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Old
09-02-2010, 03:36 PM
  #1
Jbcraig1883
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Nick Schultz Expectations

I'm just throwing this out there but maybe we could do a player profile every day leading up to the season. Their strengths/negatives and expectations for the year?

For example:

Nick Schultz:

Good mobility, good at shutting down passing lanes. Solid stay-at home defender. Needs to get more shots on net. Needs to get back to what he does best, being solid in his own zone. Does not need to try to jump into the play.

Expectations: Return to old form, being a solid veteran who blocks shots, plays first PK minutes. Hopefully does not try to rush the puck or try to join in the rush as much. Less points than last year but better +/-.

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Old
09-02-2010, 06:16 PM
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GopherState
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Once a day, we're going to come up with a player and debate their pros and cons and what their expectations for the year are. First person who wants to make a thread can do it; however it must be someone who has not been previously profiled. Hopefully this creates some interesting discussion.

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Old
09-02-2010, 06:50 PM
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rynryn
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Poor schultzie is the first to get hammered, eh?

Needs to get more shots on net but shouldn't jump in the play as often? Maybe give him a "hot potato" rule where he can't have the puck more than two seconds in the offensive zone. Pass or shoot.

He's solid, but he's become a bit of a whipping boy and that leads to more scrutiny from people who normally wouldn't even notice he's out there. Every little thing he does wrong will be magnified.

My opinion: Pure vanilla, but vanilla goes with a lot of other flavors. Blueberry might be more exciting, but you wouldn't want to mix it with, say, anise.

Expectations: doesn't try to force his offensive game this year. i have the sneaking suspicion that there was a lot of pressure on him to play more offensively last year; while you want a player to adapt at the snap of your fingers, some guys need to slowly adjust instead of just doing it all at once.

I expect he'll have better +/- and equal or better his point totals. i will be laughing my ass off if he gets more goals than Zidlicky.

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09-02-2010, 06:57 PM
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this providence
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rynryn View Post
i will be laughing my ass off if he gets more goals than Zidlicky.
I'd take that bet.

Hell, I'd say he'd probably get the same amount of shots on goal; as Zidlicky gets goals. Which I would put right around 4...

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09-02-2010, 07:03 PM
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rynryn
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well with half the ice time it'll be a tough go, i'll grant you

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09-02-2010, 07:08 PM
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GopherState
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That vanilla description is pretty good for Schultz because compared to the other blue-liners he's invisible half the time. Or at least not flashy in a Burns, Zidlicky, Barker (offensive/PP) and Zanon (defense/blocking shots) way.

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09-02-2010, 07:34 PM
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Kari Takko
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My expectations for Schultz are that he'll play really solid hockey for the Wild until we trade him.

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Old
09-02-2010, 07:43 PM
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Pair Schultz with Burns for our #1 pairing. Tell him to play defense again and cover for Burns. Hope Burns can bounce back.

If that happens, we will have a pretty good pairing. Both Schultz and Burns best games came when they played together. The other option would be either Barker or Stoner with Burns. Schultz is by far the best option.

Also, it's easier for a defensive Dman like Schultz to bounce back after a bad season. He just has to get back to basics and stop trying to be offensive and do too much. If he can do that, he'll log huge minutes this year, as the defensive Johnsson has been replaced by not so great defender.

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09-02-2010, 10:11 PM
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mine:

not much

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Old
09-03-2010, 12:10 AM
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mnwildgophers
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I wouldn't mind Schultz being gone at some point during the season, maybe Cuma or Scandella come up and play really solid and he becomes expendable and we are able to move him?

Well, either way, we have a logjam of guys on the back-end with I'm not sure where they are going to playing. Burns is our #1, but Schultz won't be playing with Zidlicky or Zanon because those two should be paired and did a good job being paired together last year. That leaves to putting Burns and Barker together and leaving Schultz to be with Stoner, Scandella, Cuma, Falk, etc...

I'm not sure where he should be playing, but like nickschultzfan said maybe he would be okay playing with Burns, but I like the Burns-Barker tandem. I guess we'll see how it all turns out, but Schultz just needs to not be fancy, and play the solid defender role. He will be okay next year.

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09-03-2010, 12:37 AM
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rynryn
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zanon and zidlicky did well together? I beg to differ.

they sucked.

