Minnesota Wild (0-2)
1.50 Goals For (13th)
3.50 Goals For (14th)
0% Power Play (16th)
85.7% Penalty Kill (8th)
Top 3 Scorers:
1. #7 Matt Cullen ~ 0G 2A = 2pts
2. #6 Marco Scandella ~ 1G 0A = 1pt
3. #10 Devin Setoguchi ~ 1G 0A = 1pt
1. #9 Mikko Koivu ~ 8 PIM's
1. #20 Ryan Suter ~ 35:52
1. #37 Josh Harding (0-2) 2.65GAA .929%SP
Chicago Blackhawks (2-0)
3.50 Goals For (3rd)
1.50 Goals Against (4th)
14.3% Power Play (8th)
100% Penalty Kill (1st)
Top 3 Scorers:
1. #88 Patrick Kane ~ 0G 3A = 3pts
2. #10 Patrick Sharp ~ 2G 0A = 2pts
3. #29 Bryan Bickell ~ 2G 0A = 2pts
1. Six players tied with 2 PIM's
1. #32 Michael Roszival ~ 23:42
1. #50 Corey Crawford (2-0) 1.31GAA .945%SP
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We all know the major problem this team has. Scoring. At this point, I don't care if the goals come even strength or with the man advantage, we just need to see more of them. And to see more goals, there needs to be a little more discipline and determination.
For a team that hasa scoring problem, I cannot express just how annoying it is to watch the Minnesota Wild be foolhardy with their puck possession. When they need to hold on to the puck and move it, they play dump and chase. Now some teams are good at that method, but the Minnesota Wild is not one of those teams. The team simply is not fast enough or physical enough to get to that puck once they fire it in. You see the lack of speed not only in the dump and chase game, but also when you see them unable to get to loose pucks in order to regain or retain puck possession. And it doesn't matter if they're in the offensive or defensive end of the ice. It's almost as if they just say to the other team "here, have this puck." If they want a chance at winning, they need to hold on to that puck like grim death instead of just foolishly dumping it in. At the very least, if you're going to dump it in, at least have a plan to put it in deep, possibly outside of the trapezoid so that the goaltender cannot touch it. Just once, I'd like to see the Minnesota Wild actually carry the puck into the zone more times than they skate after it.
There's another side to the puck possession story, and that involves what to do with it when you're finally in the offensive zone. For whatever reason, when they Wild do get control of the puck they find numerous ways to not get shots on goal. We continually see the Wild trying for whatever reason, to attempt the perfect shot. That's all well and good on occasion, but successful teams know that the important thing is to get that puck on goal as much as possible. To do that, you cannot wait around for the perfect shot. The Wild skaters need to pepper Corey Crawford with a variety of shots. I don't care if they're great shots. Low-percentage and bad angle shots usually generate rebounds. It's those rebounds where good teams often find their goals. Last I looked, but a garbage goal off a rebound counts just as much as the highlight reel goal. There's no time left to continually try for the beautiful shot. However, I feel like this afternoon, I'm going to be subjected to another game where the Wild pass and pass and pass in order to find that perfect shot and/or beautiful goal. There are times when I'm watching the Wild play that I feel like I'm watching the classic basketball movie, The Hoosiers. In that movie, Gene Hackman's character, Coach Norman Dale, asks the team "how many times do you pass?" The answer was four. That coach required the team to pass the ball four times before they took a shot. You almost have to wonder if the Wild have a secret, unwritten rule similar to Coach Dale's because you see them give up great shots to simply pass the puck yet again. I'm beginning to wonder if I need to sneak into Wild head coach Mike Yeo's office and home and steal his much watched copy of this movie.
There are times to be selfish with the puck and there are times to just send it at Crawford and hope you have a teammate that is in his area to get another shot on him as well. There are times to pass and there are time to shoot. But passing for passing's sake when it is a detriment to the team and its success is foolish. I normally don't agree with the people yelling "shoot" but now is the time for the skaters to take the fans' advice. Good things come to those who shoot. Now that this is starting to sounds like of combination of the book of Ecclesiastes from the Bible, Martha Stewart and all-around common sense, I think it's time for me to stop. I will however end with this, SHOOT THE PUCK.