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  • Dissecting the Wild and the infamous turtle-mode


    Don't tell a player that they're loafing around the ice. These guys are trying. Sometimes execution of passes, shots, and finishing checks can be lacking.

    Here's are some shot attempt graphs from three games in the last week:




    As you can see, the Wild control play, but in the second period the other team takes the game back. This is known on Twitter and in the Gamethreads as the Minnesota Wild turtle. And what's rough about this is that this graph is the perfect visualization of what us fans are seeing on the ice. But the reasoning for it can't always be effort.

    If it is effort than the whole team should be blown up and rebuilt from scratch. What I tend to think it stems from is other teams adapting and adjusting in intermission. The Wild is no longer able to get away with the passing plays to exit the zone, or come through the neutral zone it got away with in the first. This is leading to fewer and fewer shots taken by Minnesota as the game progresses.

    Minnesota ranks 13th in shot attempt percentage in the first period. With a 50.4 percent mark at 5v5 Close and a decent 53.9 CF60 mark, the Wild is getting its own in the first. But those numbers drop off quite drastically as games go on. Minnesota drops to 49.6 percent in shot attempts, and then to 44.7 percent in the third period. With a goal differential of just +4, the poor puck possession can't be attributed to score effects because the Wild aren't blowing anyone out.

    All in all, if the Wild want to continue to have long- sustained success and not have another losing streak that incited the leadership of the team to outwardly show the negative tension to the media, then controlling the ebbs and flows in games is going to be important. Like HW's Jack van Thomme said in a recent article:

    The best teams are those which play an evolving game, not just those who best weather the storm.Stats Courtesy of War-On-Ice.com

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