It was an interesting year for the Minnesota Wild this year. The regular season was a juggernaut with the team playing the best professional hockey ever for the franchise. Consider the following:
- Minnesota was 49-25-28, second in the Western Conference with a franchise-best 106 points. They set their records for longest winning streak (12, Dec. 4-29) and longest point streak (13 games, 12-0-1), and were second in the NHL with a plus-58 goal differential.
- With 13 players scoring at least 10 goals (tied for most in the NHL), Minnesota was second in the NHL with 263 goals.
No worries - the playoffs afforded a new season, and their #2 seeding gave them a good chance for a Cup run. Unfortunately, nobody told Jake Allen, and the St. Louis goalie stood on his head and held the Wild to 8 goals across 5 games. While the Wild outshot the Blues 182-133 and got good goaltending, there were not enough goals to move onto the next round and face the Nashville Predators (who had themselves vanquished the hated Blackhawks in a four-game sweep).
In some regards the season feels like a step forward, but the playoff performance adds up to usual Wild futility. The goal of the NHL is to win the Stanley Cup, and in that effort the Wild failed miserably.
Oh well, at least we have the Twins to follow.