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09-03-2010, 12:44 AM
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State of Hockey
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I expect more of the 2010 Schultz for 2010-11. He was back to his old self in the second half, but few noticed it. So often I watched the Schultz bail out his partner Hnidy in that pairing. Give him more, Todd.

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09-03-2010, 02:14 AM
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Going with a bit of a wildcard here, Best +/- on the team for the regular season.

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09-03-2010, 07:44 AM
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He'll continue to play his game, which is to be a good defensive D-man. His points will decline from last year because he won't get the PP time. He didn't play badly last year though, so I can't say he'll take a step back, but he's too old to take a step forward.

I'm about 50/50 between thinking he'll be a top pairing defenseman this year (more out of necessity than skill) and thinking he'll be traded to clear salary space. It depends on Barker.

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Old
09-03-2010, 08:45 AM
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Depending on Barker is a bad idea. It's not like he's going to get better defensively with more minutes. He's a #4, PP specialist at best. He's a #6 larger version of MA Bergeron at worst. His positioning isn't great, and he plays lazy. He could be a monster if the light comes on, but don't bet on it.

It's also a bad idea to trade a 7-year vet Dman who is not even in his prime for cap space and a roster spot for an unproven rookie.

As I said before, our window to trade a Dman was at the draft, where we could have filled the void during free agency. Right now, our D corp is too light on actual NHL Dmen, so nobody is getting traded.

Burns-Schultz
Zidlicky-Zannon
Stoner-Barker

If we get a bounceback from Burns and Schultz, and a step forward from Stoner and Barker, will be in ok shape.

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Old
09-03-2010, 10:00 AM
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I agree with SoH on this one. Schultz did look a lot better during the second half. I believe that if he is allowed to play his game and doesn't try and do to much offensively he should revert to his solid old self.

If he does, Burns stays healthy, and Barker can put up some decent numbers our D-corps should be half way decent.

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Old
09-03-2010, 10:03 AM
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Barker's had two seasons in the NHL. One season he was a fantastic D-man who scored a ton of points and played #4 on a VERY DEEP team...the next season he was a disappointing PP specialist who played #6 on an EVEN DEEPER team.

Schultz is in his prime. He's been in the NHL for 9 years now. He's not going to get suddenly better. Last year they asked him to step up and play more offensively, and he got a little worse defensively, so he went back to his old style of play.

Right now Schultz is safe because we aren't over the cap. He'll battle Barker for that #2 spot, and maybe the loser of that battle gets moved at the deadline. Zanon/Zidlicky are our 2nd pairing and Burns is our #1 guy. We need a #2. The fact that Barker was brought in last year indicates that Fletcher doesn't see Schultz as that guy.

We also have Scandella and Cuma down in Houston this year to see how they pan out. Again, if those two struggle, Schultz is probably safe, but if they perform, we could see them up next year challenging for a top four spot, and it's not like Schultz isn't replaceable.

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09-03-2010, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
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Barker's had two seasons in the NHL. One season he was a fantastic D-man who scored a ton of points and played #4 on a VERY DEEP team...the next season he was a disappointing PP specialist who played #6 on an EVEN DEEPER team.

Schultz is in his prime. He's been in the NHL for 9 years now. He's not going to get suddenly better. Last year they asked him to step up and play more offensively, and he got a little worse defensively, so he went back to his old style of play.

Right now Schultz is safe because we aren't over the cap. He'll battle Barker for that #2 spot, and maybe the loser of that battle gets moved at the deadline. Zanon/Zidlicky are our 2nd pairing and Burns is our #1 guy. We need a #2. The fact that Barker was brought in last year indicates that Fletcher doesn't see Schultz as that guy.

We also have Scandella and Cuma down in Houston this year to see how they pan out. Again, if those two struggle, Schultz is probably safe, but if they perform, we could see them up next year challenging for a top four spot, and it's not like Schultz isn't replaceable.
I agree with everything said in this post. If cuma and scandella prove in Houston that they are ready to take on an NHL role Schultz should be moved. Right now however, we need schultz due to his experience because we don't know for sure that those two will thrive in a professional environment or how Cam Barker will fit in with this team. My guess is the schultz is traded by the end of the season because we are already close to the cap for next year and have the personal (potentially) to replace him. Until then however, I expect to see Schultz go back to being the dependable D-man who can log a lot of minutes and play consistent defense.

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09-03-2010, 10:42 AM
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I think a reasonable expectation for Schultz should be to improve on his puck movement skills rather than expect him to contribute offensively.

