Creation No. 0018
Mike Yeo is super-hydrated. He must routinely crush like 17 bottles of water over the course of a game. He could easily flood the entire rink with what’s in his bladder at any given moment. He should really embrace this and start wearing one of those CamelBak hydration devices on the bench. It could become his signature. Mike Yeo is never thirsty. Mike Yeo never pees yellow—ever.
Mike Yeo is NEVER thirsty
On the flip side, Charlie Coyle always seems parched. Watch a game—he’s constantly spitting like a high-school wrestler trying to make weight. He seems like he has chronic cotton mouth.
See 1 and 2 above.
No one will question that the big Finn plays hard each and every night. Dude is an animal, and he’s having a career resurgence this year. But watch Mikko’s interactions with the refs. He always looks so grumpy, so pissed off, that the refs never want to do him any favors. You’ll never see Mikko putting his arm around stripes, saying, “Jimmy, what did you see there?” Nope. It’s a steady stream of Finnish sauna steam coming out of his ears, and it could be a limiter because the refs aren’t looking to do him (and so us) any favors.
Mikko making friends.
The advanced stat guys haven’t gotten into this one, but it seems the Wild don’t have enough guys you’d want to drink a beer with. We seem to have more “smoothie guys” than we do hot-stove drinking buddies. OK, we have Dubnyk. And let’s face it, no one seems better on this roster as a drinking buddy than Dubnyk. Just imagine him surprising you as he brings another beer to you on the couch before you ask him for it. It’s like he read your mind, as you approvingly say, “DUUUUBS” before cracking it open. I think it’s because he’s so big (6’6”), but somehow Dubnyk is the only player on the Wild roster that has that “hanging out on a pontoon with Jim Thome” vibe to him. And I’m not sure that’s a good thing for this team.
As silly as it is, maybe this beer-buddy index is real. You think about the playoffs and the grind that it is, and it makes you wonder if the Wild have enough danger to their game. If a team is too predictable carrying their smoothies back from lunch, can they sucker-punch you in a game 7? Adding Dumba’s cannon to the first power play might help here, as would snagging a disgruntled Jonathan Drouin from Yzerman in Tampa Bay.
Release the Dumba!
Dude comes in to take face-offs in the defensive zone, specifically on one side of the ice. In my line of work, that would be like if I were the guy who always came in to write Powerpoint slide number 7 when we were making a presentation. Not slide 6 or 8; I just come in and hammer out slide 7 and exit the backdoor. He’s taken being a hockey specialist to another level. And he’s in a relationship with Erin Andrews. You know what, let’s have a beer with him, too!
Jarret Stoll has figured something out.
Can you imagine being the only sandpaper guy on an entire NHL roster? Poor Carter is like the husband to a wife who’s always mouthing off to big boyfriends at the bar. His daily reality is “Here we go again,” as he has to stand up for an entire team. It’s amazing he’s survived the season. On a related note, someone should check Matt Dumba’s WHL highlights on YouTube. Dude used to be a straight-up open-ice assassin in the Scott Stevens mode. Maybe we should help a brother out and give Carter a partner in crime, giving #55 the green light to play on the edge again.
I believe if you look up in the rafters at Xcel Energy Center, you’ll see a #1 jersey retired for THE FANS. You’ll see it because it’s the only one. Really? How did this happen? That’s like having a participation medal hanging from the rafters. Can we please have this removed so we can focus on winning the Stanley Cup instead of making everyone feel great for just coming to the rink every night? This isn’t Disney.
This never happened
The February 21 Stadium Series outdoor game between the Wild and Blackhawks is shaping up to be a table-setter. With the Wild once again experiencing yet another mid-season swoon, beating the champs outside could be just the punctuation mark we need as we look to save the season. Because, let’s face it, the 2015-16 edition of the Minnesota Wild is a tantalizing bunch. They’re completely impossible to figure out. They seem just as likely to miss the playoffs as they are to win the Stanley Cup.