HFBoards

Go Back   HFBoards > NHL Western Conference > Central Division > Minnesota Wild
Mobile Hockey's Future Become a Sponsor Site Rules Support Forum vBookie Page 2
Notices

Preseason Predictions - Agree or Disagree?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old
08-11-2010, 01:51 PM
  #1
se7en
infamous...
 
se7en's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Mission Beach, CA
Country: United States
Posts: 1,090
vCash: 500
Preseason Predictions - Agree or Disagree?

So I know this has been talked about in a few different ways over the last couple months but I gotta say that I'm getting discouraged... I'll admit that as the 2010 season ended I wasn't exactly optomistic about the upcoming 2010-2011 season, but as the summer went on & Fletcher made some moves, & it started looking like things might not be so bad, maybe even good... I'm not saying I thought we were all of a sudden a cup contender or anything like that, but I thought that we had a pretty solid shot at grabbing a 6th thru 8th playoff spot and maybe even a chance to make it to the second round. Or in other words, we'd at least have a better season than last year...

Well, here we are about a month or so away from things starting to gear up and in the last few days I've seen in numerous places that we are expected to be one of, if not the worst team in hockey this season. Every one from Vegas odds makers to the majority of HF board members have us pegged to finish 15th in the west & 27-30th in the league. Here's just some of the links to the info:

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Brad-...nd-Up/78/29697

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=805906

http://www.vegassports-odds.com/2010...ting-favorites


I gotta ask, are we really that bad!? I mean hell, we only improved from last year but yet we're predicted to do that much worse? Obviously it's all just speculation right now but I NEVER expected to be predicted this unanimously as one of the worst teams in hockey...

I would say these are outrageous claims but it seems that the concensus everywhere is that the Wild will suck, epicly suck... How do you guys feel about this? Half of me wants to say screw eveyone, we'll proof them wrong! The other half wants to say, man I'm just a blind homer, we really do suck, but then I look at our guys & think I can't say that when we have guys like Lats, Havlat, Burns, Mikko, Cal, Backstrom & now proven cup winners in Cullen & Madden. Are our lines really that inferior to the rest of the league!? Is it our lack of goal scorers? Is it some stink from last year dragging us down, or do we really just suck as a whole!?

I guess I'm just posting this to hear some optimism, or to hear some reasons to be excited... But I gotta say, with this many people ripping us apart, it's kind of heartbreaking...

I will watch & root for, & hope for the best like I always do once the season starts but man, not the news I was looking to hear before the season gets going... So I just thought that I'd throw this out there to see what some fellow Wild fans are thinking as the season apporaches...

se7en is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-11-2010, 01:53 PM
  #2
GopherState
Repeat Offender...
 
GopherState's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: X Marks The Spot
Posts: 22,828
vCash: 500
THN has Wild pegged to be 13th in the West

Why: A new era behind the bench was supposed to usher in more offense, but the Wild scored at the same rate in 2009-10 is they did the season before. The off-season acquisitions of John Madden, Eric Nystrom and Matt Cullen were made with an eye towards the defensive end. With Martin Havlat and Mikko Koivu counted on as the offensive leaders, it looks like the same old story in Minnesota.

Agree or disagree?

__________________
Blog: First Round Bust: A Cast of Thousands celebrating a rather dodgy track record of Minnesota Wild Drafting.

"Will beats skill when skill doesn't have enough will."
-Doug Woog
1974 1976 1979 2002 2003 2014?
GopherState is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-11-2010, 01:55 PM
  #3
GopherState
Repeat Offender...
 
GopherState's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: X Marks The Spot
Posts: 22,828
vCash: 500
Haha, don't look at the thread I just posted.

GopherState is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-11-2010, 02:02 PM
  #4
se7en
infamous...
 
se7en's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Mission Beach, CA
Country: United States
Posts: 1,090
vCash: 500
Well at least they got us at 13th instead of 15th like everyone else but geez!

I guess we were posting at the same time... Should we merge these threads?



ps - Thanks for the info on the guy that knew about the Madden signing!



