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lynxrattle

Finnish Media on the Wild

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Here's a Google translated (I clarified some parts) article that appeared in the Finnish Broadcasting Company's net site today (

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"Minnesota Wild is one of the most interesting clubs in the NHL right now. The Wild's pains, who had only won one of his first seven matches, were slightly diluted by the wins over Montreal and Edmonton, but by no means is the confusing tire fire around the club ending in any way.

 

Perhaps the most confusing thing about Minnesota has been the way the team has played. We are talking about some kind of organic ice hockey, which in many places has no structure whatsoever. And now, this is a team that has been known for years for its discipline in playing as a 5-man unit, and its defense. Although never one of the series' championship favorites, Minnesota has long been known as a truly disgusting opponent to play against.

 

Honestly, for example, on Sunday, Minnesota probably wouldn't have won anything but poor Montreal. It also puzzles that the game is very much played by the same players as a couple of years ago, when Wild was regularly playing in the Western Conference playoffs. During Sunday's game I went through an SMS correspondence with veteran coach Ismo Lehkonen during the match and we broke the game down, and Wild's start again on Tuesday.

 

- There was nothing at all in the Wild game in the early part. There is no structure in the offensive game, and there is no regularity at all in the forechecking game, there is no continuity in the opening game, and so on. Earlier last week, in one match, they just left all five players under the game in a vain hope that something thing nice would just happen, Lehkonen sighed.

 

- It's not that way in the NHL.

 

According to Lehkonen, some players suffer from a situation where the way the team plays gives no support at all.

 

- Look at someone like (Kevin) Fiala out there, the guy's just up there with no game play support. There's no oxygen in that play. (Eric) Staal is there looking around to see if you really have to start working here.

 

A funny coincidence, but Staal really started to rumble on Tuesday. The Canadian striker was involved in every Wild goal. Yet individual victories no longer represent anything to Minnesota. The core, which has been in the pile for a long time, is getting moldy because the club leadership was unable to renew the team in time. No 36-year-old Mikko Koivu should be playing in an NHL team's first line or running the game in the team's first power play lineup.

 

And this is not Koivu's fault.

 

Water should flow, but in St. Paul this has not happened for years. Standing water is the worst possible situation in such a tough professional sport and it is even embarrassing to follow the suffering of Minnesota. The game is completely messed up and the coaching team under the leadership of Bruce Boudreau seems mostly to be submissive.

 

And at the same time, fresh GM Bill Guerin grumbles totally senseless stuff like: "This team deserves a chance to show what it can achieve."

 

I wonder what Guerin is expecting the Wild's pystyynhomehtunut (rotten and moldy, due to it's age) core group still to show? On the other hand, there is nothing Guerin can do, because all key players in the contract have NMC's or NTC's. Slow death is the most painful.

 

So it's no big wonder that the players are also showing some symptoms. Last week, forward Jason Zucker announced after the game that starting with a coach, everyone should be better. Of course, throwing the coach under the bus in public was an immediate scandal, so Zucker apologized to Boudreau for a couple of days.

 

This is how working life works: you shouldn't bark at the boss in public. That still doesn't mean that Zucker wasn't right."

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Unfortunatly that is a fair description of this team.

That Koivu is on the power play is only because no one else is able to win a faceoff with any regularity.

 

Good Luck Bill Guerin.

 

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The part about Koivu not being at fault is where I stopped reading.  The team sucks, we knew that.  They're slow and El Kapitan is part of the problem.  

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17 hours ago, CreaseAndAssist said:

The part about Koivu not being at fault is where I stopped reading.  The team sucks, we knew that.  They're slow and El Kapitan is part of the problem.  

Wow, only then. I almost stopped in the first sentence "Minnesota Wild is one of the most interesting clubs in the NHL right now." :HahaNO: Well, to each his own...

This came across more like a summary of the things people have posted here and in the late Wild.forum.

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On 10/24/2019 at 10:27 PM, lynxrattle said:

No 36-year-old Mikko Koivu should be playing in an NHL team's first line or running the game in the team's first power play lineup.

 

And this is not Koivu's fault.

I read it as there should've been a comma after "lineup" and finish with the Koivu statement. 

While finishing out his contract and better be career, We all know he should be centering the 3rd line at best. But BB still plays him higher and in too many situations. 

How do we know if anyone else can win faceoffs on a PP when they don't get a chance? 

Why Koivu is even thought as a 'FO specialist' bewilders me since the rule change, Yet he still gets the nod.

I'm sure the organization is just honering him in his last year by giving him all this responsibility but it just doesn't work anymore.

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20 minutes ago, ClusterChuck said:

I read it as there should've been a comma after "lineup" and finish with the Koivu statement. 

While finishing out his contract and better be career, We all know he should be centering the 3rd line at best. But BB still plays him higher and in too many situations. 

How do we know if anyone else can win faceoffs on a PP when they don't get a chance? 

