Cody Wild (37) and Dean Arsene (29) watch as goaltender Devan Dubnyk makes a toe save against the Albany River Rats in an American Hockey League game on October 30, 2009. By Jennifer Bock.
In what can only be described as a direct response to this entry on Cody Wild, Guy Flaming and Dean Millard of The Pipeline Show asked Springfield Falcons coach Rob Daum about the comparison between Taylor Chorney and Cody Wild. In this case, the question was posed that they were so similar statistically, not that Cody Wild had an edge, as has been the case. I'm glad that the guys at TPS asked the question and I'm not surprised that Daum was so honest and forthcoming in his answer and his take on Wild.
Daum did a little bit of hand-waving on the statistical comparison and moved onto's game:
I think the thing with Cody is that, and when you compare him to Taylor, Taylor is a much better skater than Cody is. I think they have the same defensive deficiencies from a positional standpoint and the ability to defend. I think Taylor has made strides in those areas that Cody hasn't quite been able to master at this point.
Like every young defender, Wild needs to improve positionally.
And consistency in his play. Cody has the ability to make a brilliant play and then in the next shift defines [sic] any type of hockey logic. That inconsistency is really a detriment to Cody's game right now. The other thing I would say is that he has to play with a little more of an edge to his game.
The comparison is odd. I don't think it's possible to play with less of an edge than Taylor Chorney, but the coach seems to say that there is separation between the two in that area. The coach says he has to be consistent and play with an edge. He's a good coach, so we can take him at his word. Wild needs to improve in these areas. My learned colleague Jonathan Willis points out that Daum only coached twenty-nine games last season, and in those twenty-nine games, Chorney's numbers showed improvement while Wild's numbers slipped. The coach himself may be limited by sample size.
So Wild needs to improve his skating, improve his positioning, play consistently and play with an edge. So how does he explain Chorney's half-again worse performance against the same competition compared to Wild?
Was last season bad luck for Chorney and good luck for Wild? And in the small sample that we've seen this year -- that same bad luck is at work?
Thanks to Jennifer Bock for the photo of the Falcons in action.