Minnesota Wild: The Blues Come Marching In

Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

Looking at the state of the Minnesota Wild as they open the playoffs with the St. Louis Blues.

During the regular season series between the two teams the Minnesota Wild posted a 2-2-1 record. At the Xcel Energy Center, the team posted a record of 2-1 with the lone loss coming by one goal. On the road however it was a completely different story as the team struggled in St. Louis to the tune of a 0-1-1 record. So the first thing to watch for in this series is how each team takes advantage of their home games because neither has experienced much success on the road.


Minnesota Wild
Minnesota Wild /

Minnesota Wild

No player is more important to their team’s success than the goalie so the state of Devan Dubnyk is important. Dubnyk’s play has improved better of late. In his past five games he is 3-0-2 with a 3.2 GAA and a .868% save percentage.

Not great, but those numbers also include two overtime games where Dubnyk played more hockey than the usual 60 minutes. Still, given his shaky playoff track record, the situation in goal will bear watching during the course of this series.


Upfront, the Wild would appear to be in terrific shape. The strength of the team is at forward. The team has depth and multiple 60 point scorers it lacked in the past. 11 forwards hit the 10 goal mark for the team, including 5 who hit the 20 goal plateau (Granlund, Staal, Niederreiter, Zucker, and Hanzal).

The depth is important because successful playoff teams can roll four lines and get production from all four lines. As good as this group has been offensively, they have to be careful to not allow chances at the other end.


Defensively, the Minnesota Wild have their share inconsistencies. The top pairing of Ryan Suter and Jared Spurgeon is a veteran group who have played together for awhile now. The group is playoff tested and will be counted upon to play heavy minutes. Both have the ability to put the puck in the net and play steady defense.

The defensemen have the ability to contribute offensively, with Dumba, Spurgeon, and Suter all scoring at least 9 goals during the regular season. As we go down the depth chart, it gets a little shaky though. Marco Scandella finished a -2 this year with his lowest point total since 2012-13. His defensive partner is up in the air, as both Christian Folin and Nate Prosser have rotated in and out of the lineup. Neither are anything more than depth defensemen who add little on the offensive end. Dumba is sometimes prone to defensive mistakes which can be costly this time of the year.

Next: Minnesota Wild: Devan Dubnyk Must Return to Form

Most importantly, this team is healthy going into the playoffs. Only Spurgeon and Stewart are listed on the team injury report, having missed the last two games. They will need all hands on deck for a playoff run.