Minnesota Wild Details
Falling just short of 1st place in the Central Division, coach Bruce Boudreau – in his first season with the team – led the Minnesota Wild to 106 points and 49 wins. If it weren’t for some poor play down the stretch (12 losses in March), the Wild would surely have taken that top spot. Despite that, Minnesota found themselves playing a first round series in front of its Xcel Energy Center fans against the St. Louis Blues. The team suffered a similarly disappointing fate as the Blackhawks, losing to the Blues in five games. It was the team’s second straight first-round exit and a frustrating one considering how the team faired for most of the regular season. Regardless, the Wild will come into the 2017-18 season feeling good about the chances to make a splash in the Central once again.
Starting goaltender Devan Dubnyk faired quite well for the majority of last year, finishing the season with a 40-19-5 record and a 2.25 goals against average. If it wasn’t for a sloppy March, Dubnyk would have been in the Vezina Trophy talk. The Wild return most of its nucleus on offense, including center Mikael Granlund. Granlund led the Wild in points last season with 69, including 26 goals. Centers Eric Staal and Mikko Koivu, second and third on the team in points respectively, return as well, ensuring that the three centers that helped make Minnesota the 2nd-best goal-scoring team in the league will all be in green sweaters at the start of the 2017-18 season.