Not only did Jones hit Falk high, he also talked smack about puppies.
Remember last week when things looked bleak? Well, the Wild responded, yet again, and pulled their stock back off the slide. Now, the stocks have to go up as the Wild are the top team in the league. The top spot. Insanity.
Still, some players are lagging behind the curve a bit, while others compensate for those that continue to struggle. Such is the way with a team playing a team game. The coach, and yes, the captain, are getting the most out of a team suffering from a plethora of injuries. Yes, we've seen the questioning of the captaincy. Yes, it is far too early and the wrong time to be doing so.
They are in the top spot in the entire league. As in... first place. At some point, credit has to given where it is due, right?
Strong Buy - Feel free to invest heavily with your fan dollars. This player will deliver every time.
Buy - Getting results, safe bet to invest your fandom in. Will disappoint rarely.
Hold - The results aren't there, but it isn't time to give up yet. Buying or selling equally acceptable.
Sell - Time to seriously consider your investment decision. Results consistently not there, and the trend is they will not be there.
Strong Sell - The lowest of rankings. Time to get out, and get out now, before your investment is totally worthless.
Note: The analysis will change from week to week, and are not equal from player to player. It's just our thing.
Mikko Koivu (KAPT) - The questions continue to swirl. Fans calling for the C to be ripped off of his chest and handed over to a different vet, or bring back the rotating C. The stats are not what makes a leader. If he didn't score a goal all year, and the Wild won the Cup, would you still want his head? After last night's game, I think the questions are answered. Rating: Buy
Dany Heatley (HETR) - Flat out, Heatley needs to shoot more. That's why he is here, right? While the focus is on Koivu, some are more than happy to rip Heatley. As with Koivu, the defensive side of the puck has been excellent (yes, really). His offense needs to find itself, but the goals he has scored have been huge. He is leading the team in scoring. Tough to hold at this point. Rating: Buy
Devin Setoguchi (GUCH) - Just when you think it is time to bail on the guy, he does what everyone wants him to do. No one scores 80 goals a year, so we feel it is time to relax a bit. There haven't been any situations where he costs the team, and he has come up big in some much needed situations. It's been a bit of an up and down. Buy if you like, we're going to hold. Rating: Hold
Niklas Backstrom (BAX) - Backstrom and Harding have turned into the best tandem in the league, and that is great for the team. For the players, it keeps them sharp and keeps them on their toes. At any point, they know they might go five games without a start, so they better be ready at any time. Bax's numbers are tremendous. Rating: Buy
Marek Zidlicky (ZHID) - Out with a concussion. We'll put him at a hold until he is back on the ice. Rating: Hold
Matt Cullen (TWI) - Team leader in goals, pivot on one of the best lines on the team, and survived the Eric Johnson attempt on his life. I would say that earns a buy. Rating: Buy
Guillaume Latendresse (BTE) - Still out with a concussion. Gotta stick at hold. Rating: Hold
Pierre-Marc Bouchard (BALD) - Still pretty slow on the scoring side of things, but his presence seems to create space for Cullen, so that has to be worth something. The analysts sure would like to see some scoring here. Assists are his specialty, so it has to come soon. Right? Rating: Hold
Nick Schultz (MO) - Two of his best games in recent memory bump him up. The fact that he has triple the games played than the entire rest of the blue line combined puts him way up. Rating: Strong Buy
Greg Zanon (BLK) - No timetable given on a return. No injury updates given. He's just... gone. Rating: Hold
Kyle Brodziak (GLUE) - Any chance this guy could get a contract done? That'd be great. Rating: Strong Buy
Cal Clutterbuck (HIT) - A target right now by nearly every team, Clutterbuck needs to find another gear. The new rules seem to have him off his game, but it'll come around. Sure would like to see that wicked shot more often. Rating: Hold.
Darroll Powe (POW) - This guys is sick good at what he does. Plays a good, physical game with strong results. It is no coincidence that the team defense is better with him on the roster. Rating:Buy
Josh Harding (BKUP) - As stated above, this looks to be a tandem. Looking a little more human, but his play is still above many of the starters in this league. You have to have faith he still knows what he is doing. Rating: Buy
Marco Scandella (PZZA) - The third of the concussed Wild players, he is at least working out. That's a good sign, just so long as it stays positive. Rating: Hold.
Colton Gillies (MBDY) - Still one of the best defensive players on the team. Holding down a third line spot, and getting a ton of credit while doing so. The Third line continues to be the best on the team, and Gillies is a big part of that. Rating: Strong Buy
Clayton Stoner (STDY) - He is back, and playing with an injured finger. Still, he is part of a d-corps that is holding its own, so it's hard to knock the guy. One of the old timers on the line at this point. Rating: Buy
Jared Spurgeon (TINY) - His positioning seems to be back, but the offense has completely disappeared. If he could add some points, he could be a strong buy in no time. Rating: Hold
Justin Falk (FLKR) - Much better this week. Gotta give the guy credit as he continues to prove he belongs in the NHL. Big plays, and playing big. Rating: Buy
Nick Johnson (BWCE) - Beneficiary of the rare ticker symbol change, Nick Johnson has proven to be in the running for the best waiver claim ever. The guy is everywhere. Buy now. Rating: Strong Buy
Nate Prosser (STIF) - Still around, thanks to injuries, and proving he belongs. Great first pass out of the zone, something the Wild desperately need. Will be very tough for the Wild to send him down once everyone is healthy. Rating: Buy
Brad Staubitz (BTZY) - Begrudgingly, the analysts say Staubitz is better this week. He has been exceleent on the forecheck and providing a physcial presence he was intended to be. If he keeps this up, he may actually crawl out of this hole he has dug. Rating: Sell
Wild Power Play (SUCC) - We're running out of sponsors at this point. It's just bad. It has come up aces in a couple games, but still too much passing. Needs to be more aggressive. Rating: Sell
Kris Fredheim (PUPY) -Inked to an NHL deal and called up over the likes of Tyler Cuma and Chay Genoway, Fredheim played well in both of his games. No gaffs, quiet, invisible. Exactly as needed and exactly as promised. Rating: Buy
Matt Kassian (SHIN) - Sent back to Houston, Kassian will actually get to play now. We're still not sure why he was still here, to be honest. Go back, beat some people, Kass. You're welcome back anytime you can actually come to play. Rating: Hold
Brett Bulmer (JR) - Sent back to play against children, we're not sure what Chuck Fletcher was thinking here, but it is what it is. We're keeping the kid as a strong buy. Can't wait to see him back. Rating: Strong Buy