Minnesota Wild’s Chances: What’s Different This Year?


The Minnesota Wild dropped their fifth straight game last night. Things are bleak. Wild tweeters were flatulent (that’s when they whip their own back right?), Craig Leipold is considering burning Xcel to the ground for the insurance money, and, according to fans, it’s time to fire the coach, strip Koivu’s C, bench Vanek, make Dumba captain, and report Zucker to the principal.

One point making the rounds is that the Wild are at the exact mid-point of their season. Like last year at the mid-point, they were on a losing streak. They lost their sixth straight game last season on the 42nd game, then played the Buffalo Sabres and went on a tear that sent them to the playoffs where the season begins anew. This year? They could lose their sixth straight game in the 42nd game of the year. Up next after that? Buffalo.

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The Wild only have four fewer points than they did at the mid-point of last season. If they beat Pittsburgh on Tuesday, then they’ll only have two fewer points entering game 43 than they did last year.

They could have logged eight fewer points last season and still made the playoffs. (Though current projections have the last wild card team being at 94 points this year, instead of 91 as it was last season.)

So, things are bleak. There’s no doubt. But, based on last season’s performance, there’s also a little reason to believe it’s possible to turn things around.

With that in mind, here’s a comparison of the team’s numbers at the mid-point of this season, last season, and 2011-12 (the last full season where the team didn’t make the playoffs). We’ve drilled the issues — goaltending, injury, illness, etc. etc. — we’ll just let this comparison sit here and you can do what you want with this one.

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– Second two screens are even strength stats.
– CP/60 included to show the transition from low event hockey.