Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Chalk Talk: The Evolution of Mikael Granlund

Last season Mikael Granlund made his much anticipated debut in a Wild sweater. His rookie season was far from what we hoped as the then 20 year old looked overwhelmed and only played 12 games in the lockout shortened season.

This year however, Granlund is an exact opposite. He entered the season on the third line after competing for the second line center position with Charlie Coyle and lost out (he was solid in the preseason but Coyle was equally as good). But an injury to Coyle moved Granlund up to the second line and he has yet to disappoint.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What To Do With Matt Dumba

Photo: Brace Hemmelgarn/USA Today

Last night, the Wild took one on the teeth courtesy of the Chicago Blackhawks 5-1 at Xcel Energy Center. Leading up to, during, and after the game there was a lot of talk regarding Matt Dumba and the fact that this is his ninth game of the season (any games played after nine, burns a year off the entry level deal).

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Rare Feat

Photo: Nam Y. Huh/AP
Tonight, in what one hopes to be a playoff atmosphere at Xcel Energy Center (its the regular season so I have doubts about fans actually being anywhere close to playoff mode), the Wild take on those same Blackhawks after defeating them 5-3 two nights ago in Chicago.

So as the teams come into tonight's matchup, the Wild are riding a three game winning streak and the Hawks are riding a two game losing streak (yeah, hard to believe Chicago is human after all). Not something that frequently happens anymore.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Vanek Watch: The Island Is Calling

Photo: Gary Wiepert/AP

A quiet evening in the NHL (sans a Brandon Dubinsky hit on Saku Koivu) turned into complete haywire when Arthur Staple of New York Newsday tweeted the following:

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Unfriendly Confines of United Center

Photo: Rob Grabowski/USA Today

Travel time may be short, but there have been many long flights home for the Minnesota Wild following recent trips to the United Center in recent years.

Including the playoffs, the Wild have lost six of the past seven games in the "Madhouse on Madison". The last Wild victory in Chicago came on April 1, 2012 when they won 5-4 in a shootout. During that stretch they are allowing an average of 4.14 goals against while only scoring an average of 2.14 goals per game. But also keep in mind that the Blackhawks have a new pair of Stanley Cup banners hanging in the rafters thanks to the past five seasons, so its just not the Wild who have difficulties in the United Center.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Splitting Up Koivu and Parise

Could Koivu and Parise be on different lines soon?

This morning, Paul Allen of KFAN did one of his "Vox in the Box" shows from the Xcel Energy Center penalty box during the morning skate. It has become a popular show (given the fact that there really are no big daytime radio shows in this town that focus on hockey) for the Vikings play by play voice, as he puts a quality show together featuring Wild coaches, players, analysts, etc.

Jacques Lemaire Talks About The Lack Of Wild Goals

See, even he is puzzled as to why this team can't find twine. 

Wild take on the Hurricanes (4-2-3, 2nd in the Metropolitan Division) tonight at 7:00, where they try and go TWO consecutive games with scoring multiple goals.

Follow Giles on Twitter @gilesferrell

Monday, October 21, 2013

Hockey Fights Cancer

For those who come to the site often, you find that I like to special event logos up in the top right corner of the main banner. The logos range from Stanley Cup Playoffs to NHL Draft to an American Flag for the Fourth of July.

But for the month of October, there will be just one logo in the top corner, and it is for Hockey Fights Cancer.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

3 on 3: The Wild's Four Game Road Trip

(Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Well the Wild wrapped up their four game road trip last night with a 2-1 shootout loss to Florida. The loss put them at 1-2-1 on the road trip, the only win coming against Buffalo. So lets do some three on three to wrap up this trip.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Key To The Game vs Florida

The Wild take on the Florida Panthers tonight, in Sunrise, Florida. Tim Thomas will be between the pipes for the South Beach Kitties.

