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Dogcat250 Offline


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29.05.2019 08:38
Minnesota Wild might already think hes out of a Antworten

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Mike Yeo doesnt read newspapers right now and hes not perusing Twitter. If he did, the coach of the Minnesota Wild might already think hes out of a job.Instead, with his team on a six-game losing skid, Yeo is determined to ignore the chatter and focus on the task at hand.Im not going to sit around and mope and feel sorry for myself, Yeo said. Ive got a job to do, and now is when I have to do it better than ever.On Wednesday, the Wild traded a third-round pick to the Arizona Coyotes for goaltender Devan Dubnyk, but thats no guarantee itll solve enough of Minnesotas problems to turn this season around.The issues go beyond Yeo and beyond goaltending. Zach Parise said the Wild have been fragile, and meeting after meeting wont solve whats ailing a team that went into the season with legitimate playoff aspirations.Theres been a lot of talking around here for the last, gosh, four weeks maybe, Parise said. At some point we have to start to deliver. The coaches can only do so much. As players we have to have thicker skin and hold each other accountable. Were missing that right now. Its too easy internally to not compete and its too easy for us to quit.Players have repeatedly said they havent quit on Yeo or each other. Their play over the past several weeks, including 12 losses in the last 14 games, has prompted that question.Yeo knows his job is in jeopardy, as the coach is usually the first victim of a skid like this. But his players dont want the blame placed on his shoulders.Yoezies a really good coach, said defenceman Ryan Suter, who will miss the next two games after being suspended. Hes a guy that we want to play for. Thats the disappointing thing. I dont know whats going on, we play so well and then we let in a goal or two goals and the wheels just come off.The Wilds last loss was a 7-2 thumping at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The players spent much of Wednesday afternoon at First Niagara Center going over video of mistakes from that game and others and then practised working on the basics.Its an awareness of unfortunately, this is what Minnesota Wild hockey is right now, and we have to get it back to what it was, Yeo said. Its just work. Its not about trying to embarrass anybody or trying to lift anybody up, its just recognition of where were at and what our game looks like and realizing that we need to get it back to what it needs to be.The Wild have allowed 29 goals in the past six games as theyve fallen to 12th in the Western Conference and eight points out of the second wild-card spot. The season appears to be slipping away.In an effort to keep that from happening, general manager Chuck Fletcher acquired Dubnyk, who represents an immediate upgrade over Darcy Kuemper and Niklas Backstrom. Dubnyk went 9-5-2 with a 2.72 goals-against average and .916 save percentage as the Coyotes backup goaltender.Dubnyk could get the reins from Yeo as soon as Thursdays game at the Buffalo Sabres. The Wild are tied with the Edmonton Oilers for the worst team save percentage in the NHL at .889.Goaltending is no doubt a concern, but Parise said the responsibility falls on everyone.Thats a position thats always magnified and the way that position works if you have an off night it unfortunately can cost you the game easily, Parise said. Theres way more that happens before the puck getting to our net that cant happen. The way were turning the puck over, the way were not tying up guys. I mean, were there but were getting outworked and outmuscled.The Wilds overall work ethic is one thing that has come into question.If we think were competing hard enough to win games right now, were kidding ourselves, winger Jason Pominville said. Wed be cheating ourselves to say that. I think our compete (level has) got to go up, thats where it starts. Obviously the goaltending is always an easy thing to point out when things arent going well, but its whats done before that in every zone.Parise said the Wild are stuck in a mindset that has contributed to their struggles.Our D-zone coverage hasnt been good enough, our neutral zone transition hasnt been good, our forecheck hasnt been good, he said. We know how to do it. Thats not a question. Weve done it, we know how to do it, we know it works. Its just right now for us its a mindset. Its not there.The lack of answers is why Yeos job has appeared to be in jeopardy. The Wild made the playoffs each of the past two seasons, and with high expectations have faltered and almost fallen out of the race with 39 games to go.Yeo said a couple of coaching colleagues around the league reached out but he doesnt expect sympathy.Its an eat or be eaten type of game, Yeo said. Thats why we cant sit around and feel sorry for ourselves, either. We know that nobodys feeling sorry for us. Why should we? Thats not going to help us in any way. We have to find a way to get out of this, and the only way is with a clear focus on the way that we need to play the game and a desperation and a work ethic that cant be matched.