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Big Game Guys


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Watching the playoffs here and there noticing things. Who are the big game guys? Clutch guys who are always on the scoresheet or making an impact. Why is it always the same names that pop up? 

Who are the guys you notice? Since Dallas is up against Vegas tonight, I found it interesting Mark Stone is the first goal scorer again. Wyatt Johnston has a couple assists already. 

C. Verhaege for FL has stood out already. DeBrusk for Boston. Should be interesting to see if Fiala can get going. Kempe is the guy I've noticed from LA. 

 

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Dare I say Nylander? Toronto Boston game seven on-deck.

Fiala is out with LA. His series production was less than impressive. The one game he scored, he was also -1. Gotta think he gets paid a lot for below average playoff production. Gee, kinda like when he was in MN. He had the one big goal for NSH in the playoffs before he broke his leg, but I think it's safe to say playoffs are not his thing. Does that mean Guerin was even more right and good to get Faber and a 1st???

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Posted (edited)

While I'm thinking about it, I might as well mention Middlestadt and his success in Colorado. Happy to see MN guys doing well, but he's a player I had said the Wild should target. Another guy I thought MN should go after as a UFA is Yakov Trenin. A tough Russian, willing to fight and battle, he also had a nice goal in the game to eliminate WPG.

I've said MN should also got after Matt Roy from LA, a RD UFA. He had a really nice pass on Kempe's final goal for LA in that series.

MN just needs upgrades. Merrill is just okay, Chisholm is learning. Middleton needs a partner to help him avoid getting burned. Brodin has always done well with a solid partner who's a little more greasy. Faber seems to be the same type. With a solid, mean, partner, #7 would be more free to play his style. I think this is the missing link to unlock the better goaltending, offense from the back end, and defensive results that allow the Wild's good scoring offense to win more games...

Wonder who's gonna be the big game guys tonight between NSH/VAN and DAL/VGK???Johnston again? Boeser? Soucy perhaps? Wish the Wild could have kept him. Nyquist? Geurin definitely screwed that one up, keeping neck-beard Nojo.

Edited by Protec
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Surprise, Vegas most recent acquisition pots the GWG and Stone with the empty-netter.

Stone, only plays playoff hockey. Let that really sink in. He only plays in the playoffs and has goals near every game. While the Fialas, NoJos, or Zucker who had three points in their losing series, but appears to have not scored on multiple chances in the elimination game. Sound familiar to anyone??? 😃

Nashville relied way too heavily on Forsberg, O'Rielly, and Nyquist. I mean they had to, but nowhere near enough depth scoring to win. Saros was really good. Vancouver upgraded their defense with Zadorov, Soucy, and Cole, plus Hronek who came in late at the end of last season. Went from joke, non-playoff team to winning round one against a difficult NSH team that had MN's number the latter part of this season. Signing Pius Suter was also a pretty big deal for them. Besides the GWG last night he's been good with Boeser and Petterson.

This series and example illustrates two things. No, you do not want Zuckers, or Fialas for any kind of term or playoffs. They don't do jack despite regular season production. Identify and avoid these guys. Next, upgrade the defense. Canucks had Hughes and a bunch of regular Joe Lunchbuckets. They made serious moves to get veteran guys and the very next season they're in the NHL top ten.

MN can't sleep on these UFAs this Summer. Middleton, Merrill, Mermis, Chisholm, Goligoski, Hunt, Lambos, are all guys that could be okay in a better group insulated from too much responsibility. Faber, Brodin, and Spurgeon are "elite" kinda we think, but let's not crown Faber king-defenseman-Norris-007 quite yet. Brodin and Spurge aren't 27 anymore and even then, they're not exactly playoff bruisers. Think about it, MN's defense is weak overall. The forward group is weak overall. Too weak for playoffs, nowhere near the balance needed. MN needed everything to go right this year. It had been done previously so that's maybe not the worst guess, but we saw how it worked out and it was ugly. GMBG had better recapture the momentum pretty quickly or the faith that had been building will be blown to smithereens like an Itasca County illegal deerstand if ya know what I'm talkin about. 

