The Minnesota Wild, last year finished up the season with 101 points; good enough to take third spot in the Central Division and fourth in the Western Conference, overall.
Looking at their points last season, the Minnesota Wild needed to deliver 6.16 points every five games to achieve that result.
At worst, to achieve the wild card spot that the Colorado Avalanche tied up, they needed 5.8 points per five game block.
Using these as a baseline, coupled with the Nashville Predators’ conference winning 7.13 points every five games, we’re going to look at the current state of affairs for the Minnesota Wild.
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Their first five games haven’t been fantastic; they’re yet to score a regulation win, have scraped some points but are far too reliant in the early going on Devan Dubnyk.
Looking at their pace over the first five games, the Minnesota Wild are sitting on four points.
Based on the pace required for at minimum a wild card spot last year, all they needed was to win the shoot-out against the Vegas Golden Knights and sneak the result against the Carolina Hurricanes and suddenly they’re on decent pace.
What you can see from this is that the difference in the NHL is small, small margins. One result swinging the other way, one lucky bounce and suddenly you’re right on pace to be heading up the conference.
Whilst I don’t envisage a form turnaround for the Wild that leads to conference winning 7.13 points per five game pace, I do expect that they can up the current pace.
If they can do that, they’ll bring themselves back to a six from five pace that’ll put them right back on track to match last year’s results.
If their result against the Nashville Predators was any indication, the team’s form is starting to improve. They’re finally bringing the shots against count down and players like Zach Parise and Jason Zucker are starting to find their games.
Now all that is needed is for Eric Staal to re-find last year’s mercurial form, otherwise he could be an option as trade bait to bring some younger legs into the line-up.
The new lines look to be working, so with any luck, we’re looking at the next five games as the ones that bring the Wild’s point tally back on track and on playoff pace.