If you looked up non-descript in the NHL dictionary, you'd likely find a team photo of the Minnesota Wild. The Wild have just kind of rolled along under the radar for the vast majority of their existence since joining the NHL as an expansion team in 2000. They've suited up some great players over the years, but simply haven't captured the imagination of the average hockey fan. They've never played in a Stanley Cup final and have advanced to the confererence finals just one time, and that was in 2002-03 during the dead puck, neutral-zone trap era.
That didn't help enhance the image that outsiders hold of the team. The Wild have always been a team that stressed defense first, foremost and always and are view by outsiders as the place where hockey creativity goes to die.
Minnesota Wild Next Regular Season Game
You have to give the Minnesota Wild this - they've strived to change their image. They've made big trades to bring in skilled talent and signed high-end unrestricted free agents.
But still, from outside the land of 10,000 lakes, the view of the Wild is they play hockey not to lose instead of going for it and trying to win.
It takes a lot to change a culture and it takes time to change minds. What would really do it for the Wild would be a long playoff run where hockey people beyond Minnesota were exposed to a steady diet of Wild hockey and perhaps they could win over the hearts and minds of hockey fans.
The Minnesota Wild game schedule is a grind. The NHL's Central Division is the deepest, toughest group in the league and surviving 82 games in it to earn a playoff position is an impressive feat in itself.
What Are The Current Minnesota Wild Standings
These are the current Minnesota Wild standings and like a yo-yo, they are often a team that goes up and down the division. The Wild are known to go streaking rapidly in both directions.
Minnesota Wild Online Betting Tips
Over the years, the Minnesota Wild have gone from a playoff bubble team to a Western Conference powerhouse. Playing in the Central Division — against some of the best teams in the NHL — has been the biggest challenge for the Wild, who were eliminated in the first or second round of the post-season from 2012 to 2016.
It was evident the franchise did not want to settle for mediocrity any longer. The organization made a bold move during the 2015-16 season by firing head coach Mike Yeo — eventually paving the way for current bench boss Bruce Boudreau, who has installed a winning attitude in Minnesota.
Boudreau’s first season behind the bench paid off early into the 2015-16 campaign as the club found itself at the top of the Central Division standings.
What’s impressive about this Wild team is it gave up among the highest rate of shots per game while surrendering among the least of goals in the process. While much of that can be attributed to Minnesota’s stingy defensive core — led primarily by all-star blue-liner Ryan Suter — it’s been Vezina-caliber goaltender Devan Dubnyk that has carried the franchise to success over the last few seasons.
A journeyman, Dubnyk struggled to find his way with several NHL clubs before finally finding his game with the Wild. You can expect to see Dubnyk’s name among the goaltending leaders each year and he proved that during the 2016-17 season where he led the league in several statistical categories, including goals-against average and save percentage.
So when is the best time to put your money on the Minnesota Wild?
There’s not a huge difference in how the team performs on home ice as opposed to on the road, which means you can bet with confidence the Wild will compete every night.
During the 2015-16 season, the Wild dominated at home with a 21-16-4 record, while also going 17-17-7 away from Xcel Energy Center. The Wild are generally not a high-scoring club, so be cautious when taking the over on the total goals line. Minnesota is well known for scoring a couple goals and then sitting back defensively while letting Dubnyk work his magic in the crease.
Minnesota Wild History
There have been two distinct eras of NHL hockey in Minnesota. From 1967-93 the Minnesota North Stars carried the flag for the area with distinction. The North Stars were the first expansion team to beat an Original Six team in the playoffs when they took two games of a 1970-71 Stanley Cup final series from the eventual champion Montreal Canadiens and appeared in the Stanley Cup final in 1980-81 and 1990-91 before relocating to Dallas in 1993.
Hockey was reborn in Minnesota in 2000, when the Wild were officially returned to the National Hockey League after losing its franchise seven years prior when it relocated to Dallas. The demand to bring hockey back to Minnesota was heard and the chances the city will ever lose its franchise again are slim to none.
Wild captain Mikko Koivu is the franchise’s all-time leader in points, while former Minnesota sniper Marian Gaborik — a Stanley Cup champion with the Los Angeles Kings — sits first in all-time goals and assists.
After breaking into the league in the 2000-01 season, it didn’t take very long for the Wild to find success in the NHL. With head coach Jacques Lemaire leading the way, the club had its best season in 2003 after finishing with a 42-29-10-1 record before reaching the Western Conference final — losing to the Anaheim Ducks in four games.
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