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Fleury On The Shelf

November 16, 2022, 9:07 PM ET [3 Comments]
Dan Wallace
Minnesota Wild Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Marc-Andre Fleury has been the Wild's best player after his rocky first week, but the team is going to have to rely in Filip Gustavsson as The Flower is going to miss time with an upper body injury.

Things have not been going the Wild's way so far this season, but an injury to the top goalie on a team challenged to put the puck in the net could really set them back. It could also have the opposite effect where the team pulls together and rallies around Gustavsson and gets the season back on track.

Dean Evason has once again adjusted his lines today at practice with the one exception of course being the top line with Freddy Gaudreau between Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello.

Mason Shaw jumps up to play with Matt Boldy and joining them is Connor Dewar who has brought the energy on a nightly basis. Not exactly sure that Dewar is the guy to have centering for Boldy and moving Rossi down to the fourth line does not make much sense either.

Speaking of the fourth line Rossi is centering Sam Steel and yes, Tyson Jost makes his way back into the lineup replacing Adam Beckman. Brandon Duhaime takes Jordan Greenway's spot on the line with Joel Eriksson Ek and Marcus Foligno.

The yoyo that is Marco Rossi and Tyson Jost really makes things difficult to create any kind 9f chemistry among the forward lines. Evason is in a tough spot as he tries desperately to jump-start the Wild offense..

That said.relegatung a gifted albeit, a rookie, Rossi to fourth line minutes makes very little sense. Rossi should be afforded a much longer leash as he is a key piece of thw Wild offense moving forward. Growing pains are difficult, we all get that however, if Rossi is dressing he should be afforded a more prominent role. Move the other players around to try and find the right fit with Rossi not the other way around.

Jost to a lesser extent has not really been afforded much of an opportunity ever since he was acquired last season at the deadline. I don't believe he has played even two straight games with the same line mates and if he has it was never long enough to develop anything resembling a solid place in the lineup.

Freddy Gaudreau is the one guy that Evason trusts of his middle tier players and has most recently elevated him to the top trio, yet he does not really complement Zuccarello and Kaprizov, despite the fact that he has goals in the last two games. By the way those two tallies are just his second and third of the season, so his production has not benefitted from the role he has been elevated to playing between Workd class talents Kaprizov and Zuccarello.

Easy to kick at this when the tram is down, but something needs to give as the Wild are a good team, that is dealing with some significant injuries at the moment. That is no excuse as they wanted to tell everyone that would listen last season that they were a deep team. This is where the depth has to step up, if there really is any.

Some very challenging opponents coming up here for the Wild, and the offense and in particular, the powerplay l, need to get it going and fast.

Not sure yet which goalie gets the call from Iowa, but the guess would be Zane McIntyre. We all would live to see Jesper Wallstedt make the trip north on I-35, but that is unrealistic not to mention he is just now returning from his own injury and playing regularly will be to his benefit as he looks to establish himself in his first professional season in North America.
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