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11-19-2005, 07:47 AM
  #6
Pred303
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Murfreesboro, Tn.
Country: United States
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need a strong effort tonight...would be great to get this roadtrip started right, thinking we need 4 points this 3 game trip to keep momentum.. have watched MIN several times this year, they play the same type of game they did in season's past.. lots of sutble traps run, seems that the wild runs them a little deeper in their own zone now to compensate for the redline..

you don't want to play behind these guys, every game you trail them, it becomes painful to watch, as the game immediately is slowed way down..to illustrate they're 6-2-2 when scoring first, but only 2-7 when the other team scores first...5 on 5 they haven't been very good since the first couple of weeks of the year (they've now scored 3 or less for 12 consecutive games), but their special team play has been strong all year, their pp is 12th, but seems to be struggling a little right now(5 for their last 48), however their pk remains the top ranked one in the league(90%), and they've allowed the league fewest pp goals (11) by far of any team in the league.. only once this year have they allowed as many as 2 pp goals in one game(their last game in fact)..

their strength, the pk, happens to be matched straight up against what is really our strength, the pp... always makes for an interesting match when things like this happen..

MIN has team speed, but they think defense, defense, and then more defense under their coach,their offense seems to be almost totally dependent on counterattacking off of turnovers created in the neutral zone with their trapping style... watch tonight, notice how in our first 17 games how few times we were forced to run a breakout scheme from behind our own net...tonight we'll set up to run that breakout scheme more times i bet than all our first 17 games combined, because you have to be smart and careful against the way they play.. watching these guys is like a flashback to the "old NHL" every time i've seen them, so we have to play with our heads of course

MIN has had a few of the problems we've had with their speed but lack of size, teams have been able to cycle the puck and hold it in their defensive zone for long stretches once they break their trap... they're getting outshot most every game as a result of that, worse than we are, and are only averaging 24.5 shots a game themsevles, the lowest in the league, because of it.. they've also seen teams draw lots of penalties against them in some games because of this zone time.. but, again like us, they've relied on a strong pk and great goaltending to compensate for those.. because of this weakness and the way the wild will try to take away speed in the neutral zone, i expect the hartnell-johnson-hall line to be key tonight, they could best take advantage of MINN in a slowed down,grind it out game

tough game as always for us, we haven't won on our last 5 trips to MINN...the ideal thing is to get ahead of this team early and force them to open up their game to try to catch up..when you can do that, MINN becomes very vulnerable... but with their style, it's not that easy to do...

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