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.
Ken Appleby never got drafted, but his efforts during the New Jersey Devils’ training camp have earned him an entry-level contract, per the Bergen Record.
Although no team saw it fit to take him before the preseason, the 20-year-old is coming off of a very strong season. He had a 2.08 GAA and .924 save percentage in 50 games with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals. He went on to lead them to a Memorial Cup championship and earned the the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy as the tournament’s top goalie.
Appleby is the fifth goaltender the Devils have under contract after Cory Schneider, Keith Kinkaid, Scott Wedgewood, and Yann Danis. He’ll likely begin the season in the ECHL.
Alexandre Goulet and Jacob Sweeney also participated in the Devils’ training camp on an amateur tryout basis, but both of them have been released.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Some of the NHL’s top players discuss Connor McDavid‘s potential and the hype surrounding him. (Toronto Sun)
While we’re on the subject, Wayne Gretzky recalls what it was like for him going into the NHL and what’s in store for McDavid. (Edmonton Sun)
Sam Gagner is about to start a key season in his career. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
It’s time for the Washington Capitals to make some tough calls, particularly when it comes to Derek Roy. (CSN Mid-Atlantic)
With Raffi Torres hearing scheduled for today, here’s a look back at his suspension history. (San Jose Mercury News)
The Chicago Blackhawks have gotten their championship rings. (NHL.com)