Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/06/07 at 02:14 PM ET
from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,
After last summer’s Wild spending spree, Minnesota made a 20-point jump in the standings, finishing with a franchise-best 104 points. Obviously, that’s not that easy to do.
But the club’s impressive push up the standings might have been even more dramatic if star winger Marian Gaborik had been healthy. In Gaborik’s 48 games, Minny was a dominant 33-9-6. Without him, they were a mediocre 15-17-2.
Because of that interesting stat, I think there’s room for the Wild to better than that 104-point regular-season total. Gaborik staying healthy, however, isn’t a given. He hasn’t played more than 65 games in each of his last three NHL seasons. For the sake of my decision, I’ll roll the dice that he’ll be healthier in 2007-08.
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