It’s a pretty good time to be a Minnesota Wild fan right now.
The team beat Ottawa 4-2 on Sunday afternoon which marked a fifth straight win overall and seventh straight at the Xcel Energy Center. It also was an 11th win in the Wild’s past 14 games in a run that has put the team in third place in the Central Division, just four points behind Dallas.
Minnesota will look to continue that run with games at Anaheim and San Jose on Wednesday and Thursday night heading into Christmas weekend.
It’s not where I expected the Wild to be heading into the holidays.
In fact, I may have overreacted to the team’s 0-3 start when the defense and goalie tandem looked like they couldn’t stop a nosebleed.
The Wild found their game and have gone 18-8-2 since that early rough patch. The team also is basically as the same point total they were at this time last year. The Wild fell to the Dallas Stars 7-4 on Dec. 20 for their fourth straight loss which dropped the team’s record to 19-9-2.
We all know how the rest of that regular season went.
There was a reminder of that campaign on Sunday as Cam Talbot made his return to the Xcel Energy Center since being traded to the Senators in the offseason. The winning goalie was Filip Gustavsson, who was part of that trade, and has been on fire as of late after a shaky first start of the season.
The Wild’s public relations department tweeted that Gustavsson has a 1.48 goals against average during a personal six-game winning streak that started on Nov. 19, which leads the NHL in that stretch.
He’s not the only member of the Wild on a streak.
Kirill Kaprizov had a goal and two assists against Ottawa and during the five-game winning streak, the winger has teamed with linemates Mats Zuccarello and Sam Steel for 24 points. Kaprizov also reached the 200 point milestone on Sunday, in just his 167th game with Minnesota.
He also teamed with Ryan Reeves to produce this memorable scene.
Yes, there’s a number of reasons for Minnesota fans to be happy right now.
Let’s hope the good times continue beyond this week.