Season Midway Point - Update
By Aaron Heckmann
The Minnesota Wild finished the month of December with a 4-9 record which brought their best start of franchise history to an end. They were outside of a playoff spot looking in. They had an impressive run this January, finishing 8-4 and beating many top teams such as the Jets, Leafs, Blue Jackets and the Golden Knights. Having ended their games this month with a huge win in Colorado, the Wild now claim third place in the tough central division with Dallas and Colorado just points away. The team has 55 points in 50 games and now have a week off due to the All-Star break.
Devan Dubnyk will represent the Wild in the 2019 NHL All-Star game. With this being Dubnyk’s third appearance, it shows he is arguably one of the top goaltenders in the NHL.
Minnesota has already made three trades in January. The Minnesota Wild traded Justin Kloos, who is second on the Iowa Wild in points. They acquired forward Pontus Aberg from the Anaheim Ducks. Aberg had 11 goals in the 37 games he played this year. Next, they traded the struggling fan favorite, Nino Niederreiter, who had nine goals and 23 points so far this year. Niederreiter will always be remembered for winning game seven in overtime for the Minnesota Wild against the Colorado Avalanche in the playoffs. The Wild also acquired center Victor Rask from the Carolina Hurricanes who has had two 45+ point seasons. Finally, the Wild acquired defenseman Brad Hunt from the Vegas Golden Knights. In addition, they exchanged a 6th round pick for a 5th round pick. Since Dumba most likely won't return until the playoffs, this acquisition gives the Wild some depth. Brad Hunt has seven points in the 13 games he has played this year before joining the Wild
Zach Parise leads the Wild in scoring with 20 goals and 44 points. Mikael Granlund has 12 goals and 41 points. Eric Staal continues to silence the haters with 17 goals and 36 points. Jason Zucker has underperformed this season but has been scoring lately. Zucker has 13 goals and 25 points. Jared Spurgeon and Eric Staal lead the Wild with a plus minus of 5. Devan Dubnyk has a 2.57 GAA and a .913 save percentage. Marcus Foligno leads the Wild in hits with 132. The Minnesota Wild ranks second in the NHL on the penalty kill with an impressive 84.2%.
Matt Dumba will miss the remainder of the regular season but will hopefully be healthy for the playoffs. Eric Fehr will return soon after missing the last chunk of games.