Don't get me wrong, Minnesota has talent and a deep lineup. Zach Parise is one of the hardest working guys on the ice, and his grit and determination put pucks in the net. Jason Zucker brings his speed. Marco Scandella has a blistering shot from his defensive point.
But a pure goal scorer? They don't have one.
Same ol' system
Now back to the system that's been a relatively unspoken issue for a few years. I'm talking about the one the Wild plays which often focuses on passing lanes and spreading the wealth with teammates like it's playtime at preschool. To put it simply, the Wild pass too much and don't think "score" enough.
Instead, this team gets the puck and stops just inside the zone, slowing the play down. They'll wait for teammates to catch up or finish getting on after a line change. They'll pass the puck 17 times around the zone looking for that highlight-reel goal, forgetting that anything can happen when you put the puck on net. They've sent three players behind the goal line for puck battles, resulting in no one out front to pass it to when they get it.
There can be too much hesitation when a player does decide to take a shot, giving the defense enough time to prepare and block or deflect shots. I've also never been a big fan of the dump-and-chase scenario, even though I know how it works and the benefits. That's another story.
Just my opinion from The Stands
All this being said, I'm not a hockey coach. Maybe there are things I'm missing about how effective these above strategies can be for a team trying to score a goal. Or maybe the Wild could try more plays driving the net and firing off more quality shots. Take a page out of Patrick Kane's book, for crying out loud. He gets the puck and before you blink, it's in the net.
To sum up the Wild's season is a tough task. It was filled with the mumps, the usual illnesses and injuries, heartbreak for Parise and Suter as they mourned their father's deaths, a terrible losing streak, and an amazing comeback that fell disappointingly short at the end.
Still, it was fun to watch and follow. I'll be back to watch again next season. Because after all, hockey is just such a blast.