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08-08-2011, 01:33 AM
  #1
BLBarmada
 
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2011-2012 Minnesota Wild

Maybe it's a little early but I thought that seeing as how how there's not much new in the NHL and well not much to talk about here these days so I figured we could start talkin about the roster, potential line combos who starts where, and what Mike Yeo envisions for the Wild.

I geuss just anything about the Wild season.


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08-08-2011, 01:40 AM
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Originally Posted by MTLjunior View Post
Maybe it's a little early but I thought that seeing as how how there's not much new in the NHL and well not much to talk about here these days so I figured we could start talkin about the roster, potential line combos who starts where, and what Mike Yeo envisions for the Wild.

I Geuss just anything about the Wild season.
So many new faces (or some key faces gone) that its soooo up in the air.

New coach, new scorers, a new look on the defense.

Going to be interesting.

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08-08-2011, 02:13 AM
  #3
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I think we have chance for the last two poff seeds. (I know sounds like a magic beans).

Hoping for Heatley to have a "rebound" season, but bettering himself from last season is most important. Hopefully Seto takes the next step too, and preferably the correct road from that famous crossroad. Bäcks should have a rebound too, but not give too many. Mikku Koivu could realise his PPG talent with almost-better-than-average 1st liners in the NHL now. That is all, for now.

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08-08-2011, 02:29 AM
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I'd figured I'd post my lines for the Wild, here's the 23 man roster I'd like to see this year.


1st line Heatley-Koivu-Bouchard
2nd line Latendresse-Cullen-Setogouchi
3rd line Nystrom-Brodziak-Clutterbuck
4th line Gilles-Powe-Almond
13th Forward Staubitz

1st D pairing Zidlicky-Schultz
2nd D pairing Zanon-Lundin
3rd D Pairing Scandella-Brodin
7th D Spurgeon

Goalies
Backstrom
Harding

So there's the 23 man roster that I would like too see, it's 2 scoring lines and 2 checking lines, I would want to have to go up against our 3rd or 4th line, if Nystrom gets it together he'll score 20, I can see Clutterbuck getting 25 and Brodziak getting 15.


I first though of Heater-Koivu-Setogouchi but think Setogouchi isn't ready for 1st line duty.
I think that our 1stine is very responsible defensively, Heater will get the puck often, seeing as how he's with 2 players who think pass 1st.

Latendresse and Setogouchi could be dominant and I would hate to be the opposing D having to move one of them from the front of the net, Setogouchi will probably be the primary shooter.


Our 4th line will be young, but should be very hard working and a pain in the ass to play against.


The D is solid at best, they won't score alot of goals but they wont make many stupid mistakes, Zanon-Lundin will be a pain, Zanon will be the shutdown presence but Lundin will get his fair share of blocked shots, this pairing is very underrated IMO.

Zidlicky is our PP QB and our biggest threat from the backend( Yikes right ?) he should get 30 points. Schultz should have another quite but solid season.

Brodin probably won't make the roster, though I would love for him to make it, he and Scandella would be a joy, 2 shutdown D polar opposites in certain regards.


Goalies well let's hope Backstrom has gotten better in shootouts I think Harding will bounce back nicely.



I realistically predict a 10th to 13th place finnish.

Stretch would be 6th-8th, and at worst 15th as Im all for the fail for Nail, though Matheson would be a great pick.

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08-08-2011, 05:10 AM
  #5
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To me the whole season depends on how long chemistry takes to develop with all the new additions and once thats developed how much of their potential are they playing up to.

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08-08-2011, 09:05 AM
  #6
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Brodin isn't going to NA this season.

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08-08-2011, 09:27 AM
  #7
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Lines:

Setoguchi (30/30) - Koivu (25/55) - Heatley (35/40)
Latendresse (25/25) - Brodziak (15/30) - Bouchard (20/40)
Gillies (10/15) - Cullen (15/25) - Clutterbuck (15/15)
Powe (5/10) - Almond (8/12) - Nystrom (5/10)
Staubitz (2/6)

Schultz (1/20) - Zidlicky (10/30)
Scandella (3/15) - Lundin (2/15)
Zanon (1/10) - Spurgeon (5/15)
Stoner (1/10)

Backstrom, Harding


Here's my reasoning:

I think Seto and Heatley start out together because of their familiarity to reduce the chemistry issues. Same with Lats and Bouchard, who I'm (maybe unfairly) assuming are buddies (don't they train together? and also, French). I also think Brodziak will win that #2 spot because of his versatility, although it could go either way.

