Thursday, September 26, 2013

Preseason Thoughts: New Fourth Line?

Last night the Wild, with what would appear to be their opening night roster, took down the St. Louis Blues 4-1 in the final home exhibition game. The Wild are now 4-1 on the preseason, the only loss being the 3-1 defeat to Columbus in the opener.
  • Yesterday, Mike Yeo talked about the possibility of going with a new fourth line. So if he changes it up and goes with this "younger, high-skilled player" line, what happens to existing fourth liners Zenon Konopka and Mike Rupp (who is currently injured)? I personally wouldn't mind seeing Rupp's $1.5M cap hit come off the books. And by no means should you view this idea as a bad thing. Teams like Boston and Chicago (the Stanley Cup Final opponents) have fared well these past few years because they have had more skilled fourth lines.
  • Charlie Coyle had another outstanding performance last night, and appears to have locked down the second line center position. Mike Yeo was not overly positive about the youngsters on the team last night but he did say "I can't say anything negative about his camp. He's been outstanding" about Coyle. 
  • Jason Zucker appears to have found his way into Yeo's doghouse again. Meaning his roster spot on opening night could go to Mikael Granlund who has missed the last two games with injury, but has had an outstading camp nonetheless. Its rather concerning that this is not the first time I'm reading about Yeo trying to get Zucker motivated.
  • Marco Scandella FINALLY had a nice game last night.
  • I'm thinking that last night's D-pairings are the ones we see on Opening Night against the Kings. They were: Suter-Brodin, Scandella-Spurgeon, Ballard-Dumba. 
  • Speaking of the Kings, it would appear Jason Pominville's old friend Dustin Brown could miss the opener as he is on a slow path back from a hamstring injury. He is not expected to play in the team's remaining games this preseason.
  • Owner Craig Leipold called this team, "the best team we've ever had here". Its a bold statement to say in PRESEASON, but it should very well turn out to be true.
Follow Giles on Twitter @gilesferrell

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