Wild gears up to recapture winning formula

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 25, 2014 - 2:18 PM

By the time Thursday rolls around, Minnesota will have gone three weeks without a game.

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daveyleeFeb. 24, 1411:47 PM

They need to stop messing around with Coyle. Either he's a center, or a wing, but let him get comfortable at one or the other. I've said it before...Koivu should be centering the "shut down" line, not Brodziak. He's a much better two way player. Mikko does everything defensively that Brodziak does, and is head and shoulders above him offensively. The Wild now have other options for the top 2 centermen. Time for Koivu to play in the role he's probably best suited for. If they must keep Brodziak in the lineup, then put him at 4th line center or wing with Haula.

headstyleFeb. 25, 14 8:45 AM

Solid Points, Daveylee. I'm not even going to argue with you, because you're spot on. Go Wild!

puckheadsFeb. 25, 14 8:50 AM

Agreed davey, spot on. 2nd line koivu, with coyle, and nino on his sides.

puckheadsFeb. 25, 14 9:14 AM

2nd line koivu,nino,fontaine. 3rd coyle zucker,cookie.

lbeezyFeb. 25, 14 9:56 AM

Unless the 3rd line rolls Chicago style with scoring and size, Coyle will be a winger. Putting Coyle, Koivu, or Granny on the 3rd line squanders their talent. Koivu is a phenomenal playmaker and is best suited to play with top 6 players, as is Granny. Coyle imo is a better wing than center anyways. If the Wild do add Vanek this offseason that could make for an interesting top 3 lines if the Wild don't part with Zucker or Haula. Where do you find room for: Parise, Pommer, Koivu, Vanek, Granny, Coyle, Hauala, Zucker, and Fontaine + Cooke, Mitchell Brodz. Maybe Chuck/Yeo plan to roll 3 scoring lines next year. If that's the case we better ship off Stoner and Ballard for quality D-man.

canadianwildFeb. 25, 1412:47 PM

I think the Wild have some interchangable parts right now. I don't understand why you would start shipping anything off yet until you feel completely comfortable with line combos. My opinion is that it should be pairs all the way through the 4 lines with rotating 3rd members on each line until something clicks. Parise - Koivu Granlund - Pominville Cooke - Brodziak Haula can pair with anyone remaining on 4th line. This leaves Heatley, Nino, Fontaine, Coyle, Zucker, Mitchell to fill remaining 5 spots. Likely Mitchell or Zucker ends up as the odd man out since Heatley makes too much money to waste on the bench (unless he goes at the Trade Deadline). Parise and Koivu have proven chemistry but need a proper fit beside them, Pommer hasn't been consistent there, I like Fontaine or Coyle on that line. Pommer fits better with Granlund, with Zucker, Heatley, or Nino being good fits there. Mitchell and Fontaine have both played well when paired on the "shut-down" line with Cooke and Brodz. That leaves Haula to get the leftovers. Just my opinion, but Wild seem very deep up front right now if they could just find the consistent line combinations.

lbeezyFeb. 25, 14 3:10 PM

Fontaine has showed he can play on the top lines though not ideal. I would like to keep Parise-Pommer-Granny together and go with a big skill/sized Coyle-Nino-Koivu line. Haula-Fontaine-Zucker and Cooke-Mitchell-Heatley to round out the bottom.

collegekid10Feb. 25, 14 3:50 PM

First of all I wouldnt put Koivu on the top 2 lines in general but especially coming off his ankle injury. Put him on the 3rd line so that he can play to his strength, which is to be defensively sound. With Koivu on the third line we have a mixture of size and speed. Canadian Wild: I must be watching something different then you but I dont think Koivu's production has gotten better with Parise on his line and for sure Parise's production has gone down with Koivu on there. Koivu has a pass first mentality and every team gears toward that. I would not in the least bit be disappointed if the Wild brass traded Koivu in the offseason provided they get a good return on him. Promote Granny to the top line, move Haula to the 2nd, and put Brodziak on the 4th or press box.

daveyleeFeb. 25, 14 4:12 PM

lbeezy - Tell me how Koivu on the 3rd line is "squandering his talent"? You've got Cooke the opportunist, and Nino (or even Fontaine) on the other wing on that line, all guys who like to shoot and have been putting pucks in the net despite playing with Brodziak the turnover machine. You can't tell me he wouldn't find plays to make in that role. And honestly, with all the missed breakaways and other opportunities, Brodziak himself would be in the top 3 in team scoring if he knew how to handle and shoot a puck. Imagine if that's Koivu on those breakaways, or feeding those other two guys. I have to respectfully disagree with your notion that Koivu's talent is wasted in a 3rd line role.

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