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Who should be the Wild's 2nd line center in 2011-2012?

View Poll Results: Who should be the 2nd line center next season?
Brodziak 16 28.57%
Cullen 29 51.79%
Wellman 3 5.36%
Sheppard 5 8.93%
Coyle 0 0%
Other (Almond, Phillips, etc.) 3 5.36%
Voters: 56. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
07-15-2011, 03:35 PM
  #26
Wildfish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
Cullen gets first crack IMO.
I agree, both about Cullen being first in line AND he's just getting the first "crack" at it. IMO Yeo is going to play everyone with everyone until he - hopefully - finds the best combo's. Then, when those line combo's get stale or to create favorable match-ups, he'll change lines.

Lines aren't set in stone and can change game to game or even period to period. Or, if you're Jacques Lemaire, from shift to shift!

Cullen gets a lot of PP time and penalty killing time. He's very responsible as a defensive forward. That might make him better suited to play 3rd line Center with Clutts - together that makes them a natural, in sync PK pair. I rmemebr one nice short handed goal last year when Clutts intercepted it and pushed in up to Cullen, who buried it. If Powe, who is also a big minute PK guy is also on that line, he can play the second PK tandem with Mikko, or anyone else, keeping the 1st Line and 2nd lines rested for the return to even strength.

Still can't reply to polls - what's the trick???

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07-15-2011, 03:47 PM
  #27
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45 days and 5 posts.

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Old
07-15-2011, 03:53 PM
  #28
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My take...

I'd throw Coyle (who I think they're going to let develop at Boston) and Sheppard (not a snowball's chance in hell IMO) off of this poll because they have no chance at all.

Wellman to me should get an audition at this spot, at least in pre-season. I totally disagree on the sniper's shot. He doesn't shoot nearly enough and I am not overly impressed; if he can be an effective set up man is all that is really required here. To me he either takes this opportunity and runs with it or you really have to question whether he has an NHL future with the Wild.

Brodziak next, why? He plays the hardest on a consistent level and while he lacks certain offensive skills his drive for the net will be nice to have when Latendresse is firing shots on goal. Then hopefully that will factor in as Brodziak buries the garbage chances. If he can't then you don't hesitate for one moment to put in Matt Cullen.

Cullen really should be the 2nd line center, but for some reason I think he could shine pretty well between Clutterbuck and Powe. Those two will do all the physical work and Cullen can pick up the loose biscuits and use the extra space for scoring chances of his own or set the other up; I also like the speed of that line to make them very tough to play against.

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07-15-2011, 04:00 PM
  #29
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45 days and 5 posts.

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Thank you!

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07-15-2011, 04:05 PM
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LemaireisGOD View Post
I'd throw Coyle (who I think they're going to let develop at Boston) and Sheppard (not a snowball's chance in hell IMO) off of this poll because they have no chance at all.

Wellman to me should get an audition at this spot, at least in pre-season.

Brodziak next, why? He plays the hardest on a consistent level and while he lacks certain offensive skills his drive for the net will be nice to have when Latendresse is firing shots on goal. Then hopefully that will factor in as Brodziak buries the garbage chances. If he can't then you don't hesitate for one moment to put in Matt Cullen.

Cullen really should be the 2nd line center, but for some reason I think he could shine pretty well between Clutterbuck and Powe.
Good analysis IMO. By all means give Wellman a look, but I'd be shocked if he earned that job. Great wheels and speed but you have to know where to go. To me it seems he goes fast to nowhere in particular. Wasn't his year in Houston last year kind of blah?

I'd LOVE to see a Powe-Cullen-Clutts line! The old cliche - hard to play against... HELL YEAH with those three out there!

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Old
07-15-2011, 04:10 PM
  #31
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I don't want Cullen anywhere near the 2nd line. How he scores 40 points a year is beyond me- there is no discernible offensive trait in his game that is above average.

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07-15-2011, 04:20 PM
  #32
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Originally Posted by firstroundbust View Post
I don't want Cullen anywhere near the 2nd line. How he scores 40 points a year is beyond me- there is no discernible offensive trait in his game that is above average.
He's clearly no sniper, he seems to lack that quick, accruate release. But he is a pretty decent puck handler and an excellent skater, quick and fast. He also has excellent hockey smarts. I watch a lot of Wild on TV snce I live so far away and he's in the thick of the action a lot. I'd say don't write him off because of the poor goal total last year, I kow he can do better than that.

He had four short handed goals last year. How many other Wild players have scored four shorties in a year? I wonder if Walz ever did... What's the Wild record for Shorties in a season? I'll have to go look that up...

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07-15-2011, 04:26 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by Wildfish View Post

He had four short handed goals last year. How many other Wild players have scored four shorties in a year? I wonder if Walz ever did... What's the Wild record for Shorties in a season? I'll have to go look that up...
Holy Moley! (sorry I just watched Grumpy Old men the other night)

Walz scored SEVEN shorties the Wild's fist year! But the next most he ever scored was three.

