When the Minnesota Wild signed Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to big contracts this summer, hopes were high that the team’s offense would get a boost.
And not only would the Wild score more goals, it would score a few in style.
Hasn’t turned out that way.
Heading into tonight’s home game against Calgary, Minnesota ranks 29th in goals per game (2.06) and is still, according to critics, playing boring dump-and-chase hockey.
Parise, however, doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with the Wild’s system. It’s the execution that’s been the problem.
“We would all love a game where you can skate it in, curl up and make a play every time,” he said, per the Star Tribune. “That’s not the way the game is played. When we do have the opportunity to skate it in, we all have the green light to do it, but not at the risk of having a D gap up in your face, trying to make a cute play at the blue line, turning it over and having them come right back down on us.”
Conceding the obvious fact that turnovers at the opposition blue line are a bad thing, so too is losing the overall possession battle.
Good teams — whether by carrying the puck in or by making smart dump-ins and getting after it — find a way to gain control in the attacking zone.
The Wild hasn’t found that way enough this season.