Predicting points made me think the PP is going to be funky. I think we'll see Cullen on the point for sure, since we're lacking offense from the D. And that's one more reason I think Spurge gets in the lineup consistently, as well as Scandella making the team. Schultz, Zanon, Lundin, and Stoner are not PP guys.



Now if all goes well, I think the team can get a bottom playoff seed. If not, I don't think they'll finish worse than last year.

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08-08-2011, 09:37 AM
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I'm saying right now its the #7 seed and it won't take 82 games to solve it. Most of our other teams in the division will call me stupid and a homer, but outside of Calgary this is going to be the weakest its ever been I think. Edmonton and Colorado have youth and speed (we saw them skate laps around us last year literally), but they are going to be inconsistent and their goaltending is more suspect than their defense. If Calgary is even in the Top 12 teams in the conference I'd be shocked. Old and didn't make any moves worth a damn.

We will see how we fair against the East, that is where we got wrecked last year.

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08-08-2011, 10:01 AM
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Our defense will hold us back next year. We dont have a true number 1 D.
I imagine it will look something like this:

Zidlicky - Schultz
Zanon - Stoner
Lundin- Scandella
Spurgeon

Im not really sure what kind of D scandella or spurgeon are supposed to turn into, but otherwise Zidlicky is our only offensive threat. If Zidlicky gets hurt we will be in some trouble. I would imagine we would be good in our own zone though.

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08-08-2011, 10:06 AM
  #10
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I think the D will be:

Zid-Schultz
Zanon-Lundin
Stoner-Spurgeon
Prosser

When injuries happen, and after Zanon is dealt at the deadline, Scandella will step into the open spot. If any d-man other than Schultz (and maybe Zid) plays poorly, Yeo will swap Prosser in for them. Yeo seems to have enough faith in Prosser to use him liberally, and the threat of sitting in the press box should keep everyone on their toes.

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08-08-2011, 10:24 AM
  #11
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I'm far too optimistic to make realistic predictions.

However...

San Jose is not as good of a team as they were last year. They have Burns, yes, but Havlat will still be Havlat and Burns may have a Norris year. Do you really think removing that much scoring from their top six won't negatively affect them?

Vancouver is not as good as they were last year. They have lost Erhoff to free agency and there are still open questions about Hamhuis. Luongo? He's probably going to be a head case at the start of the season. They may very well dig themselves a hole that can't easily be dug out of post-December. Their depth on D isn't nearly as great as it was last summer and considering the injury plagued season their defense had? If that repeats, they are effed.

Detroit, while still a solid team, will be without a stalwart in Rafalski. Howard isn't that good of a tender, and last season, the old guys proved that they are becoming injury prone.

LA? Sure, adding Mike Richards makes them a better team, but I am not convinced that he is a piece that puts them over the top. Doughty is still a wild card. Is he going to hold out? If the team doesn't commit to him long term, does that impact his performance?

I'm also not sold on Columbus being "better". I still think they are weak on Defense and I am highly pessimistic about Carter and Nash working well together. Both are puck hogs, and putting them on the same line probably will fail. Plus, Mason much?

Chicago. I really hope that Emery helps them a lot in training camp, because frankly, I still have a lower opinion of Crawford than I do of Howard. Their D is still just Keith and Seabrook. They dropped Campbell, who ate a TON of minutes for them. Sure, they have a high powered offensive core, but that back end is shallow.

Nashville. They look strong on paper and will need to score by committee, but I just have a feeling that this season is the season they miss the playoffs.

St. Louis is my dark horse team in the central. The young kids had a great start to last season, and then the injuries started mounting. Their team got better around the trade deadline. They don't really have to OVER achieve, they just have to achieve consistently to make the play offs.

Colorado is going to be bad.

Edmonton is going to be slightly better than Colorado.

Calgary is still... weak. It was a very poorly run franchise for the last few years and it is probably going to be small streaks of decent surrounded by long droughts of suck. I'd imagine Iginla truly gets traded out east this trade deadline. There are several teams that would over pay for him that would have room and motivation to get a sniper into their mix.

Anaheim will all depend on Hiller. Is he healthy? Even without Selanne, they still have a potent offense, solid defense, but without Hiller, they are pretty much effed in goal.

Phoenix will be a lottery team.

Dallas is considerably weaker without Brad Richards.

As for our Minnesota Wild? Yeo is the Wild Card. If he can parse the game at NHL speeds, allows Wilson to lock down the D, and Backstrom has the help he needs from that lock down, the only major piece that we are missing is a great PMD. Burns was not that great of a PMD. Sure, he could carry the puck out of the zone, but there were only flashes of decent "first passing" skills. Our top six is VASTLY better than it was last season.