** I hate to bring this up again, & I know it takes 2 to tango, but maybe we have to start looking at trading Burns + a prospect or pick again...? I know all the old chestnuts about trading when value is the highest and all but if we just added defensive centers & we are somewhat deep at D prospects, maybe we start looking at parting with BB...? I don't want to do it either but if that could net us one more 25+ goal scoring winger, would that be that kick this team needs? Looking at peoples comments & story's it looks like goal scoring is what's killing us & maybe with these new defensivly responsible centers, we can start looking at parting with a big member of our D by countering it with a a scoring yet responsible Offense?

Just adding one 25+ goal scoring right winger on Mikko's line all of a sudden makes our make-up alot different, epecially if Havlat has even a decent season & Lats keeps his pace... Again, I know that there are limited options & all the problems that come with activley shopping a defender that's had a few down seasons & injury history but it's the only thing I can think of, unless of coarse we just say f it and ride this season out...

I'm kind of torn on this one... I wish I could have lunch with Fletcher & find out all the inside info...


Last edited by se7en: 08-11-2010 at 02:12 PM. Reason: added some stuff
se7en is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-11-2010, 02:11 PM
  #5
llamapalooza
Hockey State Expat
 
llamapalooza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: San Francisco
Country: United States
Posts: 7,469
vCash: 500
I think we're a deeper roster this year, with a legitimate center for HavLats, and especially if Butch comes back. I think Coach Richards will have a much better year. He'll probably make fewer rookie mistakes, and maybe tone down the whole "flashy offense" system thing just a little bit, now that he knows what he has to work with. Also you can bet $10 on the Wild and win $750 if a miracle occurs; that sounds like a good deal to me.

llamapalooza is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-11-2010, 02:12 PM
  #6
GopherState
Repeat Offender...
 
GopherState's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: X Marks The Spot
Posts: 22,828
vCash: 500
Not sure - they are similar but one actually debates a prediction and the other asks why people believe the Wild will suck. They don't really go together but at the same time they are too close to have separately.

EDIT: Went with merging the two and changing the thread title. Hope you don't mind Se7en.

GopherState is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-11-2010, 02:26 PM
  #7
Dr Jan Itor
Registered User
 
Dr Jan Itor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: MinneSNOWta
Posts: 10,579
vCash: 500
Before last season, Colorado was picked by many outlets to finish 15th in the WC and fight for the #1 overall pick...just saying.

As I've said before, if certain things go right (note: I don't mean everybody on the team has career years), this team COULD be a playoff team.

Dr Jan Itor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-11-2010, 02:48 PM
  #8
Jarick
Moderator
Doing Nothing
 
Jarick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: St Paul, MN
Country: United States
Posts: 24,315
vCash: 500
Standing predictions are worth the paper they're printed on. Let everyone assume that the Wild, which have gotten better in ever facet except for the departure of Kim Johnsson, will be even worse than they were last year.

Never mind that the new front office and coaching regime cause a lot of confusion and turmoil that took a couple months to iron out. Or that the team was devastated by injuries. Or that apparently there were a lot of people out of shape and locker room cancers. Or that we didn't acquire our top scorer until two months in. Or that we made a huge upgrade in terms of the coaching staff. Or that the increased depth is going to create a lot more pressure for the youth to step up.

Last year everyone had Colorado as the worst team and Phoenix right behind them. Last year Calgary was supposed to dominate with a stacked blue line.

There are only three teams that have missed the playoffs the last two years in the West...Dallas, Edmonton, and Minnesota. Most people are still overrating Dallas based on their many years of success, so Edmonton and Minnesota are at the bottom of the list for almost everyone.

But it's up to the team to prove everyone wrong, and I hope they do.

Jarick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-11-2010, 02:53 PM
  #9
bozak911
Ignoring Idiots
 
bozak911's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 3,911
vCash: 500
I don’t agree, but I agree with the DJI.

There are a lot of open questions with the Wild. More so than any other team out there. Look at Calgary, who weren’t all that great last season. They basically have a similar roster to their 08-09 season where they finished well within the play-offs. Colorado is basically the same team that were contending for the top until their major fall off after the Olympics. Phoenix is better than their roster was at the start of the season. Anaheim, LA, Dallas, St. Louis, and many others are slightly worse on paper.

The Wild are pretty much the same as they were last season, if you weigh just numbers. We are still basically going to be struggling with coaching systems, reference the hiring of Rick Wilson. There’s going to be questions between a wide open system and a more defensive system. We added defensive forwards with grit. Why?

The Wild have far more open questions, not roster oriented, than even a team like Phoenix. Phoenix basically has a post-trade deadline style-roster.

