Wild rookies bonding, maturing under fire of playoffs

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 7, 2013 - 11:28 AM

Three Wild rookies are making big contributions on the ice — and forging an important bond off it.

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wisstinks4May. 7, 13 6:28 AM

One word, Fletcher. It's great to finally have youth on our side and grow the team again organically. The past GM did not show much creative skills, Chuck fletcher has moved the right pieces to land some excellent players. These three are going to be great for many years. Nice work. I want an NHL championship title. Keep it going, win for yourselves and your long suffering fans. Great job Wild.

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Osh017May. 7, 13 7:49 AM

It's funny how after every loss, the masses come out to "Fire Fletcher. He traded away golden boy Nick Leddy!" Yet, Fletcher is also the guy that brought us Coyle, Brodin, & Zucker and doesn't get nearly enough praise after wins, especially when these three contribute so much to this team. I didn't see any comments after Sunday's game about how great Fletcher was for drafting Zucker. Kudo's to Chuck. WE've still got a ways to go before we are hoisting lord stanley, but we are definitely on the upswing.

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dirtydogsMay. 7, 13 8:19 AM

Geesh, let's not go overboard. How soon people forget about trading away 4 prospects/draft choices for a mediocre forward. Yes, his drafting has been decent and Brodin is going to be a stud. Coyle needs to vastly increase his speed if he wants to be a top line forward. My concern with Fletcher is his trades and other acquisitions. Clark, Rupp, Konopka, Mitchell and others have done very little to improve this club. I really hope this offseason we can clean house of most of our 3rd and 4th liners and get players than can actually play hockey as opposed to just throw their weight around. Fletchers offseason acquisitions are definitely nothing to write home about. It is nice to see Minnesotans doing well in the playoffs. Stepan scored the game winner for the Rangers last night. Oshie and Backus scored for the Blues, Leopold is playing well. Gardiner scored for Toronto. Okposo is playing great for the Islanders. Martin and Niskanen are strong blue liners for the Pens. Leddy is solid for the Hawks, and that is just to name a few. Seems every game I watch has a Minnesota presence. That is why this is the state of hockey.

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mrblueskyMay. 7, 13 8:20 AM

I agree with both of you 100% I say no matter what, you have to give Yeo a full year with this crew. I think he is a great coach and will only get better with experience! Fletcher should be locked in as long as possible. Yep, he made a bad trade. He was man enough to admit it. What do you people want? You want to fire a coach or GM once they make one mistake? That would be cool, we would NEVER win the cup with a new coach and GM every year. Please Mr Leipold, keep these two! We are lucky to have Cullen, yep, once again, we have the people that wanted him cut, wanted him traded. You people need to relax. I am SO looking forward to the Wild winning tonight! Come on boyz, dig deep, stay physical and get the pucks on net!

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yathinksoMay. 7, 13 9:30 AM

In the words of the immortal Harry Caray, HOLY COW. The Wild BARELY make the playoffs as an eighth seed, win one playoff game and suddenly Fletcher is the man? The Wild have virtually no one in the AHL ready to be called up that would make an impact. He traded away a first round and second round pick, picks that could have been the next Zucker or Brodin. He traded away our next best forward prospect in Larsson. He traded away our depth in goal. And in return we have a 2nd or 3rd line forward that when in the lineup, we have a losing record. The jury is far from unanimous when reviewing Fletcher. A one and done playoff series, after acquiring Suter and Parise is certainly not what the owner expected after spending that kind of money. Of course some of the blame needs to go to Yeo. He almost cost us game 3 when he got cute and decided to sit Zucker for his shifts in an attempt to protect the lead. The Hawks appeared to be on the power play the entire 3rd period. Not sure why Yeo took his foot off the gas, but that is a real concern when your coach does not have enough faith in his players to go out and extend a lead. Thankfully Zucker showed him up with his goal in overtime. If nothing else, this team needs a VETERAN head coach next year to get the most out of this team. And as for Cullen, anyone who criticized his play must not know hockey. He is the best center on the team right now and it is not a coincidence that the best line in the playoffs thus far is the Seto - Cullen - Zucker line. Without his fantastic pass in overtime, we may be staring at an 0-3 hole. Cullen is FAR more valuable than fan favorites Clutterbuck and Brodziak. On that note, why is Brodziak on the powerplay?

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boatinMay. 7, 13 9:46 AM

dirtydogs, you have been critical of Coyle's speed more than once. Apparently, you have NO IDEA what speed is in this game. This kid has very good speed, routinely gets behind the defense and has been successful at every level he has played. You say he vastly needs to increase his speed to be a top line forward? News flash - he IS a top line forward on a playoff team. Save your speed cracks for Heatley and Rupp.

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xjritterMay. 7, 1310:16 AM

Dirtydogs - so you really want the Wild to go with all speed and finesse, and not have any third and fourth line grinders on the club? Really? I am glad you are not the Wild GM. Yathinkso - coach Yeo did the right thing sitting Zucker for a part of the third period because Zucker was banged up and needed to rest a while. I think it worked out okay seeing what happened in OT. However Yeo is rippable for the way the team played prevent-defense when they had a 2-1 lead with 8 minutes and less to go in the third period. They abandoned the hard-charging physical style that helped them dominate the first 50 minutes of the game, and that is partly on the head coach.

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steventdcMay. 7, 1311:21 AM

This season, the Chicago Blackhawks are the class of the NHL. For the Wild to win this series would be a MAJOR upset. Having said that, it is also clear that the Wild have much more talent than they have had in the past and their window of opportunity is opening. If management can keep these guys together and they can avoid catastrophic injuries, the Wild in a couple years could look like the Blackhawks of this season. This is going to be a GREAT rivalry!!

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waferthinMay. 7, 1311:50 AM

The GTRCMBSHP has been in love with Brodin since he first came up. However, a debate has come up as to whether Coyle earned his spot next to Koivu and Parise. Zucker getting some seasoning in the AHL was a smart move.

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spector075May. 7, 1312:34 PM

Lets hope they don't forget how they won the last game...Hit em!! Hit Hard!!

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