The Minnesota Wild have now won every single game under John Hynes's reign, and in dominating fashion. Three games, six points. It now begs the question: Would this have happened anyways, or is he really bringing something new to the table that is earning these victories?
One of the major problems -- perhaps the major problem -- was the Wild not getting any saves before Evason was fired. Now, the tandem of Filip Gustavsson and Marc-Andre Fleury have allowed just three goals on 80 shots under Hynes, a miraculous .962 save percentage. Maybe they would have done this anyway, but we'll never find out.
Another issue was the Wild not being able to really score any goals, especially on the power play. Well, they have scored 13 goals on the 102 shots on goal they have thrown at the opposition and have scored three of those goals on the eight power-play opportunities they have had. We do have to recognize that sometimes a new coach provides a jump to players. Historically, it has always been like that -- whether it is actual changes to the system or just players trying to impress the new guy.
To add another wrinkle to all of this, it's not like they faced the toughest competition either. The St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators are fairly equal in terms of talent, compared to the Wild, and the Chicago Blackhawks are straight up awful.
Maybe it's a useless question, but it is something to just wonder if this streak was under Evason if he would still have had his job at the end of the season.
- Speaking of bouncing back, the Wild are returning to form after going through their worst-case scenario. [Hockey Wilderness]
- It was a showcase of the Wild's youth on Sunday, as Marco Rossi and Brock Faber powered the Wild past the Blackhawks and earned some big remarks. Calder Trophy, anyone? [StarTribune]
Off the trail...
- Grading ESPN's preseason predictions and seeing what they missed, and what they got right. [ESPN]
- Fighting in the NHL actually increased through the first quarter of the season. [The Hockey News]
- The Pittsburgh Penguins are desperate to find some sort of scoring and they are using a new approach to their power play. [NHL dot com]
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.