This is why I think most people look at the Wild as a bottom feeder. However, if they shift to a more closed system, defensively, then we are most definitely going to be better than 12th.

Hell, we won a couple of times in the Saddledome last season…

bozak911 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-11-2010, 03:01 PM
  #10
Jarick
Moderator
Doing Nothing
 
Jarick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: St Paul, MN
Country: United States
Posts: 24,315
vCash: 500
Most people look at teams though in terms of steady performance from all players, add or subtract the players who have joined or left the team, and rookie performance is a wildcard.

There is a lot more variation in my opinion due to coaching, locker room attitudes, mentality, etc. It's the difference between giving up 40 more goals a season or not, the difference between starting out winless on the road in the first 10 games or not, the ability to pull out of a losing streak or not, etc.

This is especially true when several teams are separated by only 10-15 points in the standings. A 3-game losing streak can be the difference between 7th and 12th place.

That's why I really like a lot of the offseason moves the team made. It should be a mentally tougher team, they should get off to a better start, they should have more fire under their rears. There is a little more talent, but more importantly the talent was assembled last year rather than after we were worst in the league.

Jarick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-11-2010, 03:04 PM
  #11
GopherState
Repeat Offender...
 
GopherState's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: X Marks The Spot
Posts: 22,828
vCash: 500
I don't think it helps that Minnesota is one of those teams which aren't really that known or cared about on a national level.

GopherState is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-11-2010, 03:09 PM
  #12
llamapalooza
Hockey State Expat
 
llamapalooza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: San Francisco
Country: United States
Posts: 7,469
vCash: 500
I think that a lot of people are overlooking the slow start, too. In our first 12 we were 3-9-0, but if you look at the season after that, it's 78 points in our last 70 games. Extrapolating, I think it's pretty fair to say we lost about 6 points to the slow start on "the new system," so even if we can just get off to a better start this year, and maybe not lose our first 8 road games, we're already at a huge improvement over last year. And I think this year's schedule is conducive to a better start.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GopherState View Post
I don't think it helps that Minnesota is one of those teams which aren't really that known or cared about on a national level.
I can't say I have ever understood this. That isn't to say you're wrong, just that it doesn't make any sense. With the best ticket sales in the US, the best arena in the league, and what I assume have to be some of the strongest regional merch sales and TV ratings in the US, why doesn't anyone notice us? Maybe we're just too new?


Last edited by llamapalooza: 08-11-2010 at 03:13 PM. Reason: added quote
llamapalooza is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-11-2010, 03:37 PM
  #13
Jarick
Moderator
Doing Nothing
 
Jarick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: St Paul, MN
Country: United States
Posts: 24,315
vCash: 500
I believe it's because we're not a big TV market in terms of national ratings. Detroit and Chicago draw big ratings, as does pretty much any team in the Northeast (because the markets are like a big blob over there)...but you don't see hardly any of the Southern, Western, or Midwestern teams get a lot of notoriety.

I'd say Minnesota is in the same boat as Columbus, Nashville, St Louis, and lately Dallas. No recent appearance in the finals, no superstar players, not a big national TV draw, but not struggling to the point of relocation like a lot of Southeast teams.

So we're not great and we're not awful, we're not exciting, we don't have a rich history...it's just flyover country.

Jarick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-11-2010, 03:50 PM
  #14
GopherState
Repeat Offender...
 
GopherState's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: X Marks The Spot
Posts: 22,828
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by llamapalooza View Post
I can't say I have ever understood this. That isn't to say you're wrong, just that it doesn't make any sense. With the best ticket sales in the US, the best arena in the league, and what I assume have to be some of the strongest regional merch sales and TV ratings in the US, why doesn't anyone notice us? Maybe we're just too new?
We're sort of victims of our own success. Being new doesn't help, but it didn't really matter with the North Stars. We're not in the South, we draw a crowd and we're in a division where all the other teams are infatuated with each other. Throw in the lack of a national star and really what is there to like/dislike from a (bi)national perspective?

GopherState is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-11-2010, 04:14 PM
  #15
nickschultzfan
Registered User
 
nickschultzfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 6,152
vCash: 500
There is no reason we should be in the middle of the pack, fighting for the last few playoffs spots. Far too many "experts" jump on "youth movements" way too much, expecting the next year to be the "breakout" year. Baring Kovalchuk going to one of these teams, LA, Colorado, St Louis, and Phoenix won't be any better than they were last year.

