Sunday, October 21, 2007

Watch Out; The Wild Are For Real

Through the first seven games (6-0-1) the Minnesota Wild have failed to score more than three goals in a game. However with the one-two punch of Nicklas Backstrom and Josh Harding (who?) carrying the team that's not a problem. When a team like the Minnesota Wild only have to score only two or three goals per game to get the W it's really scary. With offensive weapons like the Slovakian duo of Marian Gaborik and Pavol Demitra, goals shoudn't be a problem for these two. Then you have Brian Rolston. So far only two goals on the year, but he's added five assists for 2nd on the team in points behind free agent Eric Belanger who continues to impress. Belanger's three goals is tied for the team lead. The line trio of Rolston, Belanger and Pierre-Marc Bouchard have been pheominal. The three have accounted for almost half of the Wild's offensive production (nine of the 19 team goals). Another offensive bright spot has been the play of defenseman Brent Burns. Burns has played solid defensively but has also shined in the offensive zone, adding three goals.

The story so far this season has definately been the play of the goaltenders Harding and Backstrom. Together they own a save percentage near .960 and have given up a toal of eight goals in seven games including three shutouts (two for Backs and one for Harding). Lets give a little credit to the defensemen as well. The play of the defense has allowed Backs and Harding to make that initial save and clear the puck from the front of the net. Nick Schultz continues to impress me. I always thought of him as an OK player, but in the playoffs last year and from the beginning of the season this year he has shown me that he has a rock solid defenseman. Together Schultz and Kim Johnsson draw the task of shutting down the opponents top line. Judging by the scores, I'd say "Mission Accomplished"

The Wild are at home today (Sunday) against Colorado before traveling to Canada to face Calgary and Edmonton.

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