Now, normally I wouldn't get into such petty arguments, but The Province's Kurtenblog interviewed both John Shipley and Michael Russo on various Wild topics including the question referenced in the title. It's actually a pretty good interview, but one question and answer from Mr. Russo really stands out to me.
KB: Conversely, Mikko Koivu is having a banner campaign and is on page for a career-high 80 points. What is he doing differently this year than past seasons?
MR: Mattias Ohlund hasn't broken his leg.
Yeah, I'd say that sums up both Koivu's year and why we still hate the Vancouver Canucks.
And to continue our Cal Clutterbuck love
KB: How big a surprise has the play of Cal Clutterbuck been this season? His campaign has been much more impressive than that of fellow (and, more highly touted) rookie Colton Gilles.
JS: Huge. No one expected this, including Lemaire and Risebrough. But he's not untalented. He has a great wrist shot that is becoming more productive by the week, and he hits with vengeance -- a rare trait for a Minnesota player. One wonders when he'll dislocate a shoulder...
Gillies is still a kid, and the leap has frankly been unrealistic. This is strictly a product of the major junior rule. He was stuck in purgatory -- unable to learn any more in junior, not quite good enough to be a NHLer. But Gillies is a real student of the game and a conscientious worker. He's learning valuable lessons.
MR: No doubt Clutterbuck’s been the revelation of this season, but I do think Gillies will be OK. No doubt he wasn’t ready for the big show yet and it’s been an eye-opener, but the Wild’s always convinced their prized prospects are better off under Jacques Lemaire’s tutelage than that of their junior coaches.
As for Clutterbuck, the Wild’s never had a player like this before. He just brings it every shift and absolutely leaves opponents vibrating in his wake. He leads the league in hits for a reason, and most impressively, he’s done it cleanly. He also proved playing alongside John Tavares in Oshawa that he can put up points, and he’s starting to do that lately.
I agree on Gillies, by the way. I think he'll be fine. After all, he's still a kid, and would normally be in juniors still.
Take a read, and bring me your comments!