Why Koivu is even thought as a 'FO specialist' bewilders me since the rule change, Yet he still gets the nod.

I'm sure the organization is just honering him in his last year by giving him all this responsibility but it just doesn't work anymore.

Koivu is ranked 20th overall in the NHL with 101 face offs won and a 55.6% FOW. 

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11 minutes ago, IllaZilla said:

Koivu is ranked 20th overall in the NHL with 101 face offs won and a 55.6% FOW. 

 

While Koivu should not be a top six forward and his skillset is diminishing rather quickly, THIS at least, he still does well.
Gives his team possession more often than not.
Now...what the team does AFTER the possession, well, that's another story.....

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15 minutes ago, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:

 

While Koivu should not be a top six forward and his skillset is diminishing rather quickly, THIS at least, he still does well.
Gives his team possession more often than not.
Now...what the team does AFTER the possession, well, that's another story.....


While Koivu is not a top six forward any more, the biggest problem is that none of the younger forwards have stepped up. However, the Wild really don’t give the young guys any chances, because the owner is demanding the Playoffs. So the coach is forced to play the older guys to increase the chances of a win in order to get to the Playoffs. Until Leipold keeps his trap shut and lets the GM do his job, the team is going to be stuck in mediocrity by continuing to play over the hill vets and sticking the younger players on the third and fourth lines with limited playing time. 

Edited by IllaZilla

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1 minute ago, IllaZilla said:


While Koivu is not a top six forward any more, the biggest problem is that none of the younger forwards have stepped up. However, the Wild really don’t give the young guys any chances, because the owner is demanding the Playoffs. So the coach is forced to play the older guys to increase the chances of a win in order to get to the Playoffs. Until Leipold keeps his trap shut and lets the GM do his job, the team is going to be stuck in mediocrity. 

 

Yes, it's definitely a conundrum. 
True, many of the younger guys haven't taken the ball and ran with it, so to speak, but also true, we won't ever truly know unless they get heavier minutes.

At some point, someone (I.E. the owner) is just going have to decide on a course trajectory and stick with it, as this "chicken and the egg" thing simply isn't working for the team.

The team was already in trouble in many areas, as you already know, but man, Paul Fenton....he hurt this team....hurt them deep with his debacle of a tenure.
Whatever lifelines the Wild may have had, he pretty much pissed away with the awful trades.

I am trying to still have faith that Bill Guerin will be persuasive enough with Leipold that he would be allowed to reshape the team the proper way.
 

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1 hour ago, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:

 

While Koivu should not be a top six forward and his skillset is diminishing rather quickly, THIS at least, he still does well.
Gives his team possession more often than not.
Now...what the team does AFTER the possession, well, that's another story.....

 

He is by far the Wild's best faceoff man, but after that...I don't think he should get top PP ice time.   By that same token...we're not getting much from #11 these days either.  

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43 minutes ago, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:

 

Yes, it's definitely a conundrum. 
True, many of the younger guys haven't taken the ball and ran with it, so to speak, but also true, we won't ever truly know unless they get heavier minutes.

At some point, someone (I.E. the owner) is just going have to decide on a course trajectory and stick with it, as this "chicken and the egg" thing simply isn't working for the team.

The team was already in trouble in many areas, as you already know, but man, Paul Fenton....he hurt this team....hurt them deep with his debacle of a tenure.
Whatever lifelines the Wild may have had, he pretty much pissed away with the awful trades.

I am trying to still have faith that Bill Guerin will be persuasive enough with Leipold that he would be allowed to reshape the team the proper way.
 

 

I agree.  The team has to pick some kind of style of play and build towards it.  Personally, I think being fast, skilled is the way the league has been going ever since they got rid of the 2-line pass.  The Wild kind of steadily gotten slower, and older...in defiance of that trend and its only to their detriment.  They've drafted players who have skating issues saying the other parts of their game make their skating deficiencies less of a big deal.  That'd be ok if maybe it was isolated to one player.  But when just about every player we draft that isn't a defenseman has skating issues...then you have one slow team and that makes it difficult to be competitive to let alone be a winner.  

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Agreed.  But, even when they have speed and skating ability, the line pairings find a way to squelch this advantage.  Zucker should never be paired with guys that he has to wait for at the blue line (while getting his skates sharpened) by the time they get there.  Thus, they don't even try to maximize mismatches and synergy due to egos - which is the death of any strategy they might employ for an advantage.  SMH

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The lack of forward speed makes me think  of Haula, who has started very well with Carolina. I didn't appreciate him much, but who knows, maybe he has a killer season this year.

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Koivu is at the stage in his career that matt cullen was at when he left nashville for pitsburgh.

Kill penalties, win faceoffs, play where and when you are told.

I doubt mikko will do that.

 

They need more skill on the PP. Winning a faceoff does not equate into a goal.

If it did the game would just be nothing but faceoffs.  

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16 minutes ago, Tomdog said:

Koivu is at the stage in his career that matt cullen was at when he left nashville for pitsburgh.

