Friday, January 31, 2014

Zach Parise: Captain America

Photo: @mnwild
Just a little bit past noon today, Team USA General Manager David Poille announced that Wild winger Zach Parise would be the captain of the United States Olympic hockey team in the upcoming games in Sochi, Russia.

Yes, the same Zach Parise who modeled the US opening ceremonies gear.

Also, Poille named that the alternate captains to the team which included Wild defenseman Ryan Suter. Nice to see Poille put his differences with Suter behind him for the sake of the team.

For those interested, the other alternate captain named was Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings. Not exactly a welcome face here around these parts. So the official leadership of Team USA is as follows:

Captain: LW Zach Parise (MIN)
Alternates: D Ryan Suter (MIN)
                    LW Dustin Brown (LA)

The Wild have three remaining games (2/1 @CGY, 2/4 vs TB, and 2/6 vs NSH) before breaking for nearly three weeks for the Olympics.

Follow Giles on Twitter @gilesferrell

Did The Wild Find Their Top Line?

Photo: Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Ever since the Wild signed Zach Parise, it was a foregone conclusion that the guy centering him for the foreseeable future would be Mikko Koivu. Through the end of December, that was the case as they were linemates for just about all of Parise's time here.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Getting To The Net

Last week, we took a look at the Wild's schedule to end January. It basically said that the Wild's hot streak has a good chance of coming to an end due to the quality of the teams they were playing.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Is There A Place For Jason Zucker?

It has been a up and down two seasons for Jason Zucker. Photo: Harry How/Getty Images
Yesterday in the post on "whether or not the Wild should go get Ryan Miller", a guess was ventured as to the prospect the Wild would send back to Buffalo in a potential deal for Miller. The prospect was Jason Zucker.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Should The Wild Trade For Ryan Miller?

How much longer will Ryan Miller be in Buffalo? Photo: Bill Wippert/Getty Images
With just five games left for the Wild before they break for the Olympics, the question will start to get asked if they will make a move before the break. It has been speculated that there could be more activity on the trade front leading up to the Olympic break, than there will actually be in the days leading up to the March 5 deadline.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Vicious Shark Tank

This video is from December 6th, 2011. It is the last time the Minnesota Wild won a game in San Jose. Since that win, the Wild have been dominated in the four times they have made the trip out there.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Zach Parise Models Team USA Apparel

Zach Parise shows off the Ralph Lauren Team USA Gear. Photo: @mnwild
Yes folks, that is what your Team USA Olympians will be wearing to the Opening Ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Gameday Thoughts

Photo: Ann Heisenfelt/AP
Wild host the Blackhawks tonight at 7 PM. Since I have about 1,000 (slight exaggeration) thoughts right now, lets get on with it.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Boost of Confidence

Darcy Kuemper has come up big for the Wild lately. Photo: Mark Humphrey/AP
Earlier in the year, we talked about how Darcy Kuemper needed to be left in the AHL to gain some much needed experience. At the time, Kuemper had been struggling at both the AHL and NHL level. It was just for the better that he stay in the AHL for a while. The Wild even looked at the possibility of signing a third goalie so Kuemper could stay down in Iowa.

Monday, January 20, 2014

When The Tough Gets Going...

The Wild are about to head to the vicious West Coast. Photo: Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Mikko Koivu: Out. Zach Parise: Out. Josh Harding: Out.

With those three names out for an extended period of time, January was not supposed to be pleasant for the Wild. But since the calendar flipped from 2013 to 2014, the team has won seven out of nine games and have created a nice little cushion for themselves in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

Nate Prosser gave HDM 2014 a perfect ending. Photo: Ann Heisenfelt/AP
Nope, this is not a post where I complain about the 30 missed calls in last night's Stars-Wild game. This is also not a post where I complain about the fiasco in Vancouver last night. Those are posts for a different day.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Be Glad We Don't Have Edmonton's Problems

Chuck Fletcher has made more out of his drafts than Edmonton has. Photo:
Right now, the Wild have issues. They have several key players out with injury and have been having issues scoring goals. They have also been getting badly outplayed this month, in their seven games played. But somehow, the Wild have managed to win five of their seven games this month with their young prospects leading the way.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Total Team Effort

Different faces have stepped up for the Wild in 2014. Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
Lets go back in time two weeks ago. The Wild played abysmal hockey against the St. Louis Blues at home in a 2-0 defeat. They closed out the year on a six game losing streak, lost several key players to injury (Zach Parise, Josh Harding, Jared Spurgeon and Mikko Koivu), and it appeared that Mike Yeo would be the next coach in the NHL to lose his job.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Its Dany Heatley Week!

Dany Heatley has been a sore spot for Wild fans all year. His nonexistent play at times have seen everyone cry out for his benching, or in some cases, his release (BREAKING: its not happening). But the last two games, Heatley has stepped up notching two points in each of those games.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Thoughts From Hollywood

Somehow, the Wild got two points last night. Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA Today Sports

Though last night was one of the more lopsided games in terms of puck possession by any team this year. And yet, it was one of those nights where the score was far from the story of the game.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Just How Valuable Is Mikko Koivu

Photo: James Guillory/USA Today
Yesterday, the Wild were given a tremendous blow when it was announced that team captain Mikko Koivu would miss the next four weeks after having surgery to repair a fracture on his foot. The injury now means that youngsters Mikael Granlund, Charlie Coyle, and Erik Haula will be playing much bigger roles to fill the void.

The 2014 Minnesota Wild Olympians

Photo: Heston Kan
As much as Team Canada tried to delay the process this morning, all Winter Olympic hockey rosters have now been announced. The final four teams (Finland, Sweden, Slovakia, and Canada) gave out their rosters to the public, leaving everyone with more questions (as to why player 'x' made the team over player 'y') than answers, seemingly.

Monday, January 6, 2014

It's Only A Game

Mikko Koivu and Josh Harding landed on IR today. Photo: Genevieve Ross/AP
Good afternoon from the north, where the Wild made some roster moves this morning that brought widespread panic across the internet. The team announced that they have placed Mikko Koivu and Josh Harding on IR while calling up Erik Haula and Jon Blum from Iowa.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Popularity and Affordability of Hockey

105,491 people filled Michigan Stadium last week. Photo: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
Last week, Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk posted a piece on whether or not football is dying and compared it to the popularity of baseball. It is a truly outstanding piece, and I would highly recommend giving it a read before going any further here.

For those who don't feel like reading it, here is a small excerpt:

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Did The Wild Really Get Worse?

Last season, the Wild made the playoffs for the first time since 2008, as they snuck in on the final day of the regular season. The team was quickly dismissed from the postseason by the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks in five games.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Zenon Konopka Tribute

Hoppy is relocating once again. Photo: Zenon Konopka
551 days. 73 games. 16 fights. 1 goal.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Minnesota's Winter Classic Hopes Looks Dim

It was another memorable Winter Classic in Ann Arbor today. Photo: Rick Osentoski/USA Today
Every New Years Day, the NHL puts on its grandest regular season event, the Winter Classic. And on that same day every year, Minnesotans from Warroad to Albert Lea wonder when the NHL will come calling to have the Wild host the league's premier event. One thing we know for sure, is that the Wild's chances of hosting the Winter Classic are growing dim.

Halfway Home

Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
Happy New Year everyone. For those doing some New Year's resolutions can we all agree the Wild should be working for more goals? I kid I kid.