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  • Iowa Wild Players Recalled Unlikely to See Any Playoff Minutes


    The Wild recalled eleven players from the Iowa Wild on Tuesday for the playoffs. Even without these players, the Wild should have enough depth, since tremendous NHL caliber players like Schroeder and Folin are already finding themselves on the wrong side of the depth chart. The Minnesota Wild are already one of the deepest teams in the second season, and also are remarkably healthy even though they have been playing must win, playoff style hockey since January. Considering Charlie Coyle played with a separated shoulder last year (and part of the playoffs with two separated shoulders), it seems incredibly unlikely that the roster regulars would sustain injuries serious enough to merit being entirely replaced by different healthy players. In the playoffs, guys play with injuries that would hospitalize most normal people.

    If a top line player cannot play, adding Keranen in a top six role could allow the Wild to keep the third and fourth line stable. While the Wild could increase the minutes and expand the roles of Nino or Vanek or even put Fontaine or Schroeder on the first or second line, having skill on every line is one of the Wild's biggest strengths, and they have a better chance to put their best performance on the ice if they have skill and speed in every role. There may be a situation where Keranen would draw into the lineup.

    For the Iowa players called up, spending time with the big club is an education about the rigors of NHL playoff hockey. They can see how much effort veterans like Koivu and Parise put into game day preparation or be influenced by a younger regular like Coyle practicing his shot before practice even begins. One of the benefits of the great leadership that the Wild have in their room is that every player sets a good example for the young prospects about the best way to be a professional hockey player. It's also a chance for them to get hungry to make the parent club sometime in the future and should motivate them as they go to off-season training.

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