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Article: What Happened To Evason's New And Improved Special Teams?

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Dewzy is the Rodney Dangerfield of this squad.  He just shows up (undersized and all.  Looking at you Rossi) and goes to work.  He created offensive opportunities while on PK and 5v5 but playing short handed with Reavo on his wing.  Of course Shawzy deserves credit for pk too.  But Dean gets zero credit.  If Dewzy doesn’t get to sniff some top 6 minutes next year, and Dean feeds those minutes to Fred instead I’ll begin the “deans gotta go” petition myself.  

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Highly touted prospect down the drain as Deano gives up after just a single season worth of games. Maybe Dean tried to piss him off, as he did Rossi, then was steamed that Addison wasn't completely receptive to his advice afterwards.

Addison looks like a great PP quarterback and should not be thrown away after a single season in the NHL. Development takes time, it just seems like Dean has no patience for it. He would rather plug in a 30 something player he likes from his history and refuse to say anything to them but the most flowery of compliments.

If we want guys to develop we have to be okay with them making mistakes when moving from the A to the big show. Not every single guy is going to be a Boldy and make a seamless transition.  

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No respect.

I’ll take kid from The Pas over Austrian but I’m no Draft Guru.

Second thought is, the Wild’s special teams are up and down. The stats might show 20% but in reality it’s better or worse for stretches of time. You gotta hope playoffs isn’t when it goes down to pitiful. I believe that’s part of the reality but I also think Ek is way more important to the Wild than people realize. That truly hurt the Wild the worst for this most recent playoff loss. That’s MN luck more than refs or the negligible coaching decisions. We always get crappy refs and the coaches get ripped each year based on everyone armchair quarterbacking.

I think this year would have been different with Ek at full capacity against Dallas.

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Addison is effective quarterbacking a power play. He doesn't directly score that frequently, but is quick to move the puck to the playmakers who drive scoring.

The PP time averages around 4-5 minutes of game time. In the other 55+ minutes, Addison doesn't drive scoring at all and struggles on defense. The Wild improved their points% once they made the commitment to play a more defense first game. The Wild were 15th in points percentage when they made the move, barely hanging on to a playoff position.

In the 1.5 months that followed, prior to the JEE injury, they rivaled Boston in points percentage and got themselves within striking distance of the #1 seed in the West. Injuries derailed their ability to compete in the playoffs, but I don't think that's a reason to believe the coaching decision to focus on defense there, at the expense of Addison's minutes, was a bad one.

Addison probably played his best defense in the 8 games he played during that 22 game stretch from February 15th to the end of March where the Wild went 16-2-4, so the benching might have helped.

Addison and Rossi are young, and could still develop with Minnesota, but we'll see which way Guerin goes. Either of them could be traded individually or packaged with another player that has a higher contract value to try to help out the salary cap situation.

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The PK was the difference both last year and this year in the playoffs.  So much emphasis was placed on pressuring the puck carrier.  I'm okay with that when they don't have complete control.  But when the opposing team has control the D must retract and keep shots on the outside.  Being patient on the PK is just as important as being patient on the PP.  Until we recognize that we will continue to struggle in the playoffs... regardless of what happens in regular season.

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What happened to special teams? I thought both units were improved, especially the PK, but then, the playoffs! Simply put, 1 key injury derailed both. 

No, it was not the absence of Addison on the PP. He is a good QB for the unit, but it was the Ek injury that killed it. He was not adequately replaced. Also, of note, I think Lundell could have replaced him in that position had we picked him! We also could have had a nice net front presence in Alex Tuch. I guess decisions have consequences!

On the PK, the Ek-Gaudreau pairing was hampered with the Ek injury, the Dewar-Shaw pairing wasn't quite as hampered with the Shaw injury. Duhaime filled in pretty well there. Overall, in the playoffs, if the Stars didn't score in the 1st 10 seconds of the PP, I thought the units did pretty well. That 1st 10 seconds, though, certainly showed the importance of Ek to the unit. 

Could Rossi have made a difference on the PK? His reported quickness, skating, and IQ probably should have helped, but he may have been too timid this season to show that. I'm sure hoping that next year we get to see the player that his draft profile told us he was!

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