The Minnesota Wild are struggling and their inability to score goals is a key reason why.
With just 22 goals scored this season, the Wild are in the bottom-five of the league in offense. Only Zach Parise is getting things done scoring six of his own and, as Chip Scoggins of The Star Tribune reports, coach Mike Yeo is trying to fix it.
“We’re trying to do everything we can to find the right solution, whether it’s to spark guys or find the right mix,” Yeo said. “Usually there’s a method to the madness too. We’re not just trying catch lightning in a bottle here. We want to make sure we put something together that we feel can work more than just in the short term.”
The Wild have juggled their lines and brought up fresh blood from the AHL in Charlie Coyle to try and find a spark but nothing’s worked yet.
While Yeo has gotten the semi-dreaded “vote of confidence” by the GM, the stress of a shortened season on top of spending nearly $200 million on free agents could force change if the fans in Minnesota stay restless.
Video: Rick Nash scores 20th goal in sprawling style
It wasn’t pretty – especially if you’re disgusted by that Roman Polak hit – but the Toronto Maple Leafs keep generating big wins as a playoff return looks increasingly likely.
Toronto managed a 5-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday, passing the Boston Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division:
Maple Leafs: 83 points in 72 games
Bruins: 82 points in 73 games
This leaves the currently in-action New York Islanders four points behind the Bruins for the final wild card in the East.
The Maple Leafs aren’t just grabbing key points; they’re doing so against some strong opponents who’ve had plenty on the line, too. They beat a Metro contender in Columbus tonight, the Bruins on Monday, grabbed an OT point against Chicago on Saturday and handled the desperate Lightning last Thursday.
John Tortorella was left enraged after Roman Polak delivered a dangerous boarding hit on Oliver Bjorkstrand, and he probably wasn’t too pleased after the Columbus Blue Jackets failed to make Toronto pay for Polak’s misdeeds.
Polak received a game misconduct and boarding major for the hit, but the Blue Jackets failed to score on a lengthy power play. Tortorella played to script, as cameras caught him expressing his anger at the situation.
Honestly, after 10 games, the question shouldn’t be “can Josh Ho-Sang stick with the Islanders full-time?” Instead, the feeling is … what took so long for him to get this chance?
For all the grumbling about Ho-Sang sporting number 66, he’s provided serious bursts of brilliance and creativity for the Islanders, whether he’s been supporting or even setting upJohn Tavares.
The video above is some really good stuff, as it walks through his confident comments – and undeniable uncertainty – during the night he was drafted, all the way through him getting his chance with the Isles this season. Some of the best stuff comes from Doug Weight, who raves that Ho-Sang is a “five out of five” from an offensive standpoint.