The Season After the Season (Wild vs. Blues 2017)


This series I felt was honestly like looking in a mirror with the change in coaching administration. I will say that now I understand how frustrating it must have been for other teams to lose to the Wild under Mike Yeo in the Postseason. The defense first, opportunistic offensive style can make you feel that you are controlling the tempo until the moment that you don’t, and then your own defense is caught on their heels. To the Blues credit, their defense was incredible and this is no better illustrated than in Game 3 when they had 23 blocked shots that could have been added to our already 41 shots on net. The Blues big bodies took the passing lanes, did not give up prime shot real estate, and controlled the rebounds by getting a stick on the puck before we did. The Blues played a great series.

Now looking forward to next year I have some thoughts as well as very fresh questions: 1) Expansion Draft: In looking at the Wild, I think that still one of our strongest points is our defense and I think that realistically, that is where Las Vegas will be looking in regards to what assets they can acquire from our team. I say this as well, because when Defensemen hit the free agency market, they typically rake in big contracts because they are often so scarce to come by as opposed to a winger. Good defensive players are locked up in contracts with no trade clauses and there are few opportunities where solid defensemen come up. That being said, I have no problem exposing Dumba or Scandella. Their defense this year was a liability and with a new coach that I believe in to develop younger guys, I think these are the two that we dangle in front of the Knights. With having both of them exposed I think it is a good way to hedge our bets and protect more forwards that would otherwise be exposed. In conclusion, I think the Knights will most likely look to us for fulfilling a section of their Blue Line and by us locking up more young wingers, I think that will better ensure that they do.

2) Career Years: I can’t say enough about how much I have loved this team this year. Players who had stagnated under Mike Yeo have now begun to show the potential we acquired them for. Granlund, leading the list of names who flourished in this new system, showed us some of what we had constantly watched of him on his Finnish highlight reel and I am truly excited to see what next year will be like with Granlund continuing to reach his ceiling.

Fresh Wounds – Fresh Thoughts

So we’ve all been there. But as a hopeful season ends, you begin to question what your hope was grabbing onto. A thought that has crossed my mind is that after our players had career years, how did Mike Yeo beat us in the playoffs? Was it player discipline that did not finish out the season strong and in turn gave us little momentum going into the playoffs? Was Mike Yeo not the problem but rather, was it this team not truly buying into his system (a system that beat us)? Most importantly, what does Bruce Boudreau have to work with right now and how are we going to get back to the second round and take advantage of the Blackhawks losing their edge in the postseason? To be continued…

– Joey Almars

#Hockey #BruceBoudreau #NHL #Playoffs #MikeYeo #Offseason #MinnesotaWild