After floating around in mediocrity, the Minnesota Wild are coming off their best season in team history. Their highest win total previous to last year was back in 2006-07, notching 48 victories.
The franchise’s main years for success came in the last five seasons, making the playoffs each year. And, while they never made it to the Conference finals, they won a few first rounds. Yet, the finished second in the conference, just behind the Blackhawks.
A strength of the Wild is their goaltending. Devan Dubnyk stood on his head preventing teams from scoring, leading him to another All-Star appearance, and in the running for the Hart and Vezina Trophies. It was good enough for the fourth best goals allowed ranking in the Western Conference.
But, the power of the team is their scoring ability. The 266 pucks they nailed to the back of the net was tops in the conference and second in the NHL. However, it was a 50 goal jump from the previous season. Most of the scoring game from the center position in 2016-17.
This offseason was largely quiet, but what needs to be done when you perform so well? The Wild re-signed their top scorer, Mikael Granlund, along with Nino Niederreiter. After that, a couple of defenseman were added, and the team is where it is.
So, will the real Minnesota Wild please stand up? Are you 216 goals and 38 wins? Or will 266 goals with 49 wins become the norm?