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Hockey Wilderness
  • Now And Then Through Ten


    Anyhoo, we're 10 games into the NHL season right now and the Wild have been, let's say.... average. Many predicted that the roster-shaking changes of the offseason were going to make the Wild a better, more exciting team than they were last year, especially with the goal-scoring powers of Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi. Looking back to the same point last season, are they actually better? Let's find out.

    Join me after the jump.


    Part 1: Storylines 


    Part 2: Stats

    First things first, the records. The Wild are currently 4-3-3, which is 1 game over .500, despite losing more games than they won. 1 over .500 is fine ten games in, but horrible through 82, so they'll need to string some wins together. Through ten games last season however, the Wild were 4-4-2. So much for the ''improved roster''. Of course, they had a better start then the previous year, but that's just details at this point, because 10 games is not 82.  Last season, through 10 games, the Wild had scored 26 goals. This year? 19. Last season, the Wild had allowed 25 goals through 10 games. This season? 22. Dany Heatley is leading the team with 7 points, Matt Cullen is leading with 4 goals. Last season, there was a 4-way tie in goals with 3 by Mikko Koivu, Matt Cullen, Guillaume Latendresse and Brent Burns after 10 games. The leader in points was Koivu with 11. 


    Part 3: Various observations


    Part 4: Fun facts 

    The Wild are 24th in giveaways with 65. Not too shabby, although this may be due to never actually having the puck to give it away.

    The Wild are 1-3-0 when outshooting the opponent, 2-0-3 when being outshot. That's right, they haven't lost in regulation when being outshot yet. Despite a 41-14 shot massacre. Last season, the Wild were 3-7-3 when outshooting (that's right, 13 times), 36-28-5 when being outshot. 

    The Wild had 2148 shots for, 2625 shots against last season. They currently have 248 shots for, 292 against. This puts them on pace for about 2033 shots for, 2394 shots against.

    The Wild had 13 PP goals for, 8 PP goals against last year through 10 games. This season? 5 PP goals for, 8 PP goals against. They should not have allowed more than they scored.


    In the end, there's one common theme going around when looking at this year and last year's edition of the Wild: They're underachieving. There's no reason the Wild should be having this much trouble scoring with the current lineup. None. At all. At least, Yeo knows exactly what's wrong and is doing what he can to fix it in practice and in-game. He said it will take 30 games for the system to fully kick in. While it may be hard for this hungry Wild fanbase to wait 30 games for their team to look good, it's refreshing to hear some honesty, as opposed to Richards' famous ''I don't have the answers'' excuse. 

    So are they better? 10 games is still very early, and they're technically one point better, but they still have issues. A lot of the same issues, but a lot of different ones. No one imagined the Wild would score less, but it's the only real problem. Scoring is low, but defense and goaltending are doing very good and while it may be hard to see positives when the team isn't scoring, I'm liking what I see from the energy lines, which I find to have improved from last year. 

    ''It's not time to panic yet'' has become a theme around here, but it's only a matter of time before ''It's still early'' becomes ''it's too late''. 30 games, Yeo. We trust you. 

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