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  • Kurtis Gabriel's insertion into the Game 3 line-up sends the wrong message



    Kurtis Gabriel is only valuable as an enforcer as he provides little-to-skill above that, especially in an NHL game. He's been a black hole on the ice in terms of possession and in his three games with the Wild averaged only 4:29 time on ice. Add in his 10 penalty minutes (two fighting majors) with no shots, no goals, no assists, and a 31.6 CF percentage with a relative of -12.7 percent, he just isn't a knid of player that a team struggling to score should be placing into the line-up.

    But...but he can keep Roussel from taking cheap shots by fighting him!

    We surely know that Gabriel isn't going to see a ton of ice time as he's never crossed the six-minute threshold with the Minnesota Wild. So who gets the extra minutes? Everyone else does. So now the Wild is plugging in a player that doesn't bring anything to the table, and will make everyone else take on a bigger workload.

    Even Russo was perplexed by the move:

    It's just insanely baffling that a team trying to win a playoff game that has struggled to score would insert a player that doesn't score and overall makes the roster worse.

    But should he fight, and even win a fight, I can almost guarantee it's not going to be Roussel he fights. And if the Wild win tonight, there will be fans all over the place acting like Gabriel's 5 minutes meant so much to this team.

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