Maybe the offense should help chip in and pass the puck out of the zone and generate you know some changes.
This team struggles offensively and has struggled offensively because we have no offense. Forward, defense. But you don't throw everything out just because you can't get one guy to move the puck from the blueline.
To know Minnesota hockey you need to know this;
1) Any forward coming in will not shoot the puck
2) Any opposing forward will always have a welcome home in front of the crease
3) Any defenseman that can't score is automatically a scapegoat.
With (1), I disagree. There are just as many times where the Wild lose an offensive opportunity by shooting when they had a much better cycling opportunity. Look at all the times on the PP when, say, Cullen takes a garbage shot from outside the circles that the goalie handles very easily, leading to a clear or a face off and half the PP time getting wasted.
(2) is absolutely true.
As for (3), I could give a rat's ass about points from the blue line (though a scoring threat from the point does make the forwards harder to defend). I just want the D to keep the puck out of the net and make sure that we maintain possession when breaking out of our zone and through neutral ice.
The real problem, and the thing I think is most iconic of Wild hockey, is what I call "dump and watch" hockey. Sometimes it's the D throwing it out to neutral ice for a quick change instead of facilitating a change while maintaining possession. Other times it's the forwards being incredibly lazy on the forecheck and just watching the other guys retrieve it. And sometimes it's the D and backcheckers' fault for sucking at recovering the puck and forcing the forwards to throw it in and change the moment they hit the red line. But for years now all of them have ruined this team's ability to maintain offensive pressure.
Fletcher will either sign Suter or trade for a big time #1 defenseman by summer of 2013. After this summer we will have a glut of prospects and can start using them to fill holes. The question is whether it happens this summer or next.
Pros to this summer, we have a chance to compete for the playoffs, and if we can nab Suter in free agency, don't give up anything.
Pros to next summer, we will have more chips to trade and another year under all the prospects belts to see how they develop. Better understanding of how to fill needs.
Brodin will be an excellent puck mover who can play against the top competition and get the puck, skate it out of trouble if need be, or else see the ice and make a great first pass. Much like Johnsson was. He need a big, physical, shutdown guy to play alongside him who has experience and is skilled enough to play those minutes. Suter is the ideal candidate.
Forwards playing responsible defense is part of Yeo's system, not the fault of the defensemen. The thing hampering our production is our inability to gain puck possession in the offensive zone. It's not our play in the defensive zone; it's our transition game.
Our lack of offense stems from a weak blue line there (both in the lack of solid shooting, as well as weak puck movement, and a tendency to bobble the puck out of the zone) and the sheer amount of time we spend in the defensive zone. Why do we get stuck in our own end? Because when we finally get control of the puck, we chip it out, move it to the line and dump, or turn it over. You can have the best defensive play in the league from your defensemen, but if they spend 75% of the game in their own end, the other team will score. It doesn't matter how well they play, if they can't get the puck out of their own zone, they will lose.
/no matter how I try to phrase this, it sounds like I'm rebutting you rather than agreeing...strange
Some very quick looks and math, and I think these are the closest teams to us(only counting highest 6, because I don't know the starting lineups for every team):
Rangers - 11.5
Avs - 11.5
Islanders - 11.3
I wasn't able to find a team spending <10 mil on defense (granted this was a VERY quick look through)
Montreal is in the $11MM range too, assuming Markov is still on IR.
If I did my math right, Chara's actual salary this season is $7,500 more than the 6 defensemen we will ice tonight combined.
i'm about the biggest Brodin supporter here (aside from some Swedes probably) but he isn't going to fix this D by himself any more than Johnsson could. He will be the steady foundation that allows an offensive D like Burns really tear it up. If we could find one of those.
I really don't think he's going to trade anyone but it shows really. There was absolutely no need to move Schultz and even at best maybe in the off-season. Gilbert was not a huge priority for us with Foster here and Brodin coming in.
What we are missing is a guy like Johnsson. We just simply can't find a guy that can make a good outlet pass (not really offense but it helps) but also plays a steady, reliable game on the backend. Which Brodin should provide.
Maybe you haven't seen Gilbert play? That is exactly what he does...good outlet pass..slightly above average defender...still a little raw it seems though
But what is Schultz?? Below average defensive defenseman making 4 million a year with 0 offense. 3 points and a -10 and supposed to be this defensive dynamo..sure he was well liked in the lockeroom but that doesn't all of a sudden make him this primetime D-man...
Schultz wouldn't make the top 4 of a single good NHL team. No chance.
I have no problem offering Suter an 8-year, $64 million contract (8 million/year per). Our blueline would still be low-cost for several seasons. They are very, very young.
It'd be something close to 16 million. 8 mil for Suter, 4 for Gilbert. and 4-5 guys making ≤1 mil. That's about 28% of the Current cap for 6 players. On a roster of 23 players 6 players are 26% of the team, so the blue line would be making a proportionate amount of money, just in terms of pure # of players, and not value to team and other hard to quantify things.
So yes if we can get Suter for 8 mil a year sign me up and take my first born child.