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Article: Fixing the Minnesota’s Penalty Kill Starts With A Neutral Zone Overhaul

Justin Wiggins

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Judging by the examples of Wild players being out of position in identical situations tells me they are being coached that way. It only reinforces my current opinion that the coaching staff is way behind the eight ball. So where do the changes happen? I have a suggestion. Start the change behind the bench and yes I have been consistent on this since January.

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I have lost confidence in our coaching staff. It seems like they'd rather be napping at home than fixing this thing. Nice tutorial Justin!

So, the focus of this article was the neutral zone and sagging towards the middle a bit more. It's like when the commander keeps yelling hold, hold, hold and then cuts them loose. But I have a question: What about once the opponents gain entry?

My eye test says our PP loves to pass around the perimeter, almost like it's keep away. But, they don't shoot and they don't get a clear shot and they don't break down the opponents box very often. However contrast that to the PK where it seems like the opponent sneezes and our box is in shambles. 

This would once again seem like your point on aggression. Nobody needs to chase a guy down on the half boards, be patient, let them pass it around the perimeter, but don't break down. Wait for the right time to pounce.

Against NJD, Middleton was victimized twice on the PK. It was his guy who tapped it in. But, was this completely Middleton's fault? You can see Midsy is trying to cover a couple of guys and as has been his season, he has chosen quite poorly. But, the forwards have already abandoned their box, and it's forcing him to have to cover 2 guys.

I can tell this much: You will not get everyone on the same page by giving 2 days off and having an hour practice on the 3rd day. I'm still calling for Evason to be fired and we'll just have to stick an interim guy in, maybe a guy who actually wants to work hard.

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