Let's break-down the Wild:

1st Line: Brunnette-Koivu-Miettinen -> Well Below Average. Sorry Miettinen doesn't cut it.

2nd Line: Lats-Cullen-Havlat -> Average. 30-goal scorer potential. 70-point set-up man. Two-way center. Decent.

3rd line: Kobasew-Brodziak-Bouchard. Above Average(if Bouchard healthly). This line should put in some goals. That's more than half the 3rd lines in this league.

4th line: Nystrom-Madden-Clutterbuck. Above Average. Experienced NHLers with grit, energy, and some offensive ability. Nice last line.

1st D Pairing: Burns-Schultz. Average. Let's hope these boys play to their ability.

2nd D Pairing: Zidlicky-Zannon. Slightly Below Average. Thought they were worse until I looked at other teams 2nd pairings, which weren't much better.

3rd D Pairing: Barker-Stoner. Average. They are average based on their NHL experience, but this pairing has some major potential, and hopefully with jump the 2nd pairing by the end of the season.

Goalie: Backstrom. Slightly Above Average. Yep. That's all he gets after last season.

Back-up: Harding. Above Average.

So, in sum, I just wasted our time by re-stating what we already know. The Wild are an average team, will less high-end talent, but good strong depth all the way down. A few breaks and some good development by some players the Wild have a fighting chance of making the playoffs.

nickschultzfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-11-2010, 04:15 PM
  #16
State of Hockey
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Minny
Country: United States
Posts: 11,196
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by se7en View Post
I gotta ask, are we really that bad!? I mean hell, we only improved from last year but yet we're predicted to do that much worse? Obviously it's all just speculation right now but I NEVER expected to be predicted this unanimously as one of the worst teams in hockey...
Well you won't be hearing much optimism from me. Right now I don't know if I would be putting in the Wild bottom-3, but I'd totally place us in the conversation. Our chances for that are as good as anyone else in the West.


Quote:
Originally Posted by se7en View Post
Half of me wants to say screw eveyone, we'll proof them wrong! The other half wants to say, man I'm just a blind homer, we really do suck, but then I look at our guys & think I can't say that when we have guys like Lats, Havlat, Burns, Mikko, Cal, Backstrom & now proven cup winners in Cullen & Madden. Are our lines really that inferior to the rest of the league!? Is it our lack of goal scorers? Is it some stink from last year dragging us down, or do we really just suck as a whole!?
When you look at those players, shouldn't that activate your negative side instead of the positive? Look at those "top" players for us. Mikko is great but not an offensive star. Havlat isn't an elite scorer, is injury prone, and is coming off a bad year. Latendresse had 40 games of fame in his career before he started to slow, and his stats and skill set don't imply a 40-goal pace again. Burns is injury-prone, inconsistent, and usually unproductive when on the ice. Backstrom is coming off a down season. Cullen has never broken the 50 point barrier in 12 seasons. Etc. Etc. We have nothing major imminent in the pipe line, and the team overall is lacking top end skill and is full of question marks. Combine that with a coach that is questioned and you have the recipe for a chance at #1 overall. That may not happen to the Wild, but each place will be filled by year's end, and it sometimes isn't who you think.

State of Hockey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-11-2010, 04:16 PM
  #17
saywut
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2,084
vCash: 500
Really 15th in the west is as likely as making the playoffs IMO. We aren't a good team on defense, our 2nd/3rd lines are vastly overrated, along with our goaltending. And Antti Missthenetagain is still our 1st line RW.

Every team in the west can be better than us IMO. We aren't good enough to be better than quite a few of them.

saywut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-11-2010, 04:26 PM
  #18
bozak911
Ignoring Idiots
 
bozak911's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 3,911
vCash: 500
I think another thing that people should be arguing about is why so many people are putting San Jose at #1.

They are really going into this season with questionable goal tending. Nittymaki as their starter? I really thought that they were going to be in the market for Halak or Price or a surprise move for Vokoun with Florida taking Huet.

San Jose may have a nice set of forwards, but they also got slightly weaker on D, very weak in goal (and i like Nitty, don't get me wrong)...

As much as we may be under rated, the Sharks are over-rated.

