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  • Wilderness Walk: Wild's Attempted Comeback Too Late

    Image courtesy of © Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports
    Thomas Williams

    That's Wild

    • The Minnesota Wild conceded two quick goals from Pierre-Luc Dubois within 12 seconds of each other and never recovered. An attempted comeback led by Kirill Kaprizov and Joel Eriksson Ek eventually came short and the Kings defeated the Wild at home by a brutal score of 7-3. [NHL dot com]
    • Eriksson Ek is already having a monster season by leading the team in goals, but one possible little tweak could make it really special. [Hockey Wilderness]
    • Kaprizov and Matt Boldy were among ESPN's top-100 ranking of all NHL players. Wow! [The Hockey News]

    Off the trail...

    • It's just one week into the season but that doesn't mean people can't come to conclusions. Like, should the Edmonton Oilers, Washington Capitals, and Tampa Bay Lightning be worried? And is Auston Matthews going to break the season goal record? [ESPN]
    • Four ideas for the NHL to improve its on-ice product. [The Hockey News]
    • Again, early in the season, but the Winnipeg Jets and Buffalo Sabres are some of the teams really struggling with attendance right now. Maybe that will change when the Bills season is done, and the Jets aren't boring. [DailyFaceoff]

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    Drawing Duby comparisons isn't good. :classic_biggrin:

    MAF needs to get burned once in awhile on his dramatic style to bring him back to earth. 

    I would consider these first games as working out some kinks and getting a baseline for what needs to be done going forward.

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    Did Evason misplace his goalie hook? Both Goose2 and MAF have had 7 GA games but were left in to finish out the 60 minutes. I seem to remember previous coaches almost always pulling the goalie if the opposing team managed to score five goals. Is this an Evason thing or just a broader trend in the NHL?

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    I think both games Evason hasn't yanked the goalie have been sloppy and it could be a spark or message but the Wild had to know in each case what the issues were.

    I.e. Evason probably didn't figure it was gonna be critical. If it was later in the season and more urgency was associated with every game, it might be a quick decision. To me it looks like some grace from the coach as guys get into the groove of hockey season. 

    That's my take. If the team was really sticking, that'd be different. They lost both games to good teams on plays that were costly but not really deserving a Yeo-rant or nuthin.

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    18 hours ago, Pewterschmidt said:

    Yes, and I think Walker looked OK.  I hope he gets more games to prove his worth, but he's just treading water in the N so what's Beckman going to look like?

    I would say, he needs a callup to find out. Last night Beckman scored again for the Baby Wild. But, looking at the stats, he only had 2 shots. 20+ goals isn't good enough in the A to impress the Wild, they need to be on pace for 40. They also need to be volume shot producers and very good at producing HDSC opportunities. 

    I'd also suggest that Baby Wild players have got to take advantage of the long layoffs better. This needs to be used for gym work. For instance, they had a 5 day layoff in between last night's game and the previous one. For those (pretty much all included in this statement) who need skating lessons, they should be out there every day getting them. For those who need some bulk, especially a guy like O'Rourke, he should have been in the gym extra time this week. Beckman is included on this list as he needs strength in all areas. For those who need skill work, drills aren't fun but they are necessary for building skill, they need to pay attention to it. 

    I have not seen the prospects get ready like this over the past few years. To a certain extent, they need to be willing to do it, and it needs to be voluntary. There is an urgency for them to participate, and those who don't want to ought to be on the trading block. This type of thing doesn't guarantee the players a shot, but knowing that they are willing should be part of the scouting process. 

    What needs to be weeded out are the players who have an attitude of "I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing" when they aren't strong enough or skate well enough to go up another level. I appreciate a kid's confidence that they are good, but the willingness to learn needs to be there too. 

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