Friday, October 18, 2013

About These Advanced Stats

The last few days, the hockey stats world has been looking at the Wild and their rather ridiculous stat lines to open the season. And while that is good and all, the Wild's nice stat line has lead to back to back losses where the hometown squad has only found the back of the net twice.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Leave Darcy Kuemper Alone

In a back to back series in Buffalo and Toronto to open up the season, Mike Yeo thought it best to start two goalies in the two games instead of just one (like he did several times last year). Josh Harding took the Monday night start in Buffalo, leaving last night's game with Toronto for young netminder Darcy Kuemper.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Not Something You See Everyday

Early in the second period of the Wild's 2-1 victory in Buffalo, it was former Wild prospect Johan Larsson giving a heavy hit to defenseman Clayton Stoner. Now Stoner is a big defenseman and is more prone to giving out hits, not taking them, especially when it comes to Larsson who is a bit smaller.

Pretty big hit for the kid. Not something you typically see everyday...

Wild take on the Maple Leafs in Toronto tonight at 6 PM. 

Follow Giles on Twitter @gilesferrell

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday Morning Thoughts

In the wake of a 5-1 rout of the Stars last night, the Wild are now 2-1-2 and head out on a four game trip through the Atlantic Division. Here are some thoughts from the past week and for the week ahead.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Guide For Wild Fans When Playing The Jets

Tomorrow marks the third all time meeting between the Wild and Jets, since the team returned to Winnipeg. There has just been one previous meeting between the two at Xcel Energy Center, and it was a 4-3 shootout win for the Jets back in February 2012.

3-On-3: Minnesota Wild After Three Games

Today we are going to try a new segment here on the site called 3 on 3. We take a topic, in this case its the Wild as a whole, and give three positives and negatives related to that topic. Now before we dive in please watch the video below and take its advice to heart.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Tale of the Tape: Marco Scandella's Game vs Anaheim

Following Saturday night's defeat to the Ducks, Mike Yeo said "I'm not here to call anybody out. I want to focus on the positives from this game." Some positives include: The power play and Mikael Granlund's continued outstanding play.

But you have to think that yesterday when he went over the tape of the game, the negative above all others was Marco Scandella.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Remembering A Terrible Tragedy

It was September 29th, 2003. Dan Snyder had found out he had made the Atlanta Thrashers opening night roster. The team was set to open up the season in four days at home against Columbus, so Snyder and his good friend Dany Heatley decided to go out and celebrate.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Minnesota And The Selection Of The 3 Stars

This morning, I was drinking my morning coffee while going through some game recaps, tweets, etc in regards to last night's NHL action. Nothing too out noteworthy unless you still want to talk about the Patrick Roy/Bouce Boudreau rift.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Jason Pominville Signs 5 Year Extension

Much like the Maple Leafs and Phil Kessel on Tuesday, the Wild announced via Twitter that the team has signed Jason Pominville to a five year extension just hours before the season opener against Los Angeles.

Lets Play Hockey

Tonight, the Wild open their season at home against the Los Angeles Kings. So what better way to get the season started, then have the most recognizable athlete in Minnesota get the Wild season kicked off? We welcome Vikings RB Adrian Peterson to get us underway (this is for all you displaced Viking fans who have already made it over to the hockey forums).

Take it away, Adrian!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The 2013-14 Minnesota Wild

Injured: Mike Rupp
Mike Yeo

Follow Giles on Twitter @gilesferrell

The 2013-14 Minnesota Wild: Mike Yeo

Two summers ago, Mike Yeo was the new bench boss in Minnesota. He was brought in after pitching to GM Chuck Fletcher his plan to give this team an identity, make them more aggressive, and get them to push for higher goals (like winning). This coming after his predecessor on the bench, Todd Richards, seemed to lack the aforementioned aspects.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The 2013-14 Minnesota Wild: The X-Factors

After looking closely at the forwards, defense, and goaltending, its time to single out a player from each of those areas who most needs to make an impact on the Wild roster this season to help this team succeed.

Vanek Watch: The Co-Captain

-Buffalo Sabres

This morning after a team practice, Sabres head coach Ron Rolston (most noted for sending John Scott out to fight Phil Kessel in a preseason game) decided to announce his captain for the team, after the position was left vacant by now Wild forward Jason Pominville.

The 2013-14 Minnesota Wild: Forwards

Two seasons ago, the Wild were the worst scoring team in the league. They averaged just over two goals per game and had the most lifeless offense in the NHL. So how does Chuck Fletcher fix that lifeless offense? He totally retools the forward position by infusing the lineup with a good mix of veteran stars and young kids with vast potential.