Thursday, August 24, 2006
Yeah surrrre as Jim Bouton would say.
Jack Lemaire. Great player. Great coach. Bob Newhart lookalike. Also the man who killed fun in hockey.
THN has two new playoff teams and the Wild are one of them, projected to make the jump from 11th to 7th. At 84 points last season they were within a dozen points of the postseason, not an insurmountable leap.
Definitely a team that everyone is expecting bigger things from this season.
I think the Wild may be a different team this season. They have added Pavol Demitra, Mark Parrish and Kim Johnsson so the offence should have more juice (how could it not) and Gaborik and Rolston (man he is a player - another Bruins' mistake) finally have some help.
Joining Johnsson on D are Keith Carney and the Finnish version of Jan Hejda, some guy named Nummelin who played with Columbus 5 years ago for a season and is now coming back for another goround at age 33.
Riddle me this though and maybe I'm a dummy.
How does a team that has lost five defencemen from last season's team - Willie Mitchell, Kuba, Tjarnqvist, Zyuzin and Alex Henry (I know I know) suddenly become a better team, indeed a playoff team.
Mitchell and Kuba - two pretty good dmen. Tjarnqvist ate up a lot of minutes. Etc etc.
So the Wild lose all of these guys and replace them with Johnsson (good), Carney (maybe) and some guy who may be completely useless (like Jan Hejda, granted) and are supposed to leapfrog four other teams.
The Wild were fourth best in GA in the West but only 11th in GF - only Calgary and the three weak sisters were worst.
So if they jump in GF but drop in GA how does this make them better?
Or is Jack just that good a coach?
Posted by Black Dog at 12:43 PM