by Patrick Hoffman on 11/30/11 at 02:00 PM ET
That is what both the organization and its fans are going two months into the season.
The Minnesota Wild currently find themselves tied for first in the Western Conference with the Chicago Blackhawks as both clubs have 31 points (As of this writing…November 29, 2011). With a new head coach and a few new faces in the lineup, this definitely was not expected in Minnesota.
With that said, however, it is easy to see why the team has been successful so far. The team has shown offensive depth, has fed into new head coach Mike Yeo’s system and is getting excellent goaltending from its tandem of Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding.
Under former head coaches Jacques Lemaire and Todd Richards, the Wild were not exactly known for their offensive depth. This season, that notion has been thrownout the window thanks to the likes of team captain Mikko Koivu (4-15-19), newcomers Dany Heatley (6-8-14) and Devin Setoguchi (7-5-12), Matt Cullen (8-4-12) and Pierre-Marc Bouchard (3-9-12).
Yeo has the team playing as a more cohesive unit and has made the club one that is responsible in both ends of the ice. Sure, the Wild may not be the most exciting team in the National Hockey League but right now, Yeo has them winning hockey games. Isn’t that all that matters in the end?
You cannot talk about this year’s Wild hockey club without mentioning the team’s goaltending. It is easy to see that right now, the Wild have a No. 1 and a No. 1A goaltending system going. This system currently has the Wild fourth in the league in goals against at just over two goals a game.
The team’s No. 1 goaltender, Backstrom, is 8-5-2 with a 2.09 goals against average, a .932 save percentage and 2 shutouts. Harding, the No. 1A netminder for the Wild, is just as good with a 6-2-1 record, a 2.10 goals against average, a .933 save percentage and 1 shutout.
Yes, it is still early but right now, there is a lot to like when it comes to the Minnesota Wild.
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: dany+heatley, devin+setoguchi, jacques+lemaire, josh+harding, matt+cullen, mike+yeo, mikko+koivu, minnesota+wild, niklas+backstrom, pierre-marc+bouchard, todd+richards
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
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