Wanna blog? Start your own hockey blog with My HockeyBuzz. Register for free today!

MNWild: Punchless Wild On Vacation in Florida

October 19, 2013, 7:24 PM ET [17 Comments]
Tony Dean
Minnesota Wild Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
MNWild: Punchless Wild On Vacation in Florida

With nearly all of the momentum gone from 3 victories in row evaporated in the sunshine state Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo is again shuffling the lines. Winger Jason Pominville will return to the top line and young gun Nino Niederreiter will play on the 2nd Line with Mikael Granlund and Matt Cooke. It is too bad that Jason Zucker is not with the club because he would slot in nicely on this second line until Coyle is healthy. I think everyone in the Wild organization realizes that Dany Heatley is trending towards a confrontation point and to have to elevate Cooke to the 2nd Line hurts the team and disrupts a very productive 3rd Line that had been a lone bright spot for the team.

I think that the ultimate responsibility to take action on Heatley will need to fall squarely on the shoulders of General Manager Chuck Fletcher. It is clear besides his physical limitations and conditioning issues, Heatley is far from motivated to make changes in what will be his final year in a Wild sweater. Obviously Heatley has been in this position before with his current team looking to move on from him and the precedence has been set that he has handled it poorly. If the Wild continues their recent downward trend, hopefully a byproduct will be a decisive resolution to what is painfully obvious in regards to their relationship with Heatley.

This current team for the Wild has flashed moments of dominance but their record better reflects a team destined for a bridge year rather than a deep run. The Wild acknowledged before this season began that in trying to fully evolve to the team Fletcher has envisioned it would take a significant step forward from their recently graduated prospects. To lose Charlie Coyle like they did it exposed how much he truly means to the team this year despite Granlund’s improved play this year. I think it is clear the Wild’s young NHLers have earned their coaches trust and are here to stay but now they need to take the next step and truly affect the outcomes of these games.

Josh Harding is underrated for his abilities and has been very good despite the Wild’s record in the past couple games. I think even when Niklas Backstrom is confident in his knee, that we are looking at more of a times share between the two netminders than ever previously. Harding has earned his playing time and the Wild is very lucky to have him competing at such a high level given the circumstances. Even before the injury Backstrom was shaky at best and should he have competition for playing it should be a motivating factor for the very streaky backstop.

Just Giving My Take,
Tony Dean
Join the Discussion: » 17 Comments » Post New Comment
More from Tony Dean
» Hopefully Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder Wild State of Affairs
» Wild Looking to Bounce Back from Loss Hosting Edmonton Oilers at the X
» With Ducks on Deck Yeo's Club Must Show Ability to Punch Back
» Game Night at The X Plus Listen to WildWednesdayShow Between Periods
» After Five Games More Questions Than Answer for Yeo's Wild Squad