Kill penalties, win faceoffs, play where and when you are told.

I doubt mikko will do that.

 

They need more skill on the PP. Winning a faceoff does not equate into a goal.

If it did the game would just be nothing but faceoffs.  

 

Funny you should post this, as just yesterday was discussing Koivu's place on the team, and this is EXACTLY what came up!

The parallels between where Mikko's career is and Matt Cullen's contributions to teams after his top six days were over are uncanny.
The difference, of course, is that Cullen accepted and embraced his role as a bottom six guy, and as you know, continued to make a decent NHL living providing his useful services to a handful of teams in that capacity.

Perhaps after this season, when Mikko's contract is up, he will realize that if he wants to continue to be employed by an NHL team, he will have to do exactly what Cullen did...…….or hang them up if he can't accept a bottom six/possession 4th line role.

 

Yes, I know that doesn't help the Wild THIS season, but it is something I would be interested in seeing how it plays out afterwards, as I honestly feel Mikko still has use as an NHL'er…..but in the RIGHT role with the right mindset.
And it isn't top six or PP specialist any longer.

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But will Mikko allow his time and role to be reduced?  No freakin' way...even if his play and diminishing skills warrant it.  

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I also suspect that Koivu's lack of speed makes it impossible for him to make a cullenesque transition. The defensive hockey iq is there, but the legs are not good enough to keep playing in the NHL. Koivu's junior years team TPS is in deep trouble. He really should consider retiring from the NHL and see if he can find a role in salvaging his childhood/adolescence team back home. 

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14 hours ago, lynxrattle said:

The lack of forward speed makes me think  of Haula, who has started very well with Carolina. I didn't appreciate him much, but who knows, maybe he has a killer season this year.

 

Man the expansion draft really hurt in MN.

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The best the wild can hope for is Koivu realize that if he wants to win a Stanley cup he will have to take a reduced role on another team. Waive the nmc and the wild get a good pick. 

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23 hours ago, IllaZilla said:

Koivu is ranked 20th overall in the NHL with 101 face offs won and a 55.6% FOW. 

Stats are fine in most cases, But add in the times he's kicked out since the rule change. I count that as a 'lost' faceoff.

 

Then you have to take in consideration when those 'wins' are. Which is more important, In the O zone or D? 

Depends on the situation at the time. That's how I judge.

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15 minutes ago, ClusterChuck said:

Stats are fine in most cases, But add in the times he's kicked out since the rule change. I count that as a 'lost' faceoff.

 

Then you have to take in consideration when those 'wins' are. Which is more important, In the O zone or D? 

Depends on the situation at the time. That's how I judge.

It’s not a face off attempt if he gets tossed, because he never had the opportunity to take the draw. Might as well say a player that passes instead of shooting should have their shooting percentage reduced because they missed a shot. 

His power play face off is at 64.3%.

His short handed face off is at 51.6%.
His even strength face off is at 54.9%.
 

Koivu gives the team the best chance of winning possession. Like @TropicalFruitGirl26¬†said, what the team does with the puck after Koivu wins possession is an whole ‚Äėnother¬†story.¬†

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2 hours ago, IllaZilla said:

It’s not a face off attempt if he gets tossed, because he never had the opportunity to take the draw. Might as well say a player that passes instead of shooting should have their shooting percentage reduced because they missed a shot. 

His power play face off is at 64.3%.

His short handed face off is at 51.6%.
His even strength face off is at 54.9%.
 

Koivu gives the team the best chance of winning possession. Like @TropicalFruitGirl26¬†said, what the team does with the puck after Koivu wins possession is an whole ‚Äėnother¬†story.¬†

I fully agree with that.

 

But my point is, It's Koivu's job since he's sent out for that situation is to be there for the FO..

He's blowing his "opportunities" with his old tricks. 

 

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Would be kind of funny, and telling, if Mikko picked up a one year deal with a different team next year - and went on to have his most productive season there...  :frantics:

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On 10/29/2019 at 8:30 AM, lynxrattle said:

I also suspect that Koivu's lack of speed makes it impossible for him to make a cullenesque transition. The defensive hockey iq is there, but the legs are not good enough to keep playing in the NHL. Koivu's junior years team TPS is in deep trouble. He really should consider retiring from the NHL and see if he can find a role in salvaging his childhood/adolescence team back home. 

 

Financially or did they tie themselves down with a bunch of geezers that can't skate too?  

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For obvious reasons people like to give hard time to Koivu and I certainly have been one of those but in reality, if we think of the main problems, Koivu isn't even in the top5. For one, his contract is about to expire. And while he isn't good captain material, he's not a catastrophe on blades. Scoring prowess has gone but he's not a turnover machine either who couldn't care less of D.

 

Bigger problems:

Parise

Dubnyk

Staal

Zuccarello

Suter

Spurgeon

 

Maybe even in that order. What do you think?

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