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Noon Number for 9-18-2013: 9

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A look at the Wild's possession numbers.

Yeo wants to possess the puck more, because good things happen when you do.
Yeo wants to possess the puck more, because good things happen when you do.
Hannah Foslien

Yeo is talking a lot about changing. He wants to shed the notion that his team is based around dump-and-chase hockey, and have the Wild play a more possession-type of game. But, as we've seen with Todd Richards and his more "up-tempo" style of game, a system only works if the team has the guys to pull it off. So do they?

The Wild only have 9 guys who can make the roster who finished with a positive Corsi Rel* (min 5 games) last season. Those players are Jonathan Blum, Jonas Brodin, Charlie Coyle, Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise, Jason Pominville, Nate Prosser, Marco Scandella, and Jared Spurgeon.

New additions Matt Cooke (who played tough competition last season) and Keith Ballard did not appear to drive possession, and Nino Niederreiter was not in the NHL last season.

There are reasons to be optimistic. Ryan Suter's season last year was a blip on the radar, he's been a positive possession player every year dating back to 07-08. There are younger players on the Wild (like Mikael Granlund) who should, in theory be players who can drive possession. But on the whole, it's a tad nerve-wracking to see three of your 4 positive possession players on one line. It's a reason I still advocate breaking up the first line for the second's benefit.

A bounce-back for Suter, as well as the growth of younger players should help the Wild become a good possession team, but it's uncertain as to whether that will happen.

*Corsi, which can be explained better here, is a measurement of how good a player is at possessing the puck, judged by how many shots his/her team takes and allows when s/he is allowed on the ice. Corsi Rel adjusts raw shot numbers by taking into account things like what kind of competition you're playing against the quality of your team.

Also, all data retrieved from somekindofninja.com