I really see Phoenix and LA battling for the top spot in the Pacific this season. LA lost Frolov. Big effin deal.

bozak911 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-11-2010, 04:33 PM
  #19
Jarick
Moderator
Doing Nothing
 
Jarick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: St Paul, MN
Country: United States
Posts: 24,315
vCash: 500
I don't know if I can do a straight 1-15, but here's my guess:

Chicago
Vancouver
San Jose
Los Angeles
Detroit

St Louis
Calgary
Phoenix
Minnesota
Colorado
Nashville

Edmonton
Columbus
Anaheim
Dallas

Washington
Pittsburgh
Boston
Philadelphia
Montreal
Buffalo
New Jersey
Tampa Bay

Ottawa
NY Rangers
Atlanta
Carolina
NY Islanders
Florida
Toronto


The italics means I think that's the next "tier" of teams. Obviously they can jump up and down, but that's my best guess.

Jarick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-11-2010, 04:35 PM
  #20
Dr Jan Itor
Registered User
 
Dr Jan Itor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: MinneSNOWta
Posts: 10,579
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by saywut View Post
Really 15th in the west is as likely as making the playoffs IMO. We aren't a good team on defense, our 2nd/3rd lines are vastly overrated, along with our goaltending. And Antti Missthenetagain is still our 1st line RW.

Every team in the west can be better than us IMO. We aren't good enough to be better than quite a few of them.
I agree with the bolded part, but I also think that it can apply to 5 other WC teams, as well as probably 8 EC teams. So much can happen over an 82 game, 7 month season, preseason predictions are fun to debate, but ultimately pointless.

IF the Koivu line can repeat their production with an aging Brunette, and IF Cullen can improve the 2nd line making Havlat & Latendresse better, and IF Burns can return somewhat to form (not necessarily 2007 form, but at least continue to improve like he did towards the end of last season), and IF Barker isn't the pylon that some of us think (and fear) he is, and IF our defensive game can improve without sacrificing too much offense, and IF Backstrom can rebound from a down year and be more like the Backstrom from years past, and IF Richards can learn from some of the mistakes he made his first year, there is no reason to think we can't be in the race at the end.

Now, I realize that there are 7 "IFs" in the previous paragraph, but I don't think that any of them are too far-fetched to or impossible to occur. Does anybody disagree?

Dr Jan Itor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-11-2010, 04:45 PM
  #21
CT*
WOLF GANG
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Minnesota
Country: United States
Posts: 1,054
vCash: 500
Really am amazed at how many people had us at 15th... Like I know predictions are a bunch of crap generally but 15th?



I really see us more around 7-10ish being really close to the playoffs if not just sneaking in. We are ultimately a better team then we were last year, also with a year under our belt with new coaching/etc. If we can get off to a good start, keep our pretty decent home record there is no way we are getting 15th.

CT* is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-11-2010, 05:20 PM
  #22
Vashanesh
My best outfit
 
Vashanesh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Minnesota
Country: United States
Posts: 2,353
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by bozak911 View Post
I think another thing that people should be arguing about is why so many people are putting San Jose at #1.

They are really going into this season with questionable goal tending. Nittymaki as their starter? I really thought that they were going to be in the market for Halak or Price or a surprise move for Vokoun with Florida taking Huet.

San Jose may have a nice set of forwards, but they also got slightly weaker on D, very weak in goal (and i like Nitty, don't get me wrong)...

As much as we may be under rated, the Sharks are over-rated.

I really see Phoenix and LA battling for the top spot in the Pacific this season. LA lost Frolov. Big effin deal.
I'm with you 100% here. They will score a ton of goals, but they will let in a ton too.

Their defense is painful to look at. They have Dan Boyle and then.... No one. Vlassic took a HUGE step back last season. Niclas Wallin? Kent Huskins? I guess Demers could surprise...

But seriously, when Douglas Murray is in your top 4 defensemen.... Look out.

Nitty is a really underrated goalie imo, but he will be SOOOOOOOOOOOOO exposed in that system, they're going to need to score 4 goals a game every single night to win their division.

LA got better by virtue of their kids gaining more experience. Phoenix got better by virtue of having a full year under their belts with one of the best system-based coaches in the NHL... And San Jose saw their captain retire, and are coming off terrible years from Setoguchi AND Vlassic.