In the NW division, I realistically see the Wild contending with Vancouver for the top spot. If Vancouver stumbles out of the gate, our weak division could be ripe for the taking.

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08-08-2011, 10:36 AM
  #12
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If by "contending for the NW" you mean sitting in a distant 2nd in the division then I agree with you. VAN should win the division easily. Compare the two teams, I would say they are as good or better than the Wild in just about every significant category. I think everyone agrees it is their division to lose and I sure wouldn't put any amount of money against them.

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08-08-2011, 10:52 AM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dempster333 View Post
If by "contending for the NW" you mean sitting in a distant 2nd in the division then I agree with you. VAN should win the division easily. Compare the two teams, I would say they are as good or better than the Wild in just about every significant category. I think everyone agrees it is their division to lose and I sure wouldn't put any amount of money against them.
I have my doubts.

Their D is weaker without Erhoff. Who is going to take his place? Ballard? Salo and Hamhuis are injury prone at this point and they are going into this season with very little depth of D.

Essentially, to draw the analogue...
Roster player per Roster player, Vancouver has the edge, but it's not as large of an edge as last summer.

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08-08-2011, 10:55 AM
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Wild hopes will depend on (1) the 2nd line (ideally Lats-Brodziak-Bouchard) and (2) Stoner or Scandella making an impact in the top-4.

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08-08-2011, 11:03 AM
  #15
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Originally Posted by bozak911 View Post
I have my doubts.

Their D is weaker without Erhoff. Who is going to take his place? Ballard? Salo and Hamhuis are injury prone at this point and they are going into this season with very little depth of D.

Essentially, to draw the analogue...
Roster player per Roster player, Vancouver has the edge, but it's not as large of an edge as last summer.
While they are worse than last year and things can obviously shake out completely different from year to year (even if team has an identical roster) I just don't see us contending for the division barring a miracle. Make the playoffs=I agree is fairly likely. Win the division=I wouldn't bet on it.

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08-08-2011, 11:09 AM
  #16
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San Jose is not as good of a team as they were last year.
Like I said, they gave up a lot of depth up front, but they still have a lot of talent. You can only have so many players on the ice. They still have Thornton, Couture, Pavelski, Marleau, and Havlat. And Burns makes them a good bit better.

Quote:
Vancouver is not as good as they were last year.
I still think they'll be very good. They had a lot of bad luck in the playoffs with D injury. Sure, you can say they lacked D depth, but honestly if any team loses 2-3 quality defensemen they'll suffer. If they bomb in the playoffs though heads will roll.

Quote:
Detroit, while still a solid team, will be without a stalwart in Rafalski.
I give them the benefit of the doubt, like I do with Nashville...until they fall, they'll be near the top.

Quote:
LA? Sure, adding Mike Richards makes them a better team, but I am not convinced that he is a piece that puts them over the top.
It does hinge on Doughty, but I do think he's the piece that puts him over the top. I mean, a grinder and a couple prospects for a top center in the league who has experience and leadership...huge move.

Quote:
I'm also not sold on Columbus being "better".
Their defense was atrocious last year...we'll see how The Wiz helps that. Even if Carter is on the second line, they'll still have a lot more scoring. But yeah...Mason is a huge question mark.

Quote:
Chicago.
I agree I don't think you can pencil them into the playoffs by any means...I mean they only got in because on the last day of the season the Wild beat Dallas. Lots of high end players but fairly shallow...they seem to be stocking picks and prospects to strike again soon.

Quote:
Nashville.
Like I said I'm not counting them out anymore until they falter. Unless they lose one of their big three. And they still could use a stud up front.

Quote:
St. Louis is my dark horse team in the central.
That trade last year was huge...Stewart is a beast and Shattenkirk seems good as well. I still think they need some defensive help and losing Perron for at least the start of the season (gut feeling, misses the year) will kill. But they have Halak.

Quote:
Colorado is going to be bad.
I kind of agree, but reading that Dater article on Erik Johnson makes me think he can step up and be the stud D and leader they need. Plus they could have Landeskog and Siemens joining the team, and young kids are always wild cards. Not to mention Varlamov. They will likely fall on their face...but I think they've got a little something.

Quote:
Edmonton is going to be slightly better than Colorado.
I actually think they challenge for #1 pick again. Offense adds RNH and maybe some internal improvement, but they were so horrid last year defensively and did nothing to improve that.

Quote:
Calgary is still... weak.
You might be right. Calgary homers aside, the team screams for a rebuild. They don't have a future leader once Iginla's gone, and they don't have a wealth of prospects. Moving Iginla and Kipper for some picks and a couple lottery years would do them good long term.

