After four seasons of no post season hockey in Minnesota, the Wild finally cracked the top eight. Minnesota’s time in the playoffs this year was cut short due to a first round matchup against the Chicago Blackhawks team that outmatched the skill of the Wild, and every other team they faced in the playoffs, or the regular season. The Wild fell in 5 games. The Wild’s regular season wasn’t bad though, they finished in the eighth spot in the Western Conference with a record of 26-19-3 with 55 points.
It took Ryan Suter a little while to settle in, in Minnesota, but after a while, he looked just as good as he did in Nashville. He finished the season with a team high 28 assists. Suter also grabbed 4 goals. Suter was nominated for the Norris Trophy, but Montreal defenseman, P.K. Subban won the award.
Zach Parise, the Wild’s offensive acquisition of the off-season scored a team high 18 goals this season. Parise also led the Wild in points, he had 20 assists on the season giving him a total of 38 points in 48 games. Parise nearly disappeared in the playoffs, scoring only one goal in the five game series.
Niklas Backstrom was relied heavily on this season, playing in 42 games. Backstrom was up to the challenge, and even earned himself a three year extension for $3.42 million a season. Backstrom is 35 now, but showed he’s still up to the task. He posted a record of 24-15-3, a goals against average of 2.48, and a save percentage of .909%.
During the lock out last season, Josh Harding was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Harding only managed to play in 5 games during the regular season, but when Niklas Backstrom went down in warm ups before game one, Harding was put in net. Harding played in all 5 games in the playoffs, and despite losing, it was one of the more inspiring stories of the year.
The Wild had an average powerplay this season, sitting right in the middle of the pack with a percentage of 17.9%. The penalty kill managed a 80.7%. Both middle of the road and neither being spectacular, the Wild will have to look at improving the special teams next season.
The Wild started their offseason by resigning defenseman Marco Scandella, forward Stephane Veilleux, and goalie Niklas Backstrom. The Wild signed Matt Cooke to a three year contract, and Keith Ballard to a two year contract. The Wild continued the moving of players by sending Devin Setoguchi to Winnipeg for second round pick next year. Jared Spurgeon was resigned to a three year deal as well on the first day of free agency. The Wild added two more defenseman in Jon Landry and Jonathon Blum
Tags: Devin Setoguchi Jared Spurgeon Jon Landry Jonathon Blum Josh Harding Keith Ballard Marco Scandella Matt Cooke Minnesota Wild Niklas Backstrom P.k. Subban Ryan Suter Season In Review Stephane Veilleux Zach Parise