As for us... I've said it before, I'll say it again. This is a throwaway year. If we make the playoffs, bonus. If we don't, then we should get another decent, if not great, pick.

This is an evaluation year. Can Burns really be a top pairing defensemen, can Barker be anything more than a PP specialist, can Lats truly be a 30ish goal power forward, can Havlat actually produce at a decent pace, now that he "should" be healthy, and has decent linemates to work with, can Koivu continue to make a scrub look like a 45 pt player, can Brunette continue to play at a good level at his age, can Backstrom figure out how to play well in a system that doesn't benefit him, can Todd Richards actually be an NHL coach, etc.

We have way too many questions to answer to be counting on ANYTHING happening this year. It's a year to figure things out, and make adjustments accordingly. To have expectations is to be disappointed.

If you expect us to suck, and gather in a top pick, we could make a push for the 8th seed. If you expect the playoffs, we could suck enough to gather in a top pick. If you expect anything good, we could end up the 9th seed and both miss the playoffs and miss out on a top pick.

Take it in stride, and enjoy the fact that we have a team that is, if nothing else, moving away from Doug Risebrough.

Vashanesh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-11-2010, 05:20 PM
  #23
se7en
infamous...
 
se7en's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Mission Beach, CA
Country: United States
Posts: 1,090
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by State of Hockey View Post
When you look at those players, shouldn't that activate your negative side instead of the positive? Look at those "top" players for us. Mikko is great but not an offensive star. Havlat isn't an elite scorer, is injury prone, and is coming off a bad year. Latendresse had 40 games of fame in his career before he started to slow, and his stats and skill set don't imply a 40-goal pace again. Burns is injury-prone, inconsistent, and usually unproductive when on the ice. Backstrom is coming off a down season. Cullen has never broken the 50 point barrier in 12 seasons. Etc. Etc. We have nothing major imminent in the pipe line, and the team overall is lacking top end skill and is full of question marks. Combine that with a coach that is questioned and you have the recipe for a chance at #1 overall. That may not happen to the Wild, but each place will be filled by year's end, and it sometimes isn't who you think.

I understand what you're saying but besides Chicago (who may have a cup hangover & also they lost half their team) , Vancouver, Detroit, San Jose & maybe the Kings, who really has better names in their 4 lines... (PS, I'm aware that these guys alone take up most of the playoff spots but my point is we're not the worst in the west)

Let's look at a few teams -

Coyotes - Last year they just played a great well rounded game with a tight trap system. They actually looked like we used to.. Their biggest names are Doan, Wolski & maybe Upshall.. Ya they got Bryz in goal but he's only arguably better than Backs.. They got Jovo on D but other then that not too many big names... But they're picked in the top 5 in most places..

Blues - Besides Backes & Andy McDonald and some young talent coming up, they have no big name goal scorers or really any notable D besides Erik Johnson. Why are they favored over us. Just becuase they have younger guys?

Avalanche - They were a flash in the pan, over acheiving rookie team. If they even get a few sophmore slumps what do they really have going for them? They got Statsny & Stewart & Duchene that all had a decent to good season last year, but no one really has better numbers then we had, well except Goals Against! haha Keep in Mind that the Wild went 5 & 1 against them! But like I said, a few sophmore slumps & they fall of the map...

Flames - Yes we always feared them as Wild Killers but besides an aging Iginla, Borque having a solid season & an aging Hagman plus & the return of an iffy Jokinen. All they have is JBO who had a terrible year & Kipper in net. We also went 5 & 1 against them last year. I don't see there lines as putting ours to shame...

Oilers - Ya they got the 1st round draft pick (Hall) and they still have Hemsky & Penner but what else? They're better than us how?

Ducks - They Got Selanne, Ryan, Getzlaf, Koviu, ya, some good sounding names, but keep in mind Mikko's numbers were just as good as Getzlafs last year, Selanne is getting older & older. Ya Bobby Ryan potted 10 more then Bruno & Lats but Bruno is 10 years his senior & Lats pace was actually better assuming he played with the Wild from day 1. The Ducks have arguably been on the decline since their cup victory... Again, comparing numbers, not too much difference showing them as being superior to the Wild...

I'll just stop there because hopefully I made my point, I'm just saying line for line with some of the other teams in the west, there's not much difference seperating everyone. Or in other words, a well rounded team game & less injuries for us & there's really no difference between us & the guys picked to finish 6th thru 10th...

