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01-13-2014, 11:36 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by BigT2002 View Post
Parise and Koivu coming back may actually hurt this team more than help Never in a million years thought I would type that either.
Not to be Buzz Killington or anything, but we've been facing some truly awful teams.
  • The mini-win streak started against Buffalo, literally the undisputed worst team in the league.
  • Then we beat the Caps...which was their fourth straight loss and their sixth in seven games.
  • Next was LA, and we handed them their sixth loss in seven games, and even that we had to take to a shootout.
  • We beat Phoenix, which was their ninth loss in twelve games––somehow that seems like a good streak compared to the rest of the opponents we've been facing.
  • We lost a crucial division game to Colorado (who are a decent team but really shouldn't look nearly as invincible against us as they do)
  • Then we beat the Perds which was (you guessed it!) their sixth loss in seven games.

Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy that we're winning games, but these lulls in the schedule where you get stretches against bad opponents are exactly where you're expected to make up ground if you're going to do so. This is an awesome opportunity for the kids to develop some chemistry and confidence, and to get us back into the playoff bubble. But it doesn't prove that we're turning a corner or anything. If guys like Coyle, Heatley, Zucker, Niederreiter, and Scandella can keep up their current success, it will be a huge help down the road, but even then we'll still be very thankful for the help if Parise and Koivu can come back right around the time the schedule starts getting tough again.

Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
I think I would characterize the Wild's recent play as "unsustainable", given that the shooting and save percentages are quite high.

Still, when you give the games the old eye test, they are playing better IMO. They are getting better quality chances from the middle of the ice and all four lines are playing well.

Honestly, I don't know what this means for Mike Yeo or Mikko Koivu or Zach Parise. You would expect the team to score 12-13 goals and give up 15-16 goals under normal circumstances (using the season averages), but they have scored 21 and given up 10.
There's a caveat that I think is underappreciated with stats like shot differentials: teams with a comfortable lead tend to take fewer shots, especially if they jump out to that lead fairly early. I remember after the Toronto game in October where we lost 4-1, everyone (even Don Cherry!) was saying that the Wild played better and "deserved" to win or at least be closer, because we held the puck more and took 37 shots to their 14. But the Leafs scored on two of their first three shots and played pretty much the whole game with a comfortable lead. Outshooting a team that's playing most of the game to protect a lead really isn't that impressive. And now we're kind of seeing the opposite side of that: we're getting some early leads against some weak teams where we can afford to let up and play conservatively, so, yeah, of course the shot differential is going to go against us.

Last edited by llamapalooza: 01-13-2014 at 11:46 AM.
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