The Minnesota Wild’s biggest weakness this season was the performance of the Netminders. What exactly could they do to fix the most impactful position?
It’s no secret that the Minnesota Wild’s Goaltending was severely lacking this season. Even marginal improvements in net would have put the Wild in serious contention for a Divisional Playoff Spot, rather than vying for a Wild Card spot. Minnesota only played themselves into a postseason position because of a goaltending heater Alex Stalock had, where he started eighteen of the last twenty-five Wild games, with a record of 11-5-2, and a save percentage of .920, a step of from his season save percentage of .910, which is league average.
For goalies with at least ten games played, Alex Stalock’s eighteen game stretch, if it were played over an entire season, would put him tied for thirteenth in the league with Robin Lehner and Ben Bishop. Now, I don’t think Stalock is in that same threshold as either of those goalies. Stalock being tied for 34th in the league with his season-long save percentage of the league average .910 feels more right.
The Minnesota Wild as a whole ranks 20th in the league for a team save percentage with a .915. Looking at teams ahead of them, there’s a lot of expected teams: Boston, Dallas, and Tampa. But some teams rank better in Save Percentage than Minnesota that just are not better teams than the Wild as a whole. For example, Chicago, Columbus, Buffalo, and the Senators all rank better than Minnesota in save percentage but as a team is not better than the Wild.
So what are the Minnesota Wild to do? Can they rely on an improvement in play from thee goalies they currently have? Do they promote their minor league goalie who has been previously rated as the best goalie outside of the NHL? Or does the answer come from outside the organization?