The Wild finally did it! The entire state was in shock. They actually won a game! They beat the 1-WIN Ottawa Senators! After the game, Minnesota Wild fans were seen weeping in the street and hugging their children.
It only took 5 games for the Wild to get their first win, meaning they are on pace for a 16 win season! Alex Stalock played "lights out" in his first start of the year, stopping all 26 shots he faced. After 2 scoreless periods, the one and only Victor Rask scored late in the 3rd period, and Zach Parise added an empty netter to seal it up for a final score of 2-0 against the Ottawa Senators.
Rask went top shelf and sent Anderson's water bottle flying! Only 5 games into the new season, and Minnesota Wild fans are already wondering if its time to start panicking.
Why It Might Be Time To Start Panicking
The Minnesota Wild and Devan Dubnyk went 0-4 in Their First 4 games After the first 4 games, the Wild gave up 21 goals — tied for the most in the NHL. Mix that with only scoring 2 goals in 4 of the last 5 games, and you get the NHL's worst team to start off the year. No offense or defense.
Their Only Win Came Against Another Bad Team - The Ottawa Senators have the same record as the Wild, 1-4. Not exactly what you'd call an "elite" team.
No Needle Mover on Offense - As mentioned earlier, the Minnesota Wild are having issues scoring. Last year they finished 28th out of the 31 NHL teams in scoring, so it's not like this is a surprise. To address their lack of offense, Minnesota signed Mats Zuccarello in the offseason, but so far it has not worked out (0 points in 4 games and minus 6). In fact, Minnesota's lone win this season came with Zuccarello out of the lineup. Gerry Mayhew, who is the Iowa Wild franchise leader for goals in a season, has just been called up and will get his shot soon.
Victor Rask is Scoring Game Winning Goals - What? Rask is scoring game winning goals? Someone check Hell to make sure it isn't froze over. If we need to rely on Victor Rask to win games for us, its going to be a long season (was a beaut of a goal tho).
Top Players aren't Coming Through - The following players are Minus-4 or worse through the first 5 games of the season: Ryan Suter, Zach Parise, Matt Dumba, Luke Kunin, Mats Zuccarello, Jared Spurgeon, and Eric Staal. The top 3 current point scorers for Minnesota are defensemen, and the forward with the most points this year is Marcus Foligno. Not to mention our starting goalie is 0-4 to start the year.
There are many reasons to be worried, but lets try to put a positive spin on things:
Defensemen Brad Hunt has started off hot, with 2 goals and 2 assists in the first 5 games!
In just 2 games Victor Rask is tied for 3rd in the team in points. You could see this as a negative, but considering how poorly he played last year, I'm going to look at this as more of a positive.
Goalie Alex Stalock performed great and got a shutout in his first start of the year!
4 of the 5 games played have been played on the road. Minnesota has historically been solid at home and bad on the road, so hopefully they can make up some ground with these upcoming long home-stretches throughout the year.
Hopefully this offense can get going soon. If they can't, Wild GM Bill Guerin is going to have to figure out if this team needs a rebuild, or just a new offensive weapon to take the next step.
10/15 Wild @ Toronto 6pm