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You know who seems like a pretty good big game guy? Jake Oettinger from Lakeville.

Remember who MN didn't draft in 2017? Remember how MN had a goalie issue for a number of years requiring a 1st being used for Wallstedt so they couldn't draft Wyatt Johnston?

MN could have kept Tuch, and selected Oettinger so easily. (Insert sad-trombone noise.)

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Wyatt Johnston with more playoff goals this year than any Wild player in the past three playoffs other than #97 or Ek who has five too.

Colorado has their big guys step up last night. #29, #13, and #8 all getting on the board to get a big win in Dallas.

Benn & Johnston for Dallas. NYR & Carolina's bigs guys were important last night too. MN needs their big guys to step up in the playoffs. That's Ek, Kaprizov, Boldy, Hartman, and perhaps Faber who the Wild will have to expect results from. Either that has to happen or they'll need to get it by committee which is a big ask when you're playing two top lines, one of which has NoJo or a 3rd line with Foligno, or rookies. 

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Watching the Avalanche playing and hearing them constantly talk about how fast MacKinnon skates is annoying. I really hope they lose. 

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1 hour ago, Sam said:

Watching the Avalanche playing and hearing them constantly talk about how fast MacKinnon skates is annoying. I really hope they lose. 

Between Colorado and Dallas it's hard not to hate both. If Colorado could lose but Suter gets measles from illegal immigrants or junkies in Denver that'd be my favorite outcome.

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Anybody catch Duhaime's nice goal last night? Breaks up the play in the D-zone, gets a stick from the bench, catches a pass off the boards, and snipes one against Oettinger.


😁

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Edmonton biggest guys step up and every one of their goals last night have the same two guys in common.

Same theme for Florida. The familiar big guys getting it done.

MN simply doesn't have these guys. Not like the teams still in the playoffs. This is the most important thing GMs should do. Find and put together these players. Maroon was a try but pretty weak given what MN has. If not for injuries perhaps it could have worked, but looking back it just wasn't gonna cut the mustard without other guys stepping up big-time for MN. With passengers like NoJo on the team or rookie NHL defenseman, the goose was cooked back in November of 2023.

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Anton Lundell with a pretty nice game for FL who has Boston in a stranglehold. 

FL is a perfect example of a team that any given night can get big performances from a laundry-list of players. Good coach too taking advantage of that. Verhaeghe, Tkachuk, Montour, Reinhart, all held of the board but between Lundell, Barkov, Rodrigues, Okposo, Tarasenko, and Ekblad, the Panthers didn't need everyone to beat Boston. 

For MN it's always been a laundry-list of non-factor players in the post-season.

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Boeser 1st period hat-trick qualifies as a big game, playoff performance. Still glad MN took Ek but when there was Boeser trade rumors a couple years ago MN shoulda tried to make it happen. Soucy doing well in Vancouver too. Nice to see that.

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5 hours ago, Protec said:

Boeser 1st period hat-trick qualifies as a big game, playoff performance. Still glad MN took Ek but when there was Boeser trade rumors a couple years ago MN shoulda tried to make it happen. Soucy doing well in Vancouver too. Nice to see that.

Looks like Boeser didn't have the hatty after Lindholm got credit for a tip on the first goal. 

Still worth mentioning the UFAs or trade targets who have playoff-factorness. Lindholm is the kind of elite Swede we would like similar to Ek. Completely different from neck-beardly losers.(#90)

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Posted (edited)

I’m watching Londell highlights from last nights Florida game where Lundell is skating a regular shift with a team that’s about to advance to the third round and thinking about Rossi on the trading block this summer. The fact that Guerin is willing to part with Rossi three years post draft is his own admission of a failed ninth overall draft pick, regardless of his 20 goals season he’s not the player they thought he was going to be so that is a bounce off the upright for guerin on this draft pick.  As the clock ticks down a 97’s current contract the light shines brighter on this groups ability to put the wild organization on the right trajectory I’ll again give Guerin’s organization C minus grade and I’m going to recommend summer school. Along with a parent meeting.