___Follow @SWhyno on Twitter. Josh Okogie Jersey . - Chris Davis hit a two-run double, scoring Nelson Cruz in his Orioles debut in Baltimores 9-7 win over to the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday. Tyus Jones Jersey . Rookie Christian Vazquez got his first three major league hits and drove in three runs, while David Ortiz had three RBIs to break open the game in the sixth inning and lead Boston over the Houston Astros 8-3. .C. -- The Steve Smith era in Carolina is over. Andrew Wiggins Jersey .Y. -- AJ Allmendingers journey is almost complete. Custom Minnesota Timberwolves Jerseys . -- Get a flow chart ready to follow the Packers quarterback situation.The race for NHL rookie of the year just got more interesting. Now, this is precisely the type of hype the Tampa Bay Lightning will be trying to avoid at all costs for a 19-year-old who has yet to play a single regular season game in the NHL. But then thats the kind of the point here: Jonathan Drouin is finally going to make his highly-anticipated NHL debut this week. Probably not tonight in Edmonton, though. After breaking his thumb before training camp even started, Drouin played his first two professional games – scored his first pro goal on a beauty snipe Friday night and added two assists and seven shots on goal Saturday night – on a briefer than expected conditioning stint with Syracuse of the American Hockey League. Tampa recalled him yesterday and Drouin flew to Edmonton to join the 3-1-1 Lightning. Playing back to back games on Friday and Saturday, travelling all day Sunday and dealing with jet lag is not the optimum circumstance to have the third overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft make his NHL debut, never mind that Tampa is coming off a win in Vancouver and none of the forwards have done anything to warrant being yanked from the lineup for a 19-year-old, albeit one with star power potential. So Tuesday in Calgary is a much better bet than tonight in Edmonton to get our first look at the precocious offensive talent, who, to borrow Bobby Ryans catchphrase, isnt so much coming in hot as he is coming in angry. Thats angry in a good way. Anyone who knows Jo knows that the somewhat undersized (5-foot-11, 186 pounds) offensive whiz kid from the Halifax Mooseheads uses any slight, real or imagined, as his fuel. And his tank is full. Overflowing. There wasnt a day that went by last season when Drouin didnt look longingly at the NHL and his draft class playing pro while he was back with the kids in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. No. 1 overall pick and Drouins Halifax linemate Nate MacKinnon tore it up in Colorado, winning the Calder Trophy as rookie of year. No. 2 overall pick Aleksander Barkov spent the full season in Florida, as did No. 4 pick Seth Jones in Nashville, No. 5 pick Elias Lindholm in Carolina and No. 6 pick Sean Monahan in Calgary. Drouin was the only one of the top six picks in his draft to not play last season in the NHL. Tampa decided early in training camp a year ago that Drouin wasnt physically mature enough to put right into the lineup, that he needed to get fitter and faster and stronger. So Drouin played angry last season, channeling it into 29 goals and 108 points for the Mooseheads. He trained angry all summer, getting leaner and meaner and fitter and faster. His broken thumb before training camp only ratcheted up his anger at having to wait even longer to make his NHL debut. And even though the Lightnings handling of him on the AHL conditioning stint was textbook and clearly in the players best interests – he had no training camp at all; the team knows expectations will be sky high when he does play that first NHL game and they wanted to give him every chance to be successful – dont kid yourself, that one goal and two assists in two AHL games was the product of an angry young man who believes hes never been more ready to go than now. Right now. Its going to be fascinating to watch Drouin play for the Lightning, simply because he has elite level vision and puck skills that set him apart from, well, just about everybody. He wont like to hear it, but hes also a 19-year-old kid whos a lot better with the puck than without it and the challenge for any underage junior, and his team, is to find a way to embrace (offensive) assets while minimizing (defensive) deficiencies. The fact the Lightning are a very good NHL team, with the look of a contender in the Eastern Conference, will require even more finesse in their handling of Drouin. Who comes out of the lineup for Drouin? Does he have to play in the top six? Or can he brought along more slowly on the third or fourth line? One suspects it will more likely be the latter. Steven Stamkos is on fire and playing well with Ryan Callahan and Ondrej Palat on the top line. Valtteri Filpulla is between Alex Killorn and Tyler Johnson on the second line. The third and fourth lines are more or less interchangeable, depending upon circumstances: Brian Boyle between Brenden Morrow and Brett Connolly; and, rookie Vladislav Namestnikov between Nikita Kucherov and J.T. Brown. The Lightning have to find a spot for Drouin somewhere, sometime. Whenever and wherever it is, theres an angry young man awaiting his opportunity. Angry in the best way imaginable. The Rookie Race Drouin hasnt missed so many games that, if all were to go well for him, he couldnt play himself into a still wide-open rookie race. The early favorite, though, has to be Tanner Pearson of the Los Angeles Kings. Pearson played 25 regular-season games last year. If he had played just one more (26), he wouldnt be considered a rookie. It doesnt matter that he played 24 more in the playoffs en route to the Kings Stanley Cup victory. Pearson, playing on That 70s Line with Tyler Toffoli and Jeff Carter, is off to a great start. That line has been carrying the Kings so this season. Pearson has five goals and seven