You can usually count on the Wild to have a solid regular season, and there’s no reason to expect anything less this season. They didn’t make too many changes over the offseason, keeping them in line to remain competitive. Every divisional team will have to play their top game to get two points against this club.
The Wild coming in at the ranking they’re at is a product of their division. Points are hard to come by, and I’m not sure they did enough in the offseason to move past the top dogs. In fact, other teams around them getting better might drop them out of the 100-point club. I do like that they kept key contributors like Matt Dumba around. However, their modest free agency moves don’t move the needle enough for me.
Devan Dubnyk is obviously a game-changer at goaltender. He’s coming off of another stellar season with 2.52 goals against average and nearly a 92 save percentage. He keeps the Wild dangerous even with their playoff woes. As a regular season team, they’re going to remain relevant.
I knock the Wild back because I see the teams around them doing much more in the offseason to move ahead of them. They’ll still make the playoffs again, but they have to prove they can get past the first round to move them up any further.