Quote:
Really am amazed at how many people had us at 15th... Like I know predictions are a bunch of crap generally but 15th?
I know right!? 15th!? C'mon!

se7en is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-11-2010, 05:26 PM
  #24
se7en
infamous...
 
se7en's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Mission Beach, CA
Country: United States
Posts: 1,090
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vashanesh View Post
I'm with you 100% here. They will score a ton of goals, but they will let in a ton too.

Their defense is painful to look at. They have Dan Boyle and then.... No one. Vlassic took a HUGE step back last season. Niclas Wallin? Kent Huskins? I guess Demers could surprise...

But seriously, when Douglas Murray is in your top 4 defensemen.... Look out.

Nitty is a really underrated goalie imo, but he will be SOOOOOOOOOOOOO exposed in that system, they're going to need to score 4 goals a game every single night to win their division.

LA got better by virtue of their kids gaining more experience. Phoenix got better by virtue of having a full year under their belts with one of the best system-based coaches in the NHL... And San Jose saw their captain retire, and are coming off terrible years from Setoguchi AND Vlassic.

As for us... I've said it before, I'll say it again. This is a throwaway year. If we make the playoffs, bonus. If we don't, then we should get another decent, if not great, pick.

This is an evaluation year. Can Burns really be a top pairing defensemen, can Barker be anything more than a PP specialist, can Lats truly be a 30ish goal power forward, can Havlat actually produce at a decent pace, now that he "should" be healthy, and has decent linemates to work with, can Koivu continue to make a scrub look like a 45 pt player, can Brunette continue to play at a good level at his age, can Backstrom figure out how to play well in a system that doesn't benefit him, can Todd Richards actually be an NHL coach, etc.

We have way too many questions to answer to be counting on ANYTHING happening this year. It's a year to figure things out, and make adjustments accordingly. To have expectations is to be disappointed.

If you expect us to suck, and gather in a top pick, we could make a push for the 8th seed. If you expect the playoffs, we could suck enough to gather in a top pick. If you expect anything good, we could end up the 9th seed and both miss the playoffs and miss out on a top pick.

Take it in stride, and enjoy the fact that we have a team that is, if nothing else, moving away from Doug Risebrough.

Definitly. The funny thing is I totally agree & I even said on the predictions thread that I would rather be an over acheiving underdog then an under acheiving contender... Basically I have low expectations for this season and I know it's another "throw away season" for the most part. But it still irked me to have literally no one believe in us! I just wanted to hear something postive about us from someone other then Wild fans...

It's funny because if people predicted us 9th thru 12th I'd say "ya, that's fair" but when people start saying "they're going to suck" and "they're going to be horrible" and a bunch of predicitions seating us 13th thru 15th I get a little defensive! I feel as if I need to stand-up for our team! But I always try to keep an objective viewpoint because there's nothing worse then a blind homer! haha

se7en is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
08-11-2010, 06:44 PM
  #25
LemaireisGOD
Registered User
 
LemaireisGOD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Nowhere, WI
Country: United States
Posts: 728
vCash: 500
13th-14th seems fair to me...

This team like last year is based on far too many "what ifs" to expect to be good and I think that is what those publications and entities read into. "IF" the team can get the offensive production expected from Koivu, Havlat, Cullen, Brunette, Latendresse perhaps it can surprise a lot of us. An even bigger "IF" the team can get solid two-way play from defenseman like Cam Barker, Marek Zidlicky and Brent Burns perhaps the blueline can be a nice x-factor offensively while also being stingy defensively. "IF" Niklas Backstrom can find the form he had in 2008-09 it could be good enough for the team to grind out those 1-goal games to their advantage. Yet, the sheer amount of IF's (not just from me but from what others have said) say it all. A lot of very hopeful things have to fall into place in order for the team to have a chance to win and that typically is not a formula for success. I guess I'd have to say I agree.

LemaireisGOD is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Forum Jump


Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:03 PM.

monitoring_string = "e4251c93e2ba248d29da988d93bf5144"
Contact Us - HFBoards - Archive - Privacy Statement - Terms of Use - Advertise - Top - AdChoices

vBulletin Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
HFBoards.com is a property of CraveOnline Media, LLC, an Evolve Media, LLC company. ©2014 All Rights Reserved.