There are no two ways about it anymore, this Minnesota Wild team is a certified WAGON. From the very onset of the season, this squad has been exciting to watch. It was always going to be weird to not see Parise and Suter after having them on the team for so long. However, Kaprizov and Fiala (among many others) have made the transition easy. Since the trade deadline, the excitement has been taken to a whole different level.In their last twenty one games, the Minnesota Wild have only lost ONE GAME in regulation. Some people are saying they’re the best team over that stretch. I’m no professional scout, so who am I to disagree! Every Wild fan on the planet is having fun right now. For maybe the first time in history, this fanbase has graduated from bind hope to cautions optimism.
The additions of Marc Andre Fleury, Nic Deslauriers, Jacob Middleton, and Tyson Jost cannot be overstated. From a fan perspective, the team was FINALLY active at the deadline. Not only were they active, but Billy G’s team was being aggressive…at least for Minnesota team. While they may not show up on the stat sheet every night, they’ve certainly contributed to a record breaking season in a HUGE way.
Records Being BrokenWith seemingly no hope for either basketball or baseball (despite being atop the AL Central), the Wild have kept sports fun in Minny. This season has felt special. There were slow starts for some star players, but the Wild have really come together as a whole. Even with a tough stretch mixed in the middle, this team is now breaking records.
Most Wins/Points in a Season
For the first time in franchise history, the Minnesota Wild have surpassed 50 wins!! While it’s not the most exclusive of clubs, it’s still a huge accomplishment for the franchise. They’ve finally gotten over the hump and joined the majority of the league on this stage. The only clubs remaining to not hit 50 wins are now the LA Kings and Seattle Kraken. What a couple of losers! Get with the program!
Most Assists in a GameKevin Fiala is on an absolute HEATER right now. Sunday’s game against Nashville made Fiala the second player on the Wild this season to break Marian Gaborik’s long standing points record. He got there with ten games in a row with at least one point on the stat sheet. Against Seattle, Fiala broke the franchise record for assists in a game with FIVE.He followed it up on Sunday with another one to accompany a goal too.
The only thing hotter than this streak right now, is Fiala himself. Can you imagine being that good looking while also being that good at hockey? Talk about a versatile weapon! Let’s just hope the Wild can find a way to keep him around given their financial handcuffs.
Rookie Point Streak
Boldy, like Fiala, is also riding a lengthy point streak. While the youngster is a game behind, he’s already got the Minnesota record for point streak by a rookie. With eleven points in nine games, there’s no sign of slowing down yet. Much of the state had been CLAMORING for his call-up. Now that he’s finally here, he’s one more player living up to the hype.
Most Goals + Most Assists + Most Points in a Season
Kirill Kaprizov. He’s the man and the real deal. The prince that was promised. The messiah. Some people say that putting him on that type of pedestal puts too much pressure on the kid. I disagree. I’m not saying that’s what he needs to live up to, because that’s what he’s already been.Kirill had already shattered Gaborik’s single season points record, now he’s the first Wild player to ever be in the triple-digits. He’s just the 15th player in LEAGUE HISTORY (drafted in the 5th round or later) to reach the 100-point mark in a single season, and the first since 2006.
The best part, unlike another notable Russian name, he’s not just a scoring machine either. Along with his record extending 45th goal of the season, he also dished out three assists against Seattle. In Nashville, he tallied two more apples onto his lead. All that dishing the puck out has put him three ahead of linemate, and best friend, Mats Zuccarello.
When you watch Kaprizov on iso-cam, it’s like he’s playing a completely different game. At least different than anyone I’ve seen in a Wild sweater. He’s got accuracy AND power on his shot. Redirecting pucks in front of the net has never looked so easy. The touch passes looks like he’s got telekinesis with his teammates. While all of that is great and what puts asses in the seats, his biggest asset may very well be his edge work. If you’re wondering how you can improve your game to set yourself apart, watch the kid’s feet for a shift.
With only three regular season games remaining, there will be no “break” for this team before the playoffs. Sure, there’s one game against the Yotes, but the other two are all against not only playoff teams, but the winners of the Central and Pacific divisions. Unlike the rest of the NHL, the Wild already know who they’ll be matched up against in the first round of the playoffs too.
The St. Louis Blues have had Minny’s number all season. The Wild have just one win against the Blues and that came way back in October. They stole the Winter Classic after this state waited so long for it to finally come and the Wild dropped two OT games to them earlier this month.
All that talk might bring feelings of “doom and gloom” to some fans. To me, it just means the Wild are due. After having a brutal time with Nashville all year, the Wild were finally able to notch a win on Sunday. Just the type of hurdle you want and need to overcome heading into the final stretch!
Regardless of what happens, it’s safe to say that this is the most fun anyone in the state has ever had watching the Minnesota Wild. While it’s hard for us as pessimistic Minnesota sports fans, I do have one piece of advice. Enjoy the ride!
I’ve been hit by cars three times, which is an indication of how stubborn I am.
I write about everything across the board, but focus on Hockey and the pain that is Minnesota sports.
Argue with me on Twitter: @venividiveech