Quote:
Anaheim will all depend on Hiller.
I agree, and that's a scary injury...but I don't see the depth on D needed to be a high end team. They have it all up front, but man, after Visnovsky, they need Fowler to overachieve again, and then they're leaning on...Tony Lydman and Francois Beauchemin?

Quote:
Phoenix will be a lottery team.
Agreed.

Quote:
Dallas is considerably weaker without Brad Richards.
Agreed.

Quote:
As for our Minnesota Wild? Yeo is the Wild Card. If he can parse the game at NHL speeds, allows Wilson to lock down the D, and Backstrom has the help he needs from that lock down, the only major piece that we are missing is a great PMD. Burns was not that great of a PMD. Sure, he could carry the puck out of the zone, but there were only flashes of decent "first passing" skills. Our top six is VASTLY better than it was last season.
Agreed. Can't wait for Brodin to come over and be that guy.

Quote:
In the NW division, I realistically see the Wild contending with Vancouver for the top spot. If Vancouver stumbles out of the gate, our weak division could be ripe for the taking.
Don't think we'll challenge for the division, but we should be able to do a lot better than last year. Honestly I think this team's floor is last year's standings, and the ceiling is a 7-8 spot.

I am curious how Vancouver responds to last year though...they were utterly dominant and then faltered in the Finals. Russo's comments about Vigneault were interesting (he looked exasperated and that doesn't instill confidence going forward).

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08-08-2011, 11:19 AM
  #17
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Heatley - Koivu - Setoguchi -> The Sharks want to play together, and though Bouchard may fit better than Setoguchi here, he's more valuable to that 2nd line than Seto as they need his creativity.
Latendresse - Cullen - Bouchard -> These are the most skilled forwards left. We need bounce back years from all of them. We need them healthy. If they struggle, we'll struggle, because we don't have the depth to overcome them. Havlat's not here so I give the edge to Cullen over Brodziak.
Powe - Brodziak - Clutterbuck -> Yeo pretty much said he wants these guys together. This line will give opponents fits.
Gillies - Almond - Nystrom -> We've given Gillies a 1-way, Yeo knows what he can do. Yeo knows what Almond can do, and Nystrom looked worse at C than wing. Nystrom will have to adjust to playing RW.
Staubitz

Schultz - Zidlicky -> We need a bounce back season from Zidlicky. He needs to play like a top-4 d-man. He needs to be a weapon on our PP.
Scandella - Lundin -> Lundin's an ideal partner for Scandella. Its much easier for a young d-man to have success when he knows what his partner is doing, where he's going to be, and that he'll be prepared for any situation. Scandella's too talented to be kept off our suspect defense.
Stoner - Spurgeon -> both these guys impressed last season. Stoner at times was our 2nd best d-man. Spurgeon played over half his first pro season in the NHL. However, there's a chance both slump this year, like Stoner did in the preseason last year. Their jobs could be lost in the preseason.
Zanon, Falk if we're afraid to lose him on waivers. We're going to have injuries so Zanon as the #7 would still likely see significant time, though we do have Prosser as well in Houston so moving Zanon wouldn't shock me.

Backstrom
Harding

Our playoff hopes are basically relying on a bunch of bounce back seasons coupled with a rookie head coach getting his message out to the players. Mike Yeo knows what he wants, and what he wants will be successful if they players do it. After 2 years, Todd Richards didn't know what he wanted.

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08-08-2011, 12:01 PM
  #18
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Originally Posted by bozak911 View Post
I'm far too optimistic to make realistic predictions.

However...

San Jose is not as good of a team as they were last year. They have Burns, yes, but Havlat will still be Havlat and Burns may have a Norris year. Do you really think removing that much scoring from their top six won't negatively affect them?

Vancouver is not as good as they were last year. They have lost Erhoff to free agency and there are still open questions about Hamhuis. Luongo? He's probably going to be a head case at the start of the season. They may very well dig themselves a hole that can't easily be dug out of post-December. Their depth on D isn't nearly as great as it was last summer and considering the injury plagued season their defense had? If that repeats, they are effed.

Detroit, while still a solid team, will be without a stalwart in Rafalski. Howard isn't that good of a tender, and last season, the old guys proved that they are becoming injury prone.

LA? Sure, adding Mike Richards makes them a better team, but I am not convinced that he is a piece that puts them over the top. Doughty is still a wild card. Is he going to hold out? If the team doesn't commit to him long term, does that impact his performance?

