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10 Questions Facing the Wild - #9

Is the Wild gritty enough?

Missing Fedoruk , Parrish and Voros would normally be seen as a blow to their tenacity and toughness. It doesn't have anything to do with fighting, but toughness, grit, tenacity in this sense is rather the hard-hitting, finish the check type of player who is an irritant in front of the net, can get in the pocket of a scoring line if necessary and create traffic in the low slot.

Andrew Brunette was brought back to be the guy to do what Mark Parrish couldn't, get in front of the net and stay there until he scores, draws a penalty or creates enough problem for someone else to score.

Stephane Veilleux has proven that he can be the gritty checking forward who comes on and immediately energizes the game. He hits hard, plays dogged defense, goes into the corners and, of late, has found a nice touch with the puck.

Owen Nolan is the kind of guy to not only dish the puck and pick his spots with the shot, but as he's gotten older, has become more of the grinder necessary as a role player on this kind of team.

Craig Weller will also get in there and mix it up. I see him as more of an Aaron Voros-type. He'll come out and hit everything that moves. Unfortunately, I forsee a lot of slashing and elbowing penalties comin his way.

Colton Gillies has decent size, it will only depend upon what he's asked to do, though I assume he'll get in there and play a power forward role.

Then you get to the blue-liners. Nice size, should be able to contain the onrushing attackers and stand forwards up at the blue line. Russo points out however that, the problem will be in breaking a forecheck.