Tha Sports Junkies 101

Minnesota Wild are off to a disappointing start

Minnesota Wild



Minnesota Wild

Coming into the 2017-2018 season, the Minnesota Wild were fairly highly-placed in division standings and preseason predictions. A few ESPN analysts actually picked the Wild to win the Central Division during their preseason division results and Cup favorite guesses (see here). With the moves they made over the offseason, they seemed to be in a good position to win the division. This season has not been kind to them though. There is a glaring negative but also a hopeful positive that can be seen so far this year.



This season has not been kind to the Wild’s offense. This is not at all what critics and fans had thought would be the case for them  this year. The front office for the Wild added some key players over the offseason. They hoped to boost the team to the next level after playoff defeats. Through trades the Wild bolstered offense after adding Tyler Ennis and Marcus Foligno from Buffalo and the prospect Dante Salituro from the Blue Jackets. The team has struggled offensively this year despite these trades, and the Minnesota Wild stand at 19th in the league in the Goals For column with 92 over 33 Games Played. Minnesota sits at 21st in the league with  2.79 Goals For/GP. They just simply are not producing offensively and it is hurting their season so far.

The cause and solution to this issue is simple. Generate shots on goal. We can find that the Goals For issue stems simply in their lack of shot production. In order to score goals you have to generate scoring chances, and thus shots on net. The Minnesota Wild are dead last in the League currently in Shots For/Game Played with 28.58 Shots/GP. Neither of the goalies for the Wild are having remarkable years (both sit at .915, .917 Sv% and identical 2.69 GAA). Their mediocrity can also be attributed to a certain degree to the lack of offensive support.


Special Teams

Despite the offense struggling at even-strength play, the Special Teams are putting in work for the Wild this season. Their Powerplay lines have brought the team to an efficient 20.21%. Their offense–although weak during even-strength play–shows signs of life on the Powerplay. They have been good at drawing penalties and capitalizing on them throughout the season so far and it is keeping the Wild in the hunt. Another aspect of the Special Teams which the Wild have shown promise in is their Penalty Kill. They sit at 3rd in the league with a 84.49% Penalty Kill. Bruce Boudreau has whipped them into shape this season and the Special Teams are the bright spot for the Wild currently.


When a team is struggling, the coaches often flip up the lines to generate different looks. When a team is struggling for an extended period of time, an outside acquisition might be considered. A trade or a waiver pickup might be what the Wild need to get back up to their top level of play in the dominant Central Division.