One nice thing about Mike Russo covering the Wild is that we get consistent reports of what the lines look like in practice. It’s been difficult this season to keep track of who has played on what line. Backstrom and Harding may be the only two players who haven’t been shuffled around, and if things keep sliding, who knows…maybe Harding has sick face-off skills.
Russo’s reporting the following lines for tomorrow’s game in Toronto:
Count on Backstrom starting in net. It’s the only reason they wouldn’t have pulled Josh Harding last night.
I like where Yeo is going with this. The lines show an insight into what he believes (and I agree) are the problems facing this team right now. Our limited offensive weapons have been ineffectual in large part because they’re spending too much time covering for poor defense. While we may not be able to do anything immediate about the D issues (coughcoughzidswaiverscoughcough), Yeo is putting at least one solid defensive forward on each line. I approve, and hopefully it will show through with some physical play tomorrow night.
The Wild are still holding on to 8th place courtesy of a Stars loss last night to Detroit. First time in my life I’ve ever been happy to see a team with Todd Bertuzzi win a game.
Can Fletcher pull off a big trade? Eh. It’s going to be tough. There are a lot of teams circling that mid-conference ranking right now, and few of them are going to cough up big names until things settle down. Plus, the Wild don’t exactly have the upper hand in terms of bargaining chips at the moment.
Would Fletcher do a trade? Sure, if the deal didn’t screw the team over for years to come when the prospects start rolling in. Remember, this was always intended to be year one of a major overhaul. We’re going to have to redesign things here and there.
Early puck drop tomorrow, 6pm Minnesota time. Any last minute updates will be here, otherwise I’ll be back post-game with the analysis of what will hopefully be a better effort and a point or two.