Edited by Pewterschmidt
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They traded up for Wallstedt because the Wild needed a goaltender of the future since 2017 didn't net Oettinger for the Wild. The result was Dallas got Johnston who has another multi-goal playoff game going as we speak. 

Guerin and Brackett drafting hype is just that. Many, many examples of guys getting results that the Wild didn't pick.

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11 minutes ago, Protec said:

Add Chris Krieder to the list. 

Is anyone interested to know the Wild could have selected Krieder. Double-fail cause the Wild got Leddy and traded him away for Cam Barker so that's a fun memory/idea.

😁

Giving away Leddy 10+ year top 4 dman for nothing didn’t help the home team

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That's just one of the lesser gripes I've had against Minnesota's NHL draft history. We can complain the Wild have struggled for two decades but just look at what they've done drafting and it's bad even when it's good. They've got lucky with a few, but the overall body of work sucks. Way behind other teams and still confusing us. There's guys like Haula or Heidt who either came out of thin air or who appear to be potential steals but the record of blunders make easy calls to draft Boldy or late round flyer on #97CSKA look like dumb luck or impossible to miss selections. They took Ek, then Kunin. Kinda opposite results.

Therefore, we are completely justified saying MN sucks in the draft. Their success rate is too low, especially when considering what they've done with assets or lack of assets. The Wild need to be amazing in the draft to just get back to even. The Wild have lots of good prospects now. Still I remember when Sokolov, Khovanov, and Rau were hopefuls. Firstov fizzled and it's just part of a sad trend where MN uses 1st & 2nd round picks on prospect-production that aren't impressive even after we track the trades and contrast with rival teams. MN needs a lot more from the draft.

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On 5/6/2024 at 8:49 AM, Protec said:

You know who seems like a pretty good big game guy? Jake Oettinger from Lakeville.

Remember who MN didn't draft in 2017? Remember how MN had a goalie issue for a number of years requiring a 1st being used for Wallstedt so they couldn't draft Wyatt Johnston?

MN could have kept Tuch, and selected Oettinger so easily. (Insert sad-trombone noise.)

We were too busy trading for Hanzal in that draft year. Yes, we should have kept both Tuch and Haula who were contract overperformers. Dumba was too, so he wasn't the right one to sacrifice. Spurgeon would have eliminated cap, and we could have taken the risk he was too small and wouldn't be selected. Same with Staal, bet on his age not being selected.

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On 5/11/2024 at 7:47 AM, Protec said:

MN simply doesn't have these guys. Not like the teams still in the playoffs. This is the most important thing GMs should do. Find and put together these players. Maroon was a try but pretty weak given what MN has. If not for injuries perhaps it could have worked, but looking back it just wasn't gonna cut the mustard without other guys stepping up big-time for MN. With passengers like NoJo on the team or rookie NHL defenseman, the goose was cooked back in November of 2023.

This is my main reason for going hard after Tkachuk. He would be a franchise changer in this department. I believe McTavish and Lindstrom too. I have no idea if we have a sports psychologist on staff, but maybe having him interview some of the prospects would be a good idea. 

If they do have one, obviously, he's not asking the right questions. Maybe a McLeod could ask the right questions?

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On 5/13/2024 at 8:11 AM, Pewterschmidt said:

The fact that Guerin is willing to part with Rossi three years post draft is his own admission of a failed ninth overall draft pick, regardless of his 20 goals season he’s not the player they thought he was going to be so that is a bounce off the upright for guerin on this draft pick.

I'm not pinning this one on Guerin at all. He had recently hired Brackett who was fired from Vancouver to run his draft table. I'm pretty sure that Guerin had little knowledge of the draft process and completely deferred to Brackett in this draft. He gets a full pass from me on this. 

Where I do see Guerin draft input is on the 1st 2 picks last year. IMO, Guerin demanded size, and not only did they go after Cs (position), they went after size. I liked both picks, and still stand behind them. The kids are too young to be kicked aside yet. I believe Stramel was highly scouted being from our backyard prior to heading to WI. Let's see if he can get his head on straight this year. 

