Four things to watch about the Wild

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 6, 2011 - 11:16 PM

For the first time in franchise history, the Wild has a top line to get excited about.

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ctillhockeyOct. 7, 11 5:13 AM

I love Yeo's statement, "we get to write that story." I want to hop on the ice and pitch in! (But I'll leave that to the big boys. haha.) Russo, I keep hearing concern about a lack of a top flight blueliner on the squad. Also, it seems we have a depth of talent D in our prospects. Is the concern just about a top puck moving D-man, or is Fletch just planning to go with a youth movement and see what Scandella, Spurgeon, etc. can do? Is this where Jonas Brodin fits in with our future plans? Let's go Wild!!

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nickinnyOct. 7, 11 8:26 AM

Awesome! We get both a dig on Mittens and a "good Zidlicky/bad Zidlicky" reference in one piece! Russo's fired up and ready to drop the puck!

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krotz72Oct. 7, 11 8:27 AM

Ctill, I think most people that look at the Wild blue line don't see any real household names. Brent Burns logged a lot of minutes and brought a lot of offense. Writers and pundits tend to believe the loss of the one 'known' quantity in the All-Star Burns automatically makes the Wild D the worst in the league. The realities are the Wild D return 5 starters (Zidlicky, Schultz, Zanon, Stoner, and Spurgeon) and have another who played 25 or so games (Scandella), plus they added a solid d man in Lundin. There are a lot of question marks with all the youth and the lack of a marquee name. Some predictions: 1. The Wild will actually be a little more steady on defense. Burns, while dynamic, made more than his share of bone-headed mistakes. Yeo's system will actually support the D more this year as well. Mike Lundin, when healthy, should help as he plays a very steady, mistake free game, and is decent at moving the puck. 2. The Wild will struggle with the break out, especially early in the season. This has been a regular problem for the Wild since they traded Kim Johnsson. It is difficult to play a puck possession, aggressive system, if you can control the puck and move it out of your zone quickly. 3. Scandella and Spurgeon will continue to develop into regular NHLers and will help with moving the puck and some scoring. There will be growing pains along the way though. 4. While Brodin was something of a surprise at the draft, there is no denying that the kid has talent. He's extremely good at skating, making quick and correct decisions with the puck and with positioning. He might not be a scoring d-man, but he's going to be the sort of player that should vastly improve the team's ability to break the puck out of the zone, start rushes, and maintain possession of the puck. He just turned 18, so he's probably a little ways out yet.

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HaleskiiOct. 7, 1112:01 PM

Too excited to make any in depth comments......Why cant it be tomorrow night already!!!!!!!! GO WILD!!!!

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bruno151Oct. 7, 1112:39 PM

1st line, 2nd line, defensemen, and goalies. What, no love for the 3rd and 4th line grinders!

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mg7505Oct. 7, 11 2:34 PM

The Wild will be fine if two-way forwards like Koivu, who finally have some help on offense, can use the extra energy on D - or at least keep the puck in the offensive zone longer.

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