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09-09-2009, 05:56 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: some other continent
Country: United States
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Good question

We are still a team that is relying soley on 1 scoring line to conistently play top level offense (and defense) against some of the hardest lines not only in our division but in the conference (Vancouver, Calgary have stacked up scoring lines and Anaheim, Detroit, Chicago are not slouching either). Koivu will be putting down a ton of ice time, and God willing if he gets the "C" he is really going to show what this team can do. Moreover, we are putting a lot of weight on Havlat to pick up the scoring responsibilities that we lost when Gaborik left (not that we really haven't gotten that in the last year or two), but we also need to hope he can stay healty as well. Nolan and Bruno are going to need to play at the same intensity they played last year in the hopes we can at least make a run when we hit our tradiional slump in Dec/Jan timeframe.

Defense is where I'm the most optimistic this year! This is the first year I believe we actually have all the role players we need in order to have a great Penalty Kill, great PP QB's, Slapshots, and most important shutdown players when playing full strength.

Backstrom has me concerned because its a huge contract we have bought into thanks to DR and when you don't a trap system and dmen lagging behind on offense, its going to be a little more difficult for him. However, he shut all us up that are skeptical by playing the level we want him to play.

What has me the most excited is the fact that EVERYONE (to include Head Coach, GM, and new players) are literally excited as hell to be wearing a Minnesota sweater. That is something we haven't seen with the likes of Simon (ugh), Gaborik, Manny, and Demitra to name a few. With that excitement is going to come heart and the ability to want to play hard every shift they are on the ice.

My Prediction:

I've never seen the fans this excited for Wild hockey since the 2003 playoff run, and the 2006 preseason with who we signed and our possibilities. New 3rd jersey, new players, and most importantly the promises that Richards and Fletcher have given us (Burns will only be a dman this year no matter what, wide open hockey, more intense forechecking, etc) have me pumped for this season to begin.

We will finish probably 3rd in the Division behind Vancouver and Calgary. With that however we will still be the 7th or 8th seed in the playoffs this year.

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