Originally posted on State of Hockey News  |  Last updated 1/25/13
Minnesota Wild (2-1-0)  4pts  (1st Northwest) 2.00 Goals For per Game (23rd in the NHL) 1.67 Goals Against per Game (5th in the NHL) 15.4% Power Play (22nd in the NHL) 90% Penalty Kill (5th in the NHL) Top 5 Scorers: 1. #15 Dany Heatley ~ 3G 1A = 4pts 2. #11 Zach Parise ~ 1G 3A = 4pts 3. #96 Pierre-Marc Bouchard ~ 1G 1A = 2pts 4. #9 Mikko Koivu ~ 0G 2A = 2pts 5. #64 Mikael Granlund ~ 1G 0A = 1pt Top 3 PIM's: 1. #28 Zenon Konopka ~ 12 PIM's 2. #9 Mikko Koivu ~ 4 PIM's 3. #22 Cal Clutterbuck ~ 4 PIM's Top Goaltender(s): 1. #37 Josh Harding (1-0-0)  0.00GAA  1.00%SP 1 SO 2. #32 Niklas Backstrom (1-1-0)  2.52GAA  .906%SP     Vs.     Detroit Red Wings (1-2-0)  2pts  (5th Central) 1.33 Goals For per Game (28th in the NHL) 3.67 Goals Against per Game (26th in the NHL) 0.0% Power Play (29th in the NHL) 57.1% Penalty Kill (29th in the NHL) Top 5 Scorers: 1. #13 Pavel Datsyuk ~ 1G 2A = 3pts 2. #55 Niklas Kronwall ~ 0G 2A = 2pts 3. #40 Henrik Zetterberg ~ 0G 2A = 2pts 4. #18 Ian White ~ 1G 0A = 1pt 5. #24 Damien Brunner ~ 1G 0A = 1pt Top 3 PIM's: 1. #22 Jordin Tootoo ~ 15 PIM's 2. #93 Johan Franzen ~ 14 PIM's 3. #11 Daniel Cleary ~ 8 PIM's Top Goaltender(s): 1. #35 Jimmy Howard (1-2-0)  3.64GAA  .892%SP 2. #50 Jonas Gustavsson (0-0-0)  3.16GAA  .875%SP Click on "Continue Reading" to see the rest of this article...   So, I'm afraid I need to start with some criticism of the supposedly new and improved Minnesota Wild.  The crazy part is that the criticism that will be put forth today is nothing new.  They are problems that have long been an issue for as long as this team has been in existence.  For those of you who are new to the Wild train, you may not be aware of these problems in regards to the Wild.  If you are new, I'm just hoping that you've at least noticed these issues.  For those of you who have been here since the beginning, you know it's nothing new and that it's even more annoying with the obvious improvement in talent.  Now it's not all doom and gloom, and I promise to end on a positive note. One again, the Minnesota Wild are plagued with...wait for it...lack of scoring.  I know, nothing new.  Thankfully, at this time, I can forgive the top line of Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu,  and Dany Heatley.  Three games in, and they have already tallied ten points.  In particular, we have pretty much seen the talent that has been Dany Heatley.  I can say without a doubt that Wild fans, Wild coaches, Wild teammates and Heatley himself are hoping that he keeps up with his new-found sense of urgency.  The problem with lack of scoring needs to be more directed at the second and third lines.  At this time, the second line has two points and the third line has 4 points.  Teams that win, teams that make playoffs, teams that go far in the playoffs, are teams that get decent points from their lines that are not the top line.  Really good teams have solid, powerful first and second lines.  Right now, it feels like it's all first line or bust at this point.  Like I told you, this is not really a shock for longtime Minnesota Wild fans. The other major issue really goes hand in hand with the lack of scoring.  As the old saying goes, you can't score if you don't shoot.  Well that is once again is coming true for the Wild.  If you needed a shocking stat for the day, it's this.  The only player on the team that is not on the first line who has at least ten shots on goal, is Cal Clutterbuck.  Now considering how he's played in the first three games, I'm not surprised it's him of all players, as he looks like he really wants to play and win.  But if you want to make that point even more scary, he only has three fewer shots on goal than the entire second line put together.  As for that second line, Mikael Granlund has three shots, Devin Setoguchi has 3 shots as well, and Matt Cullen has seven shots.  So yes, if you wanted to know why the second line has only two points, look no further than the shots on goal.  The second line clearly needs to step up and be a true second line. So as I promised, I'm going to end this on an upbeat note.  We're already seeing the first call up of the season, due to an injury to defenseman Jared Spurgeon.  Playing tonight in Detroit, will be none other than 2010 first round pick, Jonas Brodin.  There have been those saying that we desperately need help on the blue line, and they just may be getting their wish.  Wednesday night, I had the opportunity to personally witness Brodin's play with the Houston Aeros when they were playing in Milwaukee.  Brodin looked like a first round pick.  Having had this time in the American Hockey League to get used to the North American game has definitely prepared him for his NHL debut just four games in this abbreviated season.  Heck, considering he's been playing since September this season, he's probably in better shape than all of the Wild's defensemen put together.  I know I'm excited to see how he handles the NHL game, as it's also a well known fact that success in the AHL does not always equate success in the NHL.  Personally, I think he'll do just fine, and that the front office will have a hard time sending him back to Houston.  I'd also like to point out the fact that he won't be particularly tired from the travel from the call up.  After their game in Milwaukee, the Aeros were heading straight to Grand Rapids, Michigan where the Aeros are playing tonight.  Not exactly a long trip from Grand Rapids to Detroit. Oh, I have one additional positive note.  For the first time in the Wild history the Wild should truly be able to take advantage of a Detroit team that seems to have seen better days.  However, I'm also cautious as it's when you underestimate a team, it's when you fall the hardest.  Clearly Detroit will want to take these two points, especially in this shortened season, each and every point is more critical than in seasons past.  Look to see Detroit come out energized tonight.  Hopefully, Minnesota can come out more energized than their opponent.  
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