Jump to content
Hockey Wilderness
  • Love Will Keep the Wild Together

    Image courtesy of Christopher Hanewinc-USA TODAY Sports
    Mikki Tuohy


    The Minnesota Wild have been hard to watch at the beginning of this season. There have been at least two games that were so horrible that they were difficult to watch to the end. But fans love the Wild because the Wild love each other. And even in the worst games, unlikely goal scorers have come through, and no one is happier than their teammates. 

    Connor Dewar is a fourth-line grinder and a powerful piece of the penalty kill. Last season, he became known for his short-handed goals. But this season, he might be known for the unlikely hat trick he scored against the Nashville Predators on Thursday night. If someone were to make a bet on the next player from the Wild to score a hat trick, Dewar wouldn’t be on the top half of that list.

    That’s what makes his hat trick even better. 

    No one celebrated those goals like the other Wild players on the ice. Not only did they congratulate him on the ice after every goal, but they got to congratulate him after the refs took a second look at his third goal. After they called it a good goal, Dewar's teammates mobbed him. He took so many aggressive head pats that it’s a wonder he didn’t get a headache that night.


    Freddy Gaudreau scores plenty of goals. But with his injury at the beginning of the season, Gaudreau was having a hard time getting anything to go into the back of the net. So when he finally scored against the St. Louis Blues, linemate Pat Maroon hugged him a little tighter than usual. Maroon is fun to watch because he always has the biggest smile after a good play, especially after a goal.

    Jake Middleton was previously deemed a stay-at-home defenseman, but the longer he’s been with the Wild, the more he’s explored his offensive side. Middleton already has four goals this season, which is a career-high for him. And the goal he scored against the Predators was a highlight reel style goal that was even up for Play of the Night by the NHL.


    This team is a group of guys who are all buddies and genuinely enjoy each other’s company. They piled almost the whole team into Jared Spurgeon’s house for the holiday meal this Thanksgiving. Last year, they all went on vacation together. Despite their struggles at the beginning of the season, their chemistry off of the ice was bound to make its way onto the ice at some point. 

    The trick to all of this will be to make sure these unlikely goal-scorers maintain their production even after Matt Boldy and Kirill Kaprizov find their groove and start putting more points on the board.

    Is a good locker room the end-all and be-all? Of course not. But if a team is at least semi-functional on the ice, a good locker room can help nudge them even more toward success. The players need to care for each other. Otherwise, they’re simply co-workers.

    A hockey team needs to feel more like brothers. No one wants to go to battle alongside Earl from accounting, but they’ll run into danger to help a family member. They’ll go that extra mile for each other. Unlikely players will drop the gloves to defend their teammates. The communication will be better. A dysfunctional team is noticeable. 

    Professional hockey players are lucky that they get to play their favorite sport for a living. But after his hat trick, Dewar took it one step further in an interview. He said he’s “lucky to play with [his] best friends every day.”


    The Wild have hopefully turned a corner after the terrible start to the season. They only got through that horrible stretch by depending on each other and knowing that they all needed to pitch in and make things better. Minnesota fans love the Wild players because the Wild players love each other.


    Think you could write a story like this? Hockey Wilderness wants you to develop your voice, find an audience, and we'll pay you to do it. Just fill out this form.

    • Like 2
    • Thanks 1

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Featured Comments

    It was nice to see the exuberant celebrations for guys that have not found the score sheet. That tells us fans, their teammates know how stressful this season has been. 

    im hopeful that our keys players who’ve had injuries finally get going. You don’t expect them to play to form immediately. The last 3 games have been fun to watch as a fan and have been encouraging. I’d still like to see better finish rate. That’s going to continue to hurt them against good teams. 

    I agree this is another puff piece, but when you’re winning, I’m happy to read. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    From listening to former NHL players including some in Wild management team chemistry is an important key to winning. As the Wild continue to add young skill and talent I hope they can keep the positive momentum from good relationships too. 

    • Like 1
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    On 12/3/2023 at 7:40 PM, MacGyver said:

    I think I just read my first puff piece.  Cue Timothy B. Schmidt and Love Will Keep Us Alive. 

    You prefer a snuff piece? Enjoy the wins. Find your joy.

    • Like 1
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...