I know a lot of people were clamoring for Edstrom. Well, I just checked his measurements, for a "big" center, he is 6'2" 180+. This is not a big center. This is a tall center. Kampulainen and Stramel were both well over 200 lbs. 

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On 5/13/2024 at 11:30 PM, Protec said:

They traded up for Wallstedt because the Wild needed a goaltender of the future since 2017 didn't net Oettinger for the Wild. The result was Dallas got Johnston who has another multi-goal playoff game going as we speak. 

Guerin and Brackett drafting hype is just that. Many, many examples of guys getting results that the Wild didn't pick.

Do you think Oettinger would have been the pick if the Hanzal trade wouldn't have happened? It would have been a nice touch having a MN guy in net, but that is not how Fletcher thought. I'm thinking he might have shanked one going with Ryan Poehling.

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32 minutes ago, Protec said:

Therefore, we are completely justified saying MN sucks in the draft. Their success rate is too low, especially when considering what they've done with assets or lack of assets. The Wild need to be amazing in the draft to just get back to even. The Wild have lots of good prospects now. Still I remember when Sokolov, Khovanov, and Rau were hopefuls. Firstov fizzled and it's just part of a sad trend where MN uses 1st & 2nd round picks on prospect-production that aren't impressive even after we track the trades and contrast with rival teams. MN needs a lot more from the draft.

I agree here, we are behind the curve. But, these things have a tendency to even out over time. XGMs DR, CF, and Dufas were terrible at drafting. Yet, once in awhile, they could hit the dartboard and pick someone good. Kaprizov is one of those picks. Haula is another. Fletcher couldn't get anything out of rounds 2-4, no wonder he'd just trade them away. My hope is that Brackett is better at this. 

So far we've got Rossi in who looks to be a decent pick (and I still would have taken Lundell). The Wall looks solid. Lambos looks shakier than he has before. Ohgren and Yurov look solid. Stramel looks very iffy. But, Lorenz, Kumpulainen, Heidt, Haight look like they might be ok. I think he found something in Spacek and Hunt and Dino look like possibilities. I wanted O'Rourke too and have no idea why he couldn't visit the gym? Did nobody think to get him a membership? 

Guys like Milne and Bankier seem to be upgrades over other previous regime picks. But it's still too early to tell. I am bullish on the last 4 years of picks, however, and believe they will fall favorably for us. My main complaint about Brackett is his zeroing in on 1 type of player via position. We need a wider variety, especially in the size department. He should have taken some flyers on some larger later round picks. We still wouldn't know if they were going to pan out, but, those "projects" can add a lot of value.

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2 hours ago, mnfaninnc said:

I'm not pinning this one on Guerin at all. He had recently hired Brackett who was fired from Vancouver to run his draft table. I'm pretty sure that Guerin had little knowledge of the draft process and completely deferred to Brackett in this draft. He gets a full pass from me on this. 

Where I do see Guerin draft input is on the 1st 2 picks last year. IMO, Guerin demanded size, and not only did they go after Cs (position), they went after size. I liked both picks, and still stand behind them. The kids are too young to be kicked aside yet. I believe Stramel was highly scouted being from our backyard prior to heading to WI. Let's see if he can get his head on straight this year. 

I know a lot of people were clamoring for Edstrom. Well, I just checked his measurements, for a "big" center, he is 6'2" 180+. This is not a big center. This is a tall center. Kampulainen and Stramel were both well over 200 lbs. 

While I think you're probably correct that Guerin deferred to Brackett on the Rossi pick, the buck stops on Guerin's desk (he's the boss of the org. and he hired Brackett)

I'm less optimistic re: Stramel and RasKamp.  Reaves, Delauarias and Maroon are also big body NHL'rs but I sure wouldn't spend a high draft pick on any of those palooka's.  I tried to watch Stramel this past season when Badgers played Gophers but never saw him because he was hurt (1st game) and benched (2nd game) during his sophomore year.  If he projects to be a high end talent, he'd be a stud on a college team.  I've never seen Rasmustilzkin play, but reports are that he's a cross between current state Foligno (non GREEF line year which was an aberation) and Greenway after some skating lessons.

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