Third Star- Thomas VanekDec 29, 2014; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Minnesota Wild forward Thomas Vanek (26) heads the puck during the second period against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports
Sure, it was a rough week for the Minnesota Wild, but one silver lining is that Thomas Vanek is quietly coming along in his reclamation project of his 2014-15 season. While many fans were, and still are, ready to burn Vanek at the stake for coasting on a few occasions, his production lately has been more on par with what we expected when the Wild signed him this offseason. This past week he netted an unfortunately meaningless power play goal, added an assist in two other games and a nice soccer header against Winnipeg while the Wild went a rough 2-2 on the week to transition into the New Year. Much to his hater’s chagrin, Vanek is now third on the team in points with 24 (gasp) and has 10 points in his last 12 games (double gasp). Vanek has bounced around lines, playing seemingly equal shares on the first, second and even third lines so far this season, and has been paired with virtually every teammate imaginable already. Hopefully what we’re seeing now is that the real Thomas Vanek has stood up, and he’s reaching a comfort level with this team and his teammates, and now can get down to the business of putting points on the board.