Mike Doyle's Five Takeaways at Dallas
Saturday, 02.25.2012 / 12:24 AM / Features
By Mike Doyle - Managing Editor
Major news out of Wild camp today as Minnesota traded disgruntled defenseman Marek Zidlicky to the New Jersey Devils right before the puck dropped against the Florida Panthers. In return, Minnesota picks up defenseman Kurtis Foster, winger Stephane Veilleux, winger Nick Palmieri, a second round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, and a conditional third round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. You can read more on the trade here.
Wild fans are familiar with Veilleux and Foster. Veilleux ranks eight all-time in games played for Minnesota with 361 during six seasons. The Wild selected Veilleux in the third round of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. Foster spent four seasons with the Wild from 2005 to 2009. Listen to an interview with Foster, here.
At 6’3”, Palmieri brings size and, at only 22, he brings potential. Sometimes a change of scenery is the one thing a player needs to jumpstart a career, and Minnesota hopes this is the case with the big winger.
Obviously after his comments to the media, Zidlicky didn’t want to play in Minnesota. Personally, I would’ve traded him for a second rounder, but I guess that’s why I’m not an NHL general manager.
In return for a guy who didn’t want to be here anyway, Chuck Fletcher got a younger defenseman, a forward to provide some depth, a young player with upside, a second-round pick (the third rounder is conditional on how the Devils do in the playoffs), and cap room. I’d say Fletcher made chicken salad in the trade, and he talks about the trade, here.
Tonight, the Wild’s struggles in Dallas continued. The team has gone 16 games without a win, but tonight’s game was not indicative of the scoreboard. Both teams were playing the second of back-to-back games, and, tonight, the advantage clearly went to the home team.
The Stars by no means outplayed Minnesota, but things just seemed to go the home team’s way. The Wild outshot the Stars, 29-25, but were unable to capitalize on its chances. Devin Setoguchi finally broke the shutout in the third period on a 5-on-3 power play.
This was just one of those games where getting the last change and playing at home made just enough of a difference. You move that game to Xcel Energy Center and I have to believe the Wild gets the bounces and the outcome is different.
Steve Ott is a real piece of work. He is completely silent and a non-factor all game until the third period. Big Matt Kassian had a few words with him in the first period and it seemed like Ott didn’t want anything to do with this game.
Then, in the third period Ott finally makes his presence felt as he goes after the tower on the ice, Jared Spurgeon. Ott is in front of the net and Spurgeon does his job by clearing out the trash; Ott then pats Spurgeon on the head. Seriously? Ott is lucky that Spurgeon is a decent human being and didn’t crosscheck him in the teeth. Cal Clutterbuck saw what transpired and hog-collared Ott down to the ice.
I understand that an agitator’s job is to, well, agitate. But, don’t go into a shell when a tough guy steps up and try to flex your muscles one of the smaller defensemen in the league.
Matt Hackett continues to impress every time he gets in the net. Tonight, he saved all 10 shots he faced in relief of Niklas Backstrom. We’ve all heard stories about how goaltenders are a little “out there” and anyone who voluntarily gets in the way of 100 mph slap shots has to be a little different. Despite what may or may not be going on underneath his mask, one thing that is easily noticeable from the 21-year-old is his cool demeanor. He is very Backstom-like, in that, he doesn’t look like he gets rattled. He is concise in his movement and doesn’t ever look out of control.