Welcome back Wilderness. Today starts week 2 of season grades, where everyone will get to sound off on the blue line and the goalies. Today's grades are one editor short because JS got caught doing some moosey stuff and couldn't get his grades in. (What a slacker right?!). So, without any more distractions, bring on the left side defenders!
Bryan- Ryan Suter - Suter for Norris. That is all.
Dan- Norris candidate, 30 minutes a night. What else is there to say? A++
Emilie- Honest to God, anyone who doesn't think Suter deserves an A+ for this season should hand in their fan card. Even though he got off to a rocky start, he was by far the best player on the ice. Instrumental to helping Brodin adjust to the NHL. Worth the whole 98 mil and more. A+
Bryan- This one is a bit more tricky. Stoner had some really rough patches this season. Simple mistakes that led to real consequences for his team, and yet Mike Yeo never wavered in his support for Stoner. While Stoner is likely playing a bit outside of his usefulness being on the second pairing, that does not forgive the level of play he has given this season. He looked slow, behind the play, and far too often could not make the little play that needed to be made to break up a scoring chance. Some basic hockey level things, like... don't pass the puck across ice in your own zone when Marian Hossa is standing right there.
Dan- Some people might not like him but I love him. He's a cheap, reliable option at the #4/#5 slot and gives the team some grit on the blueline. Took him awhile to arrive in Minnesota but when he did, he played like a vet. B
Emilie- The main issue for Stoner is that he was forced to play a top 4 spot this year when he has no business doing so. And frankly, that isn't his fault at all. I know he was someone everyone loved to hate this season, but with the exception on a few boneheaded plays I don't think he was THAT bad. Would love to see him round out the bottom six, where there's no doubt in my mind he would thrive. C-
Bryan- Going to be a rough day for D grades, apparently. Falk is one player who I honestly cannot figure out how he continues to stay in the NHL. A few times, here and there, he figures out that he is bigger than most guys on the ice, throws his weight around, and is a decent enough player. Then, there is the other 99% of the time, when Falk is tripping over himself, making bad plays, struggling to do the absolute minimum, and just all around being bad at what he does. THere really is no reason to heap on here. If I'm the Wild, I'm looking for a way to offload him as soon as I can.
Dan- Some people REALLY don't like him but he doesn't deserve the crap he gets. He may be a big defenseman that doesn't play big but I love the way he sometimes steps up and helps out the offense. Consistency is a bit of an issue but really doesn't deserve to be our whipping boy this year. I can think of two other players that deserve that title more than Falk. B-
Emilie- Honestly, I don't remember much of Falk's season. I was looking up stats on Hockey DB thinking he must not have played very many games, but apparently he actually played in 36 regular season games. No goals, 3 assists, 40 PIM and a -19. C-
Bryan- It seems we have a Dr. Jeckl and Mr. Hyde thing going on with Scandella. Sent to Houston, mostly because he could be, Scandella had a rough season for the Aeros. Imagine Falk, but worse. However, when the Aeros hit the stretch run, the AHL playoffs, and the Wild called him up for the NHL playoffs, Scandella was a revelation. Confident, fast thinking, puck moving... what Scandella should be. If the Wild get the Scandella from the playoffs for next season, the D-corps is vastly better than it was this year.
Dan- Fell out of existence during the entire year but when it came to the most important games of the year during the playoffs, he played like a boss! Immediately came in as our #4, helped out the offense and gave us a bit of grit. That is what we wanted all year! B
Emilie- I have a hard time grading Marco. Yes, Pizza rocked it in the post season, and looked like he did last season when we all fell in love with him. But watching him in Houston and knowing how he played at the beginning of the season makes it impossible to give him a good grade. He needs to learn how to be much more consistent and not just show up to play when he feels like it. C+