The Wild are now 12 games in to the season, that’s about 15% of the season, my analytics are off the charts with that hot stat. As of October 31st they sit in 3rd place in a very tough Central Division, only two points out of first place, and just one point ahead of 5th. One might say, that’s acceptable, others might still think the sky is falling and want this team blown up. It’s a fine line here in Minnesota. It’s incredible when given the circumstances. They literally haven’t played a complete game and a few of their “top” forwards haven’t contributed in the slightest. I think we all know who they are. I’m using the word top, lightly. Through this rollercoaster season, the Wild have a few streaks to hang their hat on and build off. Bring your green hat, follow me through the quad and into the gymnasium because we’re going streaking!
7-Game Road Trip (Streak)
The Wild are currently in the midst of a season long, 7-game road trip. Not ideal but this could be a turning point if they can rattle off some good wins and come out above .500 on the trip. When they head out west, generally it’s not a positive experience, hopefully this year is different, and they turn the corner. They dropped an ugly loss to Vancouver but came back and stole one against McDavid and the Oilers with what is being called a “gutty” win, sometimes you need that on the road. How good is this McDavid kid? He is electric! Makes me think he should be more well known in the hockey world. Don’t worry, the NHL will completely ignore him as the focal point of the league and keep pushing Sidney on us, or even worse, Patrick Kane.
Alex “The Great” Stalock
A little bit of an underrated streak is Stalock being 3-0 right now. Anytime your backup goaltender can string together some wins when he’s in net, the team is in good shape. It’s obvious that Dubnyk has been lights out and clearly the MVP so far, but anytime he can get a night off and Stalock can get a W, all is well with the world. How has this man not scored a goal yet? Of all goalies, I have never seen someone handle the puck as much as he does. What an exciting player. Screw McDavid, Alex Stalock is ten times more electric with the puck.
XCEL POWERPLAY! (Insert the echo of the PA Announcer)
The powerplay hasn’t been up to par so far this season. Some may call it atrocious and they are correct in saying that. However, in Edmonton the Wild were 3 for 3 on the man advantage. That now makes it a streak and I’ll take it, I’m not picky. Again, maybe they just needed a little jumpstart to give them some confidence. I fully expect them to continue this streak all season, if they go one powerplay with out scoring a goal, might as well just blow it up and start over.
Interesting note, fans are upset by the all lefty unit. Sounds like Edmonton also has that. Clearly McDavid needs to be taken off that first unit for a righty. That’s just like, my opinion man.
Granlund: The Finnish Rockstar
Flying under the radar, Mikael Granlund has quietly put together a nice little stretch of games so far. He was basically non-existent in the first three games but has really made his presence felt as of late. He is now on a 9-game points streak. During this stretch he’s netted 6 goals and 6 assists. Right now, you could say he’s the best forward on this team. Can someone in the Wild organization tell this man he needs to shoot the puck more? I’m sure that’s been a conversation piece multiple times, but my goodness he has absolute sniper capability. Maybe they need to go Major League on him and every time he passes the puck in the offensive zone, he drops down and owes 20 pushups. The good news when he’s on home ice he will be reminded by the excessive yelling of “shoot” every 30 seconds from the crowd.
By the way, can we start a petition against fans from yelling that during games? I’d be the first to sign it. I surely hope he continues this production. He has all the ability to put together a 30-goal campaign, just needs to be a little more selfish. Unfortunately, he’s Finnish and only two people from that country have that mentality, Teemu Selanne and Patrick Laine.
The Ben Affleck Look Alike
The last streak that’s worth mentioning, Charlie Coyle putting together his best Halloween costume on every night basis, a ghost. I was once a big Coyle fan and desperately wanted him to become a star. Well, that star has faded and has basically become a black hole. I knew I should have purchased a Granlund jersey instead of Coyle. Good thing I got it for cheap from China. At this point we are just stuck with the big softie until his contract is up or the Wild bite the bullet and trade him for an 8th round draft pick. Also, since he grew his hair out and has this little fro, he kind of looks like a young Ben Affleck, like Mallrats Affleck. Which makes me think, maybe at this point Coyle is more suited to be a manager at Fashionable Male instead of a NHL hockey player.
Let’s hope this road trip is a success and they come out of it with some good, solid wins. The grind ‘em out wins are nice every once in awhile because that does happen throughout the course of a long season. It would be nice to see a full 60 minutes of hockey played by this team for once. It’s crazy to think they still haven’t put it together and are still 7-3-2.
I’m still not completely ready to set my chair up for the parade, but I’ve got my spot picked out. I’m hopeful for the season still. Maybe I’m naïve, but why not? What’s the worst that can happen? We lose in the first round? Been through that before. We don’t make the playoffs? Seen that several times. Let’s just enjoy the ride on the now fully packed bandwagon.