for us last season and maybe was the best in the Wild history. Personally for me , the importance of the 4th line is not less than the importance of the 1st one, or maybe even more, especially when the 1st line is not capable to make any production. The coaching talent is to find a completely competitive all 4 lines and to build their outstanding chemistry. I think nothing else should come out of the freely working coach.

 

Is the production less important than hits? I do not think so. For the entire 6 playoff seasons Wild had an EXTREMELY HORRIBLE WORST production out of all 4 lines. Here is an example, about a Jets team. No questions – nice team, which I liked a lot last season. But the main toughness out of that team was practically coming from one player defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, who was a real bull through the whole playoffs. Did it helped to pass them to a more productive team – Vegas ? No. Did the Capitals were more like a tough running bulls than the Vegas Nights? No. They were more productive as well as more talented to put the puck into the net, even after they lost Kuznetsov during the second game in a Cup finals. Did the previous Stanley Cup finalists – Pittsburgh or Chicago looked like a tough running bulls? No. Production was their real gold treasure.

Agree with Fargo – IT’S HARD AS HELL TO WIN THE CUP.

 

To reach a Stanley Cup finals the team should have an iron mental toughness as well as an outstanding professional talent in production and a real willing to do that. We nicely discussed that a LOT at our old Wild Message Board.

 

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I didn’t have any trouble with Cullen after the 2/3rd part of the season. 

I actually thought he was better than koivu, and given his age and contract he was a fair deal. 

Expecting a player like cullen to be a pounder is a mistake. Players should play to their strengths, not weaknesses. 

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The bottom six was not the problem in the Playoffs. Anyone that thinks it was has a screw loose.

 

It was the big guns: Koivu, Niederreitter, Zucker, and Coyle. All MIA. Parise was Ok before he broke his sternum (how in the hell do you do that?!?), and so was Granlund. But even those two only manage eleven shots in eight games, barely a shot a game. But when only 1/3 of your top lines shows up for the Playoffs, that's a recipe for disaster. Which is exactly what happened.

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Posted (edited)
On ‎8‎/‎2‎/‎2018 at 1:17 PM, 4Check said:

The Wild made a choice in 2012 (and arguably far earlier) that they would attempt to reach champion caliber with lots of good players void of superstars (by not tanking and building through the top of the draft).    If memory serves, in recent history, only Boston has won a Cup without going full tank mode.  Chi, Pitt, LA and Wash, all have the same "tanking it" in common.  

Not to say there isn't hope with the non-tanking  method.   Certainly Nashville is close and LVK defied all conventional thinking with their near miss.       But while both almost made it, when the big moments arrived and the entire hockey world was watching........IMO, WHILE A CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM MUST MESH FROM TOP TO BOTTOM, still it was
Crosby, Malkin, Ovechkin, Kuznetsov, Kane, Toews & Doughty who took over & were too much of a match for in general, a bunch of really good players.     

 

Gaborik was arguably one of those guys--someone said he was a player that could tilt the rink--and perhaps even Burns for at least a couple of years. Would have been interesting to see those 2 mature together with the Wild. Lemaire probably would have stayed also.

(sigh)Oh well.... 

Edited by sweetshot
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      The Wild made a choice in 2012 (and arguably far earlier) that they would attempt to reach champion caliber with lots of good players void of superstars (by not tanking and building through the top of the draft).    If memory serves, in recent history, only Boston has won a Cup without going full tank mode.  Chi, Pitt, LA and Wash, all have the same "tanking it" in common.   Not to say there isn't hope with the non-tanking  method.   Certainly Nashville is close and LVK defied all conventional thinking with their near miss.       But while both almost made it, when the big moments arrived and the entire hockey world was watching........IMO, WHILE A CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM MUST MESH FROM TOP TO BOTTOM, still it was
      Crosby, Malkin, Ovechkin, Kuznetsov, Kane, Toews & Doughty who took over & were too much of a match for in general, a bunch of really good players.       
    • 2
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      The bottom six was not the problem in the Playoffs. Anyone that thinks it was has a screw loose.   It was the big guns: Koivu, Niederreitter, Zucker, and Coyle. All MIA. Parise was Ok before he broke his sternum (how in the hell do you do that?!?), and so was Granlund. But even those two only manage eleven shots in eight games, barely a shot a game. But when only 1/3 of your top lines shows up for the Playoffs, that's a recipe for disaster. Which is exactly what happened.
    • 2
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      I'd rather not have Greenway mentored by Koivu.. if theres one sure way to ruin his development and turn him into a passive wimp that doesn't play with emotion/heart or use his size/physicality to his advantage.. thats it.
    • 2
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      Our own Eric Staal was a superstar that season, scoring 100 points during the regular season and 28 during the playoffs for the Hurricanes. They also had Ray Whitney who played in 1300 games and had over 1000 points, Doug Weight 1200 games and 1000 points, Rod Brind'amour 1500 games and 1200 points, and Mark Recchi(HOF) 1650 games and over 1500 points in their careers. They had some talent.
    • 1
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      That's the whole problem with the Wild. They don't have that superstar because they've never finished badly enough to have a shot at that generational talent. So they continue to get a whole bunch of nice players, but no great players. The Wild do not have that player that will pick up the team and carry it across the finish line by himself. They have no go-to scorer, the guy that you want to get the puck to when the game is on the line.   I don't think they'll have a bad regular season. I mean last year they still got 100 points without Coyle and Parise for good chunks of the season, and Niederreitter missed almost 20 games. Parise will get hurt, that's a given. But if Coyle and Niederreitter stay healthy, they will probably have a good regular season.   The big question they need to answer is "Can they show up for the Playoffs?
    • 1
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      In Russo's Athletic Q & A, he floated the idea of  having JEE centering Coyle & Nino, with Koivu between Parise and Greenway  .  (suggesting Boudreau thought Greenway could play the off wing) and of course Staal between 16 & 64.  Personally I like it.  It gives  JEE  the possibility of being, at worst a 2B rather than strictly a 3rd line designation.   And it allows the two vet forwards to mentor Greenway.   Plus, hopefully with Koivu centering, they would get the defensive matchup assignments, freeing up the other two lines for more favorable matchups..

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