The Wild in 2010-11 will be an unknown thing of sorts, they could come blasting out as a hot time with a relatively easy schedule to start, but we must remember that they are starting the year in Helsinki. That could really mess them up due to jet lag and stuff like that, it might take them longer to recover than usual.
As we saw last year, the team played really well at home and stunk on the road. This trend will probably continue, but I really hope it doesn't. The Latendresse-Cullen-Havlat line will be dynamite, and Koivu's line will still be productive. If this is true, then I think there's a good shot that we could find ourselves in a playoff spot. We need a consistent performance from some of the guys, but we don't have that bad of a team, I really think we could do some damage this year. Maybe it's just blind homerism, but I think there's a good shot we could easily push some teams to the limit. I like our team, and the only way I see we should improve is through trading, I expect to see some moves during the year depending on the situation. If we are out of it, please sell the vets GMCF, let's be loyal, but we have to remember that this is a business and we need to sell them off at the deadline. I'd really like to see Kobasew with Koivu and Bruno.
The season can't come quick enough. It will be here before we know it!
Well part of why I think the team COULD be better offensively is our lines. We started out with Sykora and Havlat injured, Bouchard missed the whole season, Pouliot and Sheppard doing nothing, our second line centers were Ebbett and Brodziak, Nolan was a non-factor most nights, Boogaard was still on the roster, and Kobasew missed a huge chunk of the year.
If our guys are healthy, there are four lines rather than the two that were 100% at any given time. There are two legitimate scoring lines and potentially a third with a healthy Bouchard and Kobasew. And the fourth line is improved and can take a regular shift.
And that's on top of a team playing about as bad defensively as possible. If Richards can get the guys to play some defense, it should be a major turnaround.
The only real loss is Johnsson, and that could be significant if nobody is brought in to move the puck and play smart defense. Is it enough to cancel out the several wins the team should get from having a big improvement up front? We'll have to see.
The Wild will finish 7th in the West and defeat the #2 seed in round 1 before losing in round 2.
Latendresse will score 30.
PMB will play 65 games and end with 48 pts.
Jerod Palmer will start the season in Houston and earn a call up by early November. By seasons end he will be playing with Koivu and end the season with 18 goals and show he has a bright future as a power forward.
Marco Scandella will play 40+ games with the Wild.
Casey Wellman will show he is close to becoming a legit top six forward by seasons end.
Brett Bulmer will score 40 goals in the WHL this season and be a top 50 prospect in HF by seasons end.
The Wild prospects will have improved enough by mid-season to warrant moving from #30 on HF to between 15-20.