Put Up Time For Wild/Jost On Waivers
Last night saw the Wild season take yet another turn as they lost to the Penguins 6-4 in the opening game of their 7-game homestand.
A few observations about the Wild team in general and as it played out last night:
A. Clearly they have an issue when Marc-Andre Fleury is not playing. Filip Gustavsson once again allowed multiple goals from long range. He did make some big saves, but his confidence is severely rattled as he never looked set even when he made saves.
The Athletic's, Michael Russo, asked Dean Evason in a very professional manner. He allowed Evason to take Gustavsson off the hook by questionning the defensemen's gap on those goals. Russo had stated that each of the goals in question, their had been a defender between the shooter and the Wild net. Evason did not answer that didrectly other than to acknowledge what Russo was eluding to, which was they are all shots that NHL goaltenders stop 99% of the time.
B. Marco Rossi belongs in a place where he can contribute and not on the fourth line. Rossi is such a responsible forward seeing the ice very well and being a puck possession player. He would so work well with Mason Shaw and Matt Boldy to give the Wild a more balanced offensive attack.
Connnor Dewar was not as effective in the elevated role that he was given last night turning over two pucks in the first period on simple plays, the second resulted in the Penguins first goal. Dewar is a grinder and a high energy guy, not the pivot of a scoring unit. Putting him in that position weakened the Wild in two areas rather than providing the spark Evason was looking for.
C. The Wild have a fragile psyche, as was eveident last night when they came out of the gate flying and controlling play. However, once the Penguins scored they fell into their blase form that we have come to notice over the recent few weeks.
D. Bad penalties are a real issue with this team as they can not afford to give talented teams that many opportunities with the man-advatage especially the 2-man short variety.
E. The Wild powerplay is downright awful right now. They are force feeding Kaprizov or trying to rather than taking the shots with traffic and generating offense with two-quick passes.
Some of the other deficiencies are more a result of a team that is struggling, like over passing and trying to make something out of nothing, which are typical for teams in a funk.
There were a lot of good things that the Wild did last night. Like I had said earlier they came out with purpose from the opening draw. Joel Eriksson Ek, Marcus Foligno, and Brandon Duhaime were effective all night and provided the spark the team had grown accustomed to from JEE's line.
Jonas Brodin was absolutely flying and creating opportunities along with his defense partner Matt Dumba, they had the wheels going every shift.
Tyson Jost has been put on waivers as Jordan Greenway is close to returning to the Wild lineup. Bill Guerin has actively tried to move Jost with no takers so if he is to clear waivers he will head down to Iowa which buries $1.125M of his $2M cap hit while he plays in Iowa.
Unfortunately for the Wild and Jost himself, the production simply has not been there for the former #10 overall pick in the 2016 NHL draft.
Carolina comes to town tomorrow, so we will see how the Wild team pulls things together and rally together. This is still a very tight knit group so I expect to see them close the door and egt this thing turned around.