Suter Overrated?

One thing I forgot to mention in my last post: is it just me, or is Ryan Suter overrated?

Maybe I’m just crazy, but I don’t see him as the stud that he was made out to be. Yes, he’s still a very good player, but for the money AND term they gave him, he should be a cornerstone pillar of the team for the remainder of the contract.

It was HUGE news in the hockey world when both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter agreed to sign with the Wild in the same offseason. Even bigger was the announcement that they signed twinsies style with identical 13-year deals. Yes, 13 years. 13. Thirteen. That’s an enormous commitment by Minnesota to two players, who will each make $98 million.  Continue reading

Wild vs Blackhawks, Game 3

So the Blackhawks just wrapped up a 1-0 shutout against the poor Wild to take Game 3 of the Western Conference 2nd round playoffs. It’s sad to say, but the Wild have not yet led ONCE during this entire series and find themselves in a huge 3-0 hole in the series. I wouldn’t be shocked if they managed to win Game 4 at home, but frankly they’re pretty much on life support and I’m kind of expecting a sweep at this point.

I had high hopes for the Wild coming into this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs, and they definitely showed up vs the St. Louis Blues. But man, Chicago has just manhandled them the last 2 years on the playoffs. I don’t know what it is about the Blackhawks, but the Wild has a tough time containing CHI, even with all their team speed. In particular, the D has looked less than stellar to me.

The one thing that’s obvious is the Patty Kane runs roughshod on the Wild. He must salivate and his eyes get wide as saucers when he plays Minnesota. Probably because for whatever reason, the Wild refuse to practice any sort of decent gap control vs him. All I see is Kane building up speed behind the puck, then taking over in the neutral zone and just walking in over the blueline uncontested. Then it’s just a matter of him dangling his defender to sleep, and either walking around him on a net drive or going outside and throwing a delayed pass to the trailing forward.

The Wild defenseman really needed to do a better job closing the gap and taking away his time and space once he gets to the offensive blueline. I know it’s easier said than done, but with a D-corps of Suter, Brodin, Spurgeon, et al they should have the mobility to execute. But for some reason, it’s just not working and they look so passive.

Mike Yeo has done a good job with the club (except for that pesky losing streak earlier this year and the ensuing nuclear meltdown hahaha), but they don’t seem to be playing with the same heart/grit/truculence/whatever you want to call it that they did vs the Blues. Zach Parise always brings it (not sure anyone plays harder or with more determination than that guy), but the rest of the forwards don’t see to be able to fit through any checks haven’t been able to sustain any real board play down low in Chicago’s zone.

Put those things together, and it makes for a bad result. Namely a 0-3 hole in the playoffs! Oh well, at least the Caps are still leading the Rangers in their series!