Well through the first four games the Wild have only two points, scored only 10 goals and given up 15. The good news is that nearly half of the goals given up were by Josh Harding. Not that all of them were his fault alone but he was clearly not on his “A” game (or even”D” game for that matter). It’s going to be a long season if the Wild continue to lose 4-2 (on average) every night.
Thus far we’ve seen flashes of what the new more aggressive play style can do with the comeback victory over the Ducks where they scored 3 in the 3rd. There was a strong 2nd period against the Kings, but a meltdown in the 3rd. They put 40 shots on Nabokov but scored only twice while Backstrom only saw 29 shots and gave up four goals.
The theme here is very inconsistent play from period to period. To make things worse the change from period to period are polar opposites. One great period followed by a complete meltdown.
It seems to me that the new players on the team as a whole are handling the new system a lot better, with the exceptions of Brunette and Belanger who are off to good starts. To this point I’m not very happy with Koivu,Nolan,Miettinen,Burns, Sheppard or either of the goalies. All have been very underwhelming so far.
On the other hand, Hindy, Sykora, and Havlat have all done well, in my eye.
Overall, the team lacks consistency and the drive to play balls to the walls for three periods. Hopefully, Richards can get these guys fired up because I think this team is better than it’s currently playing.
Of course it’s going to be tough going for while with Clutterbuck down for a while, PMB out, and Sykora now out for about a week. This puts a lot of pressure on some under performing players, namely Pouliot and Sheppard. These two will be essential to any success the Wild have while the others get healthy. It also appears that Boogaard will play earlier than expected as well.
Richards is trying to address the defensive problems by splitting up Johnsson and Schultz who have been on the ice for many of the goals scored against us this year.
Be ready for a rough stretch here……