Minnesota Wild Top Five Players Thus Far


The first week of the regular season for the Minnesota Wild is complete and say what you will about the result of the last two road games in California, it’s been a strong start. The power play has been awesome and the team has been up tempo and shooting the lights out like last night in Anaheim where the Wild collected 35 shots. Furthermore I’ve been impressed with the balance up and down the line-up that the team has shown. Still five Wild players have stood out to me as the best thus far for different reasons.

1) Zach Parise– Pure and simple he’s been putting the puck in the net. Zach has netted five goals in five games, to lead the NHL in goal scoring. That five-goal total includes a hat trick in the first game against the Avs, which was spectacular.   Not to mention he’s been pushing the play every single game with his hustle in the offensive zone.   He’s the one who sparks the Wild’s offense by skating hard to make the plays to set the pace of play for his teammates. As the saying goes he’s the straw stirring the drink!

2) Ryan Suter– If there is a defensive yin to Parise’s offensive yang right now on the Wild, it’s Ryan Suter. Right now Suter is second to Parise on the team in scoring with five assists for a total of five points. Additionally he’s still leading the team in ice time with 126 minutes logged in five games, and heading into last night’s game was tied for the team lead in hits with 16. Suter is playing a solid blueline hockey once again and certainly setting tone for the defensive side of the puck.

3) Mikko Koivu– Koivu has racked up four points in five games, for one of his best starts to a regular season. With so much pressure to produce it’s good to see him stepping up to lead the Wild’s second line in scoring. Watching the game last night in Anaheim you got the sense that he and line mates Zucker and Niederreiter were playing a high up tempo style that saw Koivu net an assist and six shots. An aggressive Captian Koivu means good things offensively for the Wild going forward.

4) Charlie Coyle– Another player leading his line through aggressive play is Charlie Coyle. As the anchor of the Wild’s third line Coyle has netted 2 goals in these first five games, and before last night’s game was tied with Suter for the team lead in hits with 16. That’s exactly what the Wild need Coyle to be doing, using his size to create space for either himself or line mates Thomas Vanek and Justin Fontaine to score. Vanek has two goals as well, which is a direct reflection of Coyle’s hard-nosed grinding style.

5) Mikael Granlund– Like his fellow Centers Koivu and Coyle, Granlund is making his name this season with aggressive physical play that leads to excellent offensive chances for both he and his fellow line mates. Playing on the top line with Parise and Pominville certainly helps, but as it stands now Granlund is leading the team in face-off percentage winning 54% of his draws. This is statistic is huge when you think of the ability produce scoring chances in the offensive zone. Also like Koivu and Coyle, Granlund is throwing his body around to the tune of ten hits going into last night’s game.

With a strong start like this you can make a case for so many other players to crack this top five. I would say as the games click off pay particular attention as some players slow down and some speed up. Still when looking at this Wild team it seems that physical play and hard work of these top players is what is leading to the scoring and high shot totals. I look forward to seeing if these players stay at the top consistently throughout the season, or if others rise up.

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