I'm also not sold on Columbus being "better". I still think they are weak on Defense and I am highly pessimistic about Carter and Nash working well together. Both are puck hogs, and putting them on the same line probably will fail. Plus, Mason much?

Chicago. I really hope that Emery helps them a lot in training camp, because frankly, I still have a lower opinion of Crawford than I do of Howard. Their D is still just Keith and Seabrook. They dropped Campbell, who ate a TON of minutes for them. Sure, they have a high powered offensive core, but that back end is shallow.

Nashville. They look strong on paper and will need to score by committee, but I just have a feeling that this season is the season they miss the playoffs.

St. Louis is my dark horse team in the central. The young kids had a great start to last season, and then the injuries started mounting. Their team got better around the trade deadline. They don't really have to OVER achieve, they just have to achieve consistently to make the play offs.

Colorado is going to be bad.

Edmonton is going to be slightly better than Colorado.

Calgary is still... weak. It was a very poorly run franchise for the last few years and it is probably going to be small streaks of decent surrounded by long droughts of suck. I'd imagine Iginla truly gets traded out east this trade deadline. There are several teams that would over pay for him that would have room and motivation to get a sniper into their mix.

Anaheim will all depend on Hiller. Is he healthy? Even without Selanne, they still have a potent offense, solid defense, but without Hiller, they are pretty much effed in goal.

Phoenix will be a lottery team.

Dallas is considerably weaker without Brad Richards.

As for our Minnesota Wild? Yeo is the Wild Card. If he can parse the game at NHL speeds, allows Wilson to lock down the D, and Backstrom has the help he needs from that lock down, the only major piece that we are missing is a great PMD. Burns was not that great of a PMD. Sure, he could carry the puck out of the zone, but there were only flashes of decent "first passing" skills. Our top six is VASTLY better than it was last season.

In the NW division, I realistically see the Wild contending with Vancouver for the top spot. If Vancouver stumbles out of the gate, our weak division could be ripe for the taking.
Pretty good break-down!

Better than Wild:
San Jose
Detroit
LA - I actually think Richards and Gagne will be huge for them.
Nucks
Hawks

The playoff bubble:
Nashville
Phoenix
Anaheim
Wild
Columbus


Worst than the Wild
Dallas
Blues - I actually think they will be the same as always.
Calgary
Oilers
Colorado

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08-08-2011, 12:09 PM
  #19
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Pretty good break-down!

Better than Wild:
San Jose
Detroit
LA - I actually think Richards and Gagne will be huge for them.
Nucks
Hawks

The playoff bubble:
Nashville
Phoenix
Anaheim
Wild
Columbus


Worst than the Wild
Dallas
Blues - I actually think they will be the same as always.
Calgary
Oilers
Colorado
I disagree about Chicago being better than the Wild. If you mash all of their D together and put it on a scale against the mash of all of the Wild D, it tilts towards the Wild side.

Our forwards are about equal, if you do the same mash together with possibly our bottom 6 being much better than their bottom 6.

I'd rather have Backstrom + Harding versus Crawford + Who?

Yeesh.

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08-08-2011, 12:21 PM
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The only bold prediction im going to make is that Minnesota get a playoff spot in 79 games. done.

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08-08-2011, 01:49 PM
  #21
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I'll bite and make another bold prediction, Heatley scores 40 and Setogouchi scores 35.

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08-08-2011, 02:13 PM
  #22
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I'll bite and make another bold prediction, Heatley scores 40 and Setogouchi scores 35.
You make this prediction, but above say that the Wild will finish 10-13? How many goals are you expecting us to let in? I mean, we aren't going to be THAT bad on defense. Half the crap you say doesn't fit together.

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08-08-2011, 02:16 PM
  #23
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Especially since Lundin should be at worst even with Burns in terms of defensive ability (and most likely an improvement).

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08-08-2011, 02:16 PM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bozak911 View Post
I disagree about Chicago being better than the Wild. If you mash all of their D together and put it on a scale against the mash of all of the Wild D, it tilts towards the Wild side.

Our forwards are about equal, if you do the same mash together with possibly our bottom 6 being much better than their bottom 6.

I'd rather have Backstrom + Harding versus Crawford + Who?

Yeesh.
The Hawks top D pairing, Seabrook and Keith, are massively better than anything the Wild have, even if the bottom pairings are similiar.


Same with Kane, Toews, Sharp, and Hossa being much better than Koivu, Heatley, Bouchard and Lats/Seto.

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08-08-2011, 02:22 PM
  #25
Jarick
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I think the Hawks are a bit better than the Wild, only because they have more star power. The Wild might have better depth and goaltending as Crawford has all of one season under his belt.

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