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Minnesota Wild Odds - Lemaire’s departure will expose weaknesses

Posted by Don Melrose on 9/24/2009 1:26:09 PM
hockey linesThe Minnesota Wild odds could change significantly for the first time in ages this season, but is that a good thing? After coach Jacques Lemaire left town, the Wild will open up offensively for the first time in franchise history. But do they have enough firepower to fulfill their new identity in hockey betting?





Minnesota Wild Odds: Current roster not suited to more offensive system

  • How can an offense-first system work when the Wild have no scoring depth?
  • Brent Burns needs to bounce back
  • Backstrom great in goal but won’t have as much help this season


Minnesota Wild odds maker breakdown: OFFENSE
Minnesota has been offensively challenged for years and, while new coach Todd Richards should give the forwards more freedom, the Wild don’t have the bodies to be a juggernaut. Mikko Koivu is a No. 1 center with a No. 2 center’s skill set; Pierre-Marc Bouchard is a great playmaker who has already hit his ceiling. James Sheppard is a work in progress. Marian Gaborik’s departure hurts and Martin Havlat can come close to filling that void, but he can’t carry a team.


Minnesota Wild odds maker breakdown: DEFENSE
Minnesota has to hope Brent Burns bounces back from an injury-plagued 2008-09; he has the size and skill to win a Norris Trophy some day and the Wild have very little depth on defense after him. Mark Zidlicky is a good offense defenseman but doesn’t shut down top forwards; Kim Johnsson and Nick Shultz are capable veterans, but nothing more.


Minnesota Wild odds maker breakdown: GOALTENDING
Niklas Backstrom came within a hair of winning the Vezina Trophy last season. He’s a technically sound, poised puckstopper who saves a high percentage of his shots. Two red flags: he sagged after signing a cushy contract extension last season and the Wild’s new offensive system will grant opposing teams better scoring chances.


Minnesota Wild odds maker breakdown: SPECIAL TEAMS
The Wild’s special teams are solid. Under Lemaire, the penalty kill was absolutely stellar. It could take a step back but, then again, Minny’s key penalty killers are still on the roster. Thanks to Koivu and Bouchard’s playmaking ability, the Wild power play topped 20 per cent. There’s no real reason to think much will change this season.


Minnesota Wild odds maker breakdown: SEASON OUTLOOK
Some Wild fans see the online sports betting glass as half full. New coach, new system – new result? I disagree. The Wild lack top-end talent and depth; their prospect cupboard isn’t well-stocked either. Lemaire’s defensive system helped this plucky group overachieve. Now, with the shackles off, the Wild will flop.


Keep reading Don Melrose’s Betting Edge articles for top-notch hockey sports betting analysis. Visit our sportsbook for Minnesota Wild odds.

Don Melrose is betonline.com's hockey expert.

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