Here we go ladies and gents, welcome and thanks for joining. I'm caffeinated and have my injured right foot in a bucket of ice. I'm ready for some non-Vanek questions starting NOW!
That was a nice severance package the Flyers gave to a player that probably didn't want to be there anymore. I'm not going to guess on the Wild's goaltending situation next year because there's no way Chuck Fletcher can even know right now. Backstrom can't be bought out. Harding has a year left. Kuemper is a restricted free agent that may command a one-way deal. That's three one-way contracts, so there's just too many moving parts. Until something's resolved, there's no way Fletcher can be signing Bryzgalov to an extension or even look at free agency. So, up in the air
Get his goaltending situation resolved, then figure out if he needs a scoring forward (former Gopher? or another rugged defenseman (Orpik?) in the lineup. Anything can happen once you get in the playoffs, but it's clear the Wild still has growing to do until their on par with the NHL's so-called elite
Stoner has had a great year and the Wild needs physicality in the playoffs.
He has a right to feel that way, but I couldn't care less about the decision and I promise you Fletcher doesn't lose an ounce of sleep by that decision from the previous regime
Ready and relaxed. Was just talking about that at lunch with a few media types. Like a guy like Koivu, cannot be more relaxed right now. Very different feeling than last year with the team. Business-like morning skate and confidence in the room.
I'm more perturbed at 8:30 p.m. starts in Minnesota. I feel worse for Wild fans (and newspaper scribes) who have to deal with that on a weekday than Avs fans who have to watch an earlier game. These 8:30 starts are ridiculous, and yes, it has to do with TV
I think it's going to be very important. Colorado's fourth line is real good and the Wild needs to counter with a fourth line that is reliable and generates momentum. In addition, I think at home, we're going to see Haula see shifts against MacKinnon. Haula may be the only Wild player who stride for stride can skate with MacKinnon
I think we'll have a much better idea tonight. Neither coach is tipping much of a hand strategically, understandably so
It'll be interesting to see. I do think that Yeo would be quick to adjust if he sees there is an issue there. The Wild wants to be patient, but in a best of seven series, you can only be so patient
Avs had 52 wins, are stacked up front (especially if Duchene can parachute in at some point) and have a clear edge in goal, but I think this has the opportunity to be a great, intense series. I think we'll see some great hockey and I can certainly see the Wild winning. I picked the Avs, but not by a lot. I see this as 50-50...Game 1 is BIG, especially for the road team
NHL-paid off-ice officials keep track, and in Minnesota, they sit right above my left shoulder. Two of the off-ice officials have laptops in front and they sit there and literally push on a mousepad and keep track as players leave and step on the ice.
I'll tell you tonight. He is the big unknown in this series. It's that simple. That blip the other night has been him at times in the playoffs, so I'm sorry, it's hard seeing that and feeling nearly as confident. But, it is true, he got no help in front of him and was screened on two goals (and one other was a deflection)
An absolute ton, and the Wild's coaching staff doesn't get nearly enough credit for 1) their defensive system helping them survive this goalie fragility and 2) their ability to manage such a potentially turbulent situation. This thing could have blown up at any place along the way, so the goalies obviously deserve credit, but so especially do the coaches and the players who go out and execute the gameplans well.
They better. This is my concern by going out and potentially signing another 30-something to a long-term deal this summer. The teams with the brightest futures are built through youth
If he doesn't play 3 more games, he becomes a Group 6 unrestricted free agent. If he plays 3, he becomes a restricted free agent. Chuck Fletcher always says he lets the coaches coach the team, so he's not about to go tell Yeo to play somebody because of contract status. I like Fontaine, but he is the 13th forward on this team right now. If they lose him via free agency, life will go on.
He is. He was a great Av (and great person). You should love him!
I think it's natural to play well and better where you feel accepted, and I think at times in his career he hasn't felt supported by teammates in some places. Look, there is no doubt this guy beats to his own drum, there is no doubt that he can be VERY difficult to cover. But, so far, he has treated me fine and quite frankly, as a fan, I would care less how he deals with the media and care a lot more what his teammates think of him. And all I can tell you, from being around the team hourly, they've accepted him and seem to genuinely like him and want to defend for him. That's all that matters (convoluted, quick reply, so hope I'm getting my point across).