Don't freak out, not claiming Cullen is in Walz's class a Defensive Forward, since Walz was a Selke Finalist one year, but Cullen should get some props for the four Shorties last year. I don't care who you are, four SH goals in a season is excellent.

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07-15-2011, 05:23 PM
  #34
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I think we should really give Cullen a shot playing on a scoring line though I can see an argument for having a speedier, defensively sound guy centering powe and clutter to help the defense when the wings are out of position from throwing hits in deep. Still like Brodz for third line, but I can see where Cullen might have an advantage there.

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07-15-2011, 05:33 PM
  #35
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Unless either Brodziak or Cullen take's the job as 2nd line center and runs with it (which I don't think either will do - just a hunch), I think we'll see both of them in that spot for stretches at a time, until if and when one of them develops chemistry with the wings.

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07-16-2011, 01:40 AM
  #36
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It depends on more than just who is better. With no other players involved its Cullen for sure.

Lats- PMB- I go with Brodiziak
Seto-Lats I go Cullen

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07-16-2011, 09:55 AM
  #37
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I liked Cullen a lot better at wing than center when he was used there last season...

However, with the new additions at wing, that will not happen. Sooo, I think the job is Cullen's and will be that way for a month or two. With the amount of roster turnover, I doubt the the lines are going to be mixed all that often early. I think Yeo and the Wild will given the lines they'd like to see an extended chance to find their groove. If something's just not working out, it'll be dealt with after a fairly significant trial period IMO.

I expect line chemistry (and the team in general) to be very slow to go to start the year. Lots of new moving parts to work with. Yeo's going to have his work cut out for him early.

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Old
07-22-2011, 04:08 AM
  #38
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Well I know it's highly unlikely but Bouchard could always be moved back to center for the second line. If we did that though I'm not sure who we could put on his right. My only guess would be Clutterbuck but yeah I'd rather see him on a 3rd line with Powe and either Gillies or Brodziak. So considering Bouchard will likely be a winger again my vote goes to Cullen although I really don't feel very comfortable with him or Brodziak on the 2nd line. I'd love to see the Wild make one more trade to get a good center for the 2nd line but Fletch has already made more moves than I could've imagined him making so I guess it's too much to ask. Hopefully Granlund can be "the guy" for line 2 center in 2012-2013 (assuming we sign him of course).

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Old
07-22-2011, 06:19 AM
  #39
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You should have put on pro for Sheppard that he has played hockey since he was 3 years old :-D

And I guess we should have Cullen there.. not that i like him too much but..

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07-22-2011, 09:40 AM
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MN_Gopher View Post
It depends on more than just who is better. With no other players involved its Cullen for sure.

Lats- PMB- I go with Brodiziak
Seto-Lats I go Cullen
I agree. Personally, I think the 2nd line wingers should be Latendresse and Bouchard. I think they would compliment each other well. Given that pairing, I think Brodziak would fit in best with them.

That would leave Koivu, Heatley, and Setoguchi on a well balanced 1st line. Yeah, both Setoguchi and Heatley are shooters, but Heatley is an underrated playmaker, and Setoguchi would add speed to that line, and give them somebody to chase down the puck.

Cullen, Clutterbuck, and Powe/Gillies, would be a speedy, north-south 3rd line.

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07-22-2011, 10:20 AM
  #41
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Originally Posted by nickschultzfan View Post
I agree. Personally, I think the 2nd line wingers should be Latendresse and Bouchard. I think they would compliment each other well. Given that pairing, I think Brodziak would fit in best with them.

That would leave Koivu, Heatley, and Setoguchi on a well balanced 1st line. Yeah, both Setoguchi and Heatley are shooters, but Heatley is an underrated playmaker, and Setoguchi would add speed to that line, and give them somebody to chase down the puck.

Cullen, Clutterbuck, and Powe/Gillies, would be a speedy, north-south 3rd line.
We don't need more playmakers, we need guys to shoot the puck. I'd prefer to see the shooters split up to balance the top 2 lines.

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07-22-2011, 10:22 AM
  #42
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I'll need to see how the guys play for 20 games before I really can make judgments. I haven't watched Heatley or Setoguchi nearly enough, and I do think Cullen will have a bounceback year.

My gut says Bouchard-Koivu-Heatley and Lats-Cullen-Seto. If that second line needs defensive help, swap Cullen with Brodziak. If one of those lines isn't clicking, swap Seto and Bouchard.

