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Pre-season Wild Focus On Special Teams

October 3, 2022, 3:24 PM ET [1 Comments]
Dan Wallace
Minnesota Wild Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Dean Evason and his staff know that in order to achieve the success that has eluded Wild teams in the past, their special trams MUST improve dramatically.

In both specialnteams departments the Wild finished below the league average PP% 20.54% (20.61% League Avg) and PK% 76.14% (League Avg 79.39%). That is not a formula to sustain success against the league's best teams when it matters most.

Last night saw the Wild extend their pre-season record to 4-0 with their 3-0 blanking of the Blackhawks in Milwaukee. The Wild scored not one but two shorthanded goals, one each by Connor Dewar and Matt Boldy. That gives them three shorthanded goals in the four games which is a telling factor that the PK scheme has changed significantly as well as the personnel that will be killing penalties this season.

The Wild penalty kill has yielded just one goal in 17 times short while they have scored five powerplay goals in the four preseason tilts. Yes it is exhibition contests for sure but teams that are projected to contend use these games to work on areas that need improvement while allowing the veterans to work on their timing. It is less of a showcase for roster spots as that is really between only a handful of hopefuls in the Wild's case.

There is quite a full cupboard of prospects for thw Wild coming along in the next few seasons but for now it is Marco Rossi and Calen Addison that have the inside track and are the ones most ready to take the next step

Carson Lambos and Daemon Hunt are definitely guys to watch for as they progress in their first professional seasons. Both played well last night with Hunt making a big play thwarting a 3-on-1 breaking up Andreas Athanasiou's pass to Patrick Kane that would have tied the game at the time. Lambos' skating is as good as advertised and the upside is tremendous for the former 2021 first round pick(#26 overall).

We are entering the final week of training camp and the regular season is almost here. We know what a grind the NHL 82-game marathon is and this Wild team and more importantly the coaching staff and management have learned that better after the most recent playoff 1st round exit.
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