If he can fill some of Johnsson's role, I would be happier with him.

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09-03-2010, 10:57 AM
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I agree with everything said in this post. If cuma and scandella prove in Houston that they are ready to take on an NHL role Schultz should be moved. Right now however, we need schultz due to his experience because we don't know for sure that those two will thrive in a professional environment or how Cam Barker will fit in with this team. My guess is the schultz is traded by the end of the season because we are already close to the cap for next year and have the personal (potentially) to replace him. Until then however, I expect to see Schultz go back to being the dependable D-man who can log a lot of minutes and play consistent defense.
Yep, spot on.

The only worry I have with Schultz is that he spent 3 years playing with Johnsson, who would get him out of trouble all the time with his great puck movement and patience. If Schultz has to be the guy getting Burns out of trouble, will he be able to do it? That's what he'll have to prove.

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09-03-2010, 11:01 AM
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rynryn
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barker was brought in because he fit the change in doctrine (on paper). last season we pretty much proved that if you give heavy minutes to a bunch of defensively questionable defensemen the trade off in goals for/against doesn't necessarily work out in your favor--a team like washington can afford to play like that but we don't have backstrom, semin, or ovechkin and we have no one that has the offensive skill of green.

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Old
09-03-2010, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rynryn View Post
barker was brought in because he fit the change in doctrine (on paper). last season we pretty much proved that if you give heavy minutes to a bunch of defensively questionable defensemen the trade off in goals for/against doesn't necessarily work out in your favor--a team like washington can afford to play like that but we don't have backstrom, semin, or ovechkin and we have no one that has the offensive skill of green.
Was it an indictment of the defensemen or the system?

Remember, much of the time we had three forwards and a defenseman in deep. It wasn't just a 2-1-2, it was often a 4-1.

Give it a month with Wilson in charge of the defense and see what happens.

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09-03-2010, 11:28 AM
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mnwildgophers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rynryn View Post
barker was brought in because he fit the change in doctrine (on paper). last season we pretty much proved that if you give heavy minutes to a bunch of defensively questionable defensemen the trade off in goals for/against doesn't necessarily work out in your favor--a team like washington can afford to play like that but we don't have backstrom, semin, or ovechkin and we have no one that has the offensive skill of green.
I think we must give Barker some more time before we throw him under the bus. Let's see how he plays this year before we decide that he's not good enough. I really want to see more of him.

Zidlicky-Zanon wasn't great, but I guess I just don't remember much since it's been so damn long since we've seen a hockey game. I'm itching for some hockey. I think Zidlicky-Zanon will stay because of the familiarity, but I wouldn't mind seeing Zids with Schultz and Zanon with Burns, or something like that. I don't care, why not try some different combinations?

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09-03-2010, 12:26 PM
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Just some thoughts to keep the conversation going...

First, I don't think Schultz's play had anything to do with Fletcher getting Barker. I think Fletcher wanted Barker to add another young player that has had success in the NHL. Barker, potentially, has size and can score/move the puck. Burns' health was/is in question and other than Noreau, none of our defenseman prospects are known as offensive defenseman. I believe that Schultz and Barker do not compare at all in style/role on the team; therefore, I don't believe that Schultz or Barker affect each other's future with the Wild. In other words, as many have stated, the play of Scandella, Cuma and Falk will determine Schultz's future with the Wild, not Barker.

Secondly, and this is completely random, but I have always thought Schultz's best years were when he was paired with Mitchell. Yes, better than when he was with Johnsson. Was that pair, or any of the pairs back then, good at breakouts? No, but, then again, they didn't really breakout under Lemaire a whole lot. They did the stretch pass into the neutral zone, dumped it in, then trapped. But, anywho, maybe Schultz needs another stay-at-home guy. I know we have Zanon but Mitchell provided grit and toughness while Schultz was more mobile and positionally sound. So, who could that be, Stoner, Falk? Or do we not have that guy?

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Old
09-03-2010, 12:35 PM
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Personally I see Schultz as a guy that can stabilize a more offensive partner but needs someone who can make that first pass. Johnsson was the king of the first pass...Zidlicky and Burns are good at it, Zanon's surprisingly competent with his first pass, Barker and Stoner are too new to really tell.

Now watch next year our pairings will be Burns-Stoner, Zanon-Zidlicky, and Barker-Schultz

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