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Article: Middle Is Life For the Minnesota Wild

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I don't think this team is actually that far away from being a playoff team.  We are clearly short a 1D defender.  NoJo needs to go.  I feel bad for his line mates.  You take care of those 2 things and our odds at the playoffs next year increases dramatically.  Yes, we need a little luck on the injury front.  


Edited by MNCountryLife
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Johansson has played better lately. He hasn't had a good year. I do not like the idea of buying him out when we could stash him in the A or have him picked up on waivers where we don't have a financial commitment. Really, it's not the $2m that's important with him, it's the roster spot. Someone on an ELC would be about a wash, but probably will be hungrier. 

As for the middle this is a good point. I hate the perimeter play this team has morphed into again. We simply don't play in the middle enough, nor try to get to the middle enough (Ek not included). This team needs a system turnover where they stop doing that and start attacking the middle of the ice. 

You know what teams are perimeter teams? Soft, small teams. I hate soft, small teams. Please note, that short and small are not the same thing. 

This team needs to go to work this offseason in the gym. They need strength and good weight. Look, I love Spurgeon, but as a captain, the guy who is supposed to set the example, at 5'9" 166, that doesn't show the other guys the need to get stronger. With Spurgeon injured, at the end of the season he should be turning in his C (and really, IMO, that should happen every season). We need a new C who values strength/weight. I believe that Heinzy does value it. 

I'd also like to say that with the transition that is coming, this team is going to be a better scoring team. Their identity will be changing. It won't be grit first anymore. I don't think our identity will be to lose the 200' game, I think that stays. But, we need to get back to the identity of outworking opponents, and bringing in the identity of 3 scoring lines and a shutdown line. We need to re-establish our defensive corps unit as being top 10. It's a work in progress, but I can see it at the end of the tunnel. 

What will be interesting at the end of the season is where Heinzy grades this team. He and Guerin, and maybe even Brackett will have meetings at the end of the year about what went well, what didn't, and where Heinzy sees this team going in the future. Heinzy doesn't seem to be a coach eager to have a diminutive team. I think he'll want some size. I definitely think he'll want better effort.

Also, I didn't see last night's game, but the previous game against Ottawa, I felt, was Beckman's best game. He was fast and physical even though he didn't win all the battles. Put some meat on this guy and he'll be successful.

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