points in six games, leading all rookies in goals and points. Pearson is a 22-year-old, third-year pro who is bound to get more quality minutes on an elite team annd, therefore, should continue to put up points.dddddddddddd Two rookie defenceman – Aaron Ekblad in Florida and Damon Severson in New Jersey – have also turned heads in the early going. Ekblad, of course, was the first overall pick in the 2014 NHL draft. The 18-year-old – he doesnt turn 19 until Feb. 7 – has only one assist in five games but what hes doing as a pure rookie blueliner is nothing short of extraordinary. Hes averaging 22:16 over five games and played 25:25 in his last outing, a 2-1 shootout loss to the Washington Capitals. The last game he played was the best game hes played, Florida coach Gerard Gallant said. I keep forgetting hes an 18-year-old rookie. The funny thing is Ekblad started slow. In the Panthers rookie camp, he didnt look good in his first game, was just okay in his second but played well in his third. That was ROOKIE camp. In the Panthers main camp, it was the same thing – struggled early, got better as it progressed. But almost from the drop of the puck for the regular season, Ekblad has played with poise, maturity and confidence that belies his age and inexperience, playing alongside veteran defenceman Brian Campbell. Im sure he will have some ups and downs, every young defenceman does, Gallant added, but its amazing how comfortable he is just playing his game. Its like hes still in junior. Hes not worried. He just plays. Hes not afraid to jump up (offensively) and hes defended quite well. Hes not nervous or unsure of himself. TSN analytics expert Travis Yost offered this assessment of Ekblads numbers this season: Aaron Ekblad is still searching for the first five-on-five point of his career, but there are plenty of positives to take away from his first five games. Ekblad, playing almost exclusively with puck-possession wizard Brian Campbell, has enjoyed a 58.3 per cent Corsi% and +10.6 per cent RelativeCorsi%. While its clear Florida isnt easing Ekblad into action (hes close to 16 minutes per night at even strength), its worth noting hes being deployed in a more offence-oriented role – likely due to Campbells puck-moving ability. The Ekblad-Campbell pairing is the only one on Florida starting more than 50 per cent of their shifts in the offensive zone. If this sort of deployment continues, expect Ekblads point-scoring to wake up relatively quickly. Softer minutes and great underlying numbers generally lead to success – Ekblads simply been victimized by terrible on-ice shooting percentages (4.4 per cent) in the early going. As we know, these numbers frequently regress to league averages. For those who dont subscribe to #fancystats, Ekblad most certainly passes the eye test, too. To think hes been as cool, calm and composed as he has been, as an 18-year-old defenceman, is nothing short of extraordinary. Meanwhile, New Jersey defenceman Damon Severson has been an early-season revelation. Another in the long line from the Kelowna Rocket defenceman factory (Scott Hannan, Josh Gorges, Duncan Keith, Luke Schenn, Sheldon Souray, Shea Weber, Kyle Cumiskey, Tyler Myers, Tyson Barrie, to name a few), Severson has put up flashy numbers – three goals, four points and plus-six in five games – while averaging almost 20 minutes per night alongside veteran partner Andy Greene on New Jerseys shutdown pair. New Jersey head coach Pete DeBoer was quite taken with Severson early in training camp and hes continued to earn the coachs confidence. You always want to temper your enthusiasm for young defencemen because you dont want to put unrealistic expectations on them, DeBoer said, but (Severson) has started well. Greene plays the tough minutes on the Devils blueline, facing Alexander Ovechkin and Joe Thornton in consecutive shutdown games. Severson has held up well as Greenes partner. Seversons composure has been notable as has his ability to read the play, both defensively and offensively. Heres Yosts analytic take on Seversons season: Seversons possession numbers are eerily similar to Ekblads. Through five games at just under 16 even-strength minutes a night, Severson is a 58.6 per cent Corsi% player with an impressive +14.4% RelativeCorsi%. That RelativeCorsi% number is actually ninth-best in the entire league amongst regular defencemen, with only established NHLers – notably Ryan Ellis (+19.6 per cent), Mark Giordano (+18.2 per cent), and Niklas Hjalmarsson (+15.8 per cent) – ahead of him. Perhaps the most impressive part is Severson (along with partner Greene) has been getting brutalized in the zone-start department, seeing just 33 per cent offensive zone starts. Its not as if Severson came out of nowhere – he was a 2012 second-round pick, 60th overall – who was one of the WHLs top defenceman last season. But he didnt make Canadas national junior team and, in general manager Lou Lamoriellos world, young Devils often need to serve an AHL apprenticeship in their first professional season. For now, Severson has avoided the trip to the minors. But the season, like the rookie defencemen who have excelled in the early going, is still young. NOTES: Tampa defenceman Victor Hedman is likely to be out of the Bolts lineup for at least four weeks with a broken bone in his hand. He suffered it Saturday, blocking a shot against Vancouver. Usual timeline is a four-to-six week injury…Calgary officially announced T.J. Brodies contract extension today. Its five years with an AAV of $4.65 million. 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