NHL Team Profiles: Minnesota Wild

At the time of writing, the Minnesota Wild are ranked at the top of the Central Division. This Division is also features the defending Stanley Cup Champion Colorado Avalanche. Although they sometimes fall from the top ranking spot, the team is rarely considered an underdog.

Right now, Minnesota has some competition as they hope to reach the 2023 Stanley Cup. Although the odds are against them, their team could still power through. Here are the team profiles as they stand in March 2023.

The Best Forwards On The Minnesota Wilds

Finding the “best” player is a subjective endeavor. We are gathering our information based on the forward’s goals, points, short-handed goals, and shots-on-goal percentage. 

Kirill Kaprizov has scored the most goals so far, earning 39 out of his 64 games played. Joel Eriksson Ek has also done well with a respectable 23, and Mats Zuccarello should deserve a pat on the back for his 22 goals scored. As a trio these three are strong. The young Matt Boldy has also been having a strong season with 25 goals currently.

Translating the figures into points, Kaprizov is still in the lead with 74 points to his name, while Zuccarello and Eriksson Ek swap places earning 64 and 56 respectively. Boldy trails all three with 54 points.

Short-handed goals are arguably more impressive, as these teammates are bringing in points despite their disadvantages. 

Connor Dewar has scored the most short-handed goals so far with a low 3. Frederick Gaudreau and Eriksson Ek come in joint second place with another low 2.

Our final figure to consider are the player’s shooting percentage. We are going to ignore Joseph Cramarossa and Oskar Sundqvist, as they have played in fewer games.

Kaprizov, however, has a shooting percentage of 15.6%, while Zuccarello has 12.5%, and Brandon Duhalme has 12%

We have our data now, so who is the best forward on the team? 

One name keeps coming up in the top place, and that’s Kirill Kaprizov. Kaprizov has created the most goals and the most points. He is the clear leader of the team and is without a doubt the best forward on the Minnesota Wild.

The Best Defensemen On The Minnesota Wild

For the defensemen, we will be looking at their time on the ice per game and their plus-minus.

If the player can spend a lot of time on the ice, this means they are dominating their game and are counted on time and time again to prevent the oppositions best players from scoring. Jonas Brodin has a strong 22:52 minutes per game. Jared Spurgeon has 21:50 and Matt Dumba has 21:21.

Looking at their plus and minus stats, Jared Spurgeon takes the lead at plus 30. Frederick Gaudreau, meanwhile, is a plus 10, and Jacob Middleton is a plus 15.

With the two data sets in front of us, we again have a clear leader. Jarden Spurgeon is the only player to rank in the top 3 for both concepts making him the best defenseman on the Minnesota Wild.

The Best Goalies On The Minnesota Wild

There are only two goalies on the Minnesota Wilds – Filip Gustavsson and Marc-Andre Fleury. They have played for an equal amount of time this season. Fleury has started 41 games while Gustavsson has started the other 32. Each has taken turns at various stretches of being considered to go-to guy.

Even playing time means we can rely on their figures to show an accurate representation of their skill. 

Gustavsson has made 923 saves so far for a saving percentage of 0.932. Fleury, on the other hand, has saved 1123 for a percentage of 0.907 

Gustavsson has been part of 19 winning games and 9 losing games, while Fleury has been part of 23 winning games and 13 losses.

The numbers are tight and the only thing separating the two is the 13 losses from Fleury. For that reason alone, Gustavsson is our choice for the best Goalie in the Minnesota Wilds. When it comes to the playoffs, however, the Wild may lean on the veteran Fleury to lead the way.

Current Injuries Affecting The Game

There is one issue that can really affect a pre-made bet and that’s an unexpected injury. The NHL odds can rise and fall as soon as a player is taken off the ice. 

Three players are expected to be out for a while. They are Brandon Duhaime with a head injury, Jonas Brodin with a lower-body injury, and Gustav Nyquist with an upper-body injury.

The real issue comes from Kirill Kaprizov, our star forward. He has a lower-body injury which the team is calling a “day-to-day” issue. This means we cannot know if Kaprizov will play until the day of the event. However, he has yet to return to the ice in any capacity, so his return may still be some time away.

This can dramatically affect the likelihood of winning. Although the rest of the team is still strong, Kaprizov is our main scorer.

Keep an eye on Kaprizov’s condition. Once he is removed from the Injury List board fans can breathe a breath of fresh air as the team stabilizes once more.

The Teams Current Rankings

The Minnesota Wild are ranked first overall in the Central Division, however, their other stats aren’t as great.

The team currently ranks 23rd in the NHL for goals for but are 3rd in goals against. We can derive from this that they are generally a shut down team and are keeping opponents off the score sheet despite having limited offensive production themselves.

Lastly, their power play percentage and penalty kill percentage both currently rank 14th in the league.

Final Thoughts

The Minnesota Wilds are a strong team. Their defensive strategy has them in a great position heading into the postseason. Without a star player like Kaprizov, however, their playoff run might end prematurely.

Everything rides on his recovery.

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