Nov 11, 2013, 3:52 PM EDT
Before we get to the crux of the post, let’s go back in time a bit.
Zidlicky, an offensive type, had been a healthy scratch for three straight games under Mike Yeo, and the veteran blue-liner wasn’t happy about it.
“I can’t change my style,” said Zidlicky. “That’s what I know. That’s for sure. He wants to play easy hockey. I tried everything what he wants, but apparently it doesn’t work.”
Zidlicky was soon traded to New Jersey, where his “involved” play helped the Devils make it all the way to Stanley Cup Final.
“We would all love a game where you can skate it in, curl up and make a play every time,” he said. “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.”
We didn’t speculate why that may be (the post was mostly about the Leafs and their ongoing puck-possession challenges), but per the CBC’s Elliotte Friedman, it turns out Yeo has come around to Zidlicky’s way of thinking.
“We weren’t going to take the next step, become a serious contender, unless we changed the way we played offensively,” Yeo said Sunday. “I have bit my lip a couple of times on the bench … but we’re going to live with the risk to get more reward.”
It may seem obvious that successfully carrying the puck into the attacking zone is preferable to dumping and chasing. Mike Babcock, for one, has been stressing the importance of possessing the puck for years; fortunately for the Red Wings, they’ve had the players to carry out his wishes.
Other coaches, however, have less tolerance for things like turnovers at the blue line, which is the major risk a team takes when it tries to carry the puck in.
Yeo, clearly, is trying to become more tolerant. And based on the Wild’s 10-4-4 record, that tolerance is paying off.
Not that the Wild are some sort of offensive juggernaut now — Minnesota ranks 18th in goals per game (2.61) — but that’s a slight improvement on last season (2.46) and a major improvement on 2011-12 when the team finished dead last in the NHL, averaging just 2.02 goals per game.
Oct 24, 2014, 11:12 PM EDT
Somehow the latter fight didn’t leave a crater in the ice.
Oct 24, 2014, 10:44 PM EDT
The Dallas Stars get the extra point.
Oct 24, 2014, 10:29 PM EDT
Injuries continue to … strike Tampa Bay.
Oct 24, 2014, 10:13 PM EDT
Update: Vladislav Namestnikov was credited with the last goal.
Oct 24, 2014, 9:59 PM EDT
On the bright side, Michael Grabner may resume skating soon.
Oct 24, 2014, 9:19 PM EDT
Unfortunately, Tampa Bay might face another injury in J.T. Brown.
Oct 24, 2014, 8:13 PM EDT
They send their 2014 first-rounder to the OHL.
Oct 24, 2014, 7:45 PM EDT
San Jose’s enjoyed such center depth before.
Oct 24, 2014, 6:32 PM EDT
Tough times lately for St. Louis.
Oct 24, 2014, 5:47 PM EDT
Highly-touted rearguard on his way to the bigs.
Oct 24, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT
Hey, maybe the NHL should try 3-on-3 overtime.
Oct 24, 2014, 4:34 PM EDT
Speaking from experience.
Oct 24, 2014, 3:55 PM EDT
Returns to the Cardiff team he played for during the lockout.
Oct 24, 2014, 3:32 PM EDT
All the news and notes from the blue paint…
Oct 24, 2014, 2:37 PM EDT
“Anytime you go personal with family…to me, that’s very disrespectful to the player and our profession.”
Oct 24, 2014, 2:22 PM EDT
“Everybody understands the system, everybody knows what we expect.”
Oct 24, 2014, 2:08 PM EDT
“We’ve got to do our research here and come up with the best solution we can.”
Oct 24, 2014, 1:18 PM EDT
They’re back at it in Edmonton tonight.
Report: Billionaire wants NHL team in Vegas; new Coyotes owner ‘sees flipping the team as a good investment’
Oct 24, 2014, 1:01 PM EDT
Denials from NHL and Coyotes.
Oct 24, 2014, 12:33 PM EDT
“I’m going to focus on the good and try to clean up the bad parts. That’s my job.”
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