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07-22-2011, 10:35 AM
  #43
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Originally Posted by MuckandGrind View Post
We don't need more playmakers, we need guys to shoot the puck. I'd prefer to see the shooters split up to balance the top 2 lines.
Heatley, Setoguchi, and Latendresse are all shooters and all should be in the top-6. One line will have to have two shooters. Out of those three, Latendresse actually is the most "solo" shooter, IMO. He's best when he puts his head down and drives to the net or unloads the puck as soon as it gets to him.

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07-22-2011, 10:48 AM
  #44
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I think I agree with MN_gopher's "depends on where Setoguchi/Bouchard play comment. If Gooch plays with Koivu and Heater (making the lines less even, but giving us a true #1 line) then I think Brodziak has a good shot at being the second line center. If we put Bouchard on the top line (giving Heater two guys who will do nothing but feed him the puck in spectacular fashion) I don't think Brodziak works between Gooch and Lats. As down as everyone is on Cullen's playmaking ability, it's certainly better than Brodziak's. Regardless of who plays 2C, our third line is going to be fun to watch.

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07-22-2011, 10:57 AM
  #45
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Crap. I just remembered... didn't Cullen show some flashes of pretty potent chemistry with Clutterbuck for a handful of games before the end of the year? Decisions, decisions..

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07-22-2011, 12:12 PM
  #46
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I don’t know any more. There are honestly too many variables going into the season for me to attempt to pattern match. All things being equal, I would probably switch my vote over to Wellman.

From what I understand, Yeo does try to keep the same sort of player on lines. If he has three solid East-Westers, he will try to keep them together. If he has three fast skaters that can all move the puck at speed, he would keep them together. I seem to recall Wellman being the center for his lines with Earl. Wellman controls the puck at speed, whereas Cullen does not.

That being said, I wouldn’t mind seeing a trial of;
Latendresse – Koivu – Heatley
Bouchard – Wellman – Setoguchi
Cullen – Brodziak – Clutterbuck
Gillies/Nystrom – Powe/Nystrom – Staubitz/Powe

Too. Many. Variables...

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07-22-2011, 12:27 PM
  #47
nickschultzfan
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Crap. I just remembered... didn't Cullen show some flashes of pretty potent chemistry with Clutterbuck for a handful of games before the end of the year? Decisions, decisions..
Kind of, but I think it's more subtle than that. Here's how I see it, chemistry is generally defined as two players INCREASING the normal production of their linemates due to seeing eye-to-eye.

Cullen and Clutterbuck are both good players. But both play on an island, and struggle with developing chemistry on a line. Clutterbuck and Cullen had zero chemistry with Havlat, Koivu, Bouchard, Brodziak, Miettinen, and Brunette. Their best, and most effect, moments are solo moments.

In fact, when they are placed on a line, they REDUCED the production of their linemates, IMO, even though they continue to be somewhat productive themselves. With respect to chemistry and increasing the production of their linemates, I felt like they are both a NEGATIVE.

However, when they were on the same line, they were at least on the same page and both played a north-south game. This had two positive effects. First, it allowed the top-6 lines to develop "positive" chemistry (due to Clutterbuck and Cullen's absence). Second, it allowed Cullen and Clutterbuck to stop negatively effecting the production of their linesmates, because Cullen and Clutterbuck could both be solo players, and it wouldn't REDUCE the production of the other one.

So, I don't think they had "positive" chemistry, which is generally what we talk about when talking about chemistry, but rather, by playing together, they stopped their "negative" chemistry. If that makes sense.

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Old
07-23-2011, 08:13 PM
  #48
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Cullen would be best on the 2nd line. A 3rd line of Powe/Brodziak/Clutterbuck would be a lot better grinding/hitting line than a 3rd line of Powe/Cullen/Clutterbuck IMO.

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Old
07-25-2011, 12:15 AM
  #49
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I actually like the way our 2nd line situation is set up. In the event that one of our centers gets hurt, or a particular young guy shows something that makes us believe he's earned a shot, a Wellman, or a Sheppard, or a Gillies gets the opportunity to play with two of Latendresse, Bouchard, or Setoguchi. And if no one can step up, we still have the healthy Cullen or Brodziak for proven 2nd line centers, and Bouchard as an option.

I'm not counting on it happening, but I'm just saying I like the opportunity there.

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07-25-2011, 07:33 AM
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickschultzfan View Post
Sheppard
Pros: (Don't laugh). Defensively sound. Strong on the puck. Offensive potential there. Very young, but has 3 NHL season under belt. Could still develop into 20-40 center if the light comes on.

Cons: Lots. Didn't play last season due to major injury. Regressed the season before that. Has not displayed offensive ability at the NHL level. Rushed. Bad at faceoffs. Not quick. Poor shot. Is it too late?
Uh...you lost me right about there. I didn't laugh, but I did go "Wtf?" Shep is NOT strong on the puck. For a guy his size he should be, but he gets knocked off the puck so easy it's embarrassing. And that's only when he's not falling. Which usually only happens when he's on the ice.

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