The Minnesota Wild have a long history of winning games with their defense. The defense that they have had in the past gave up nothing and played a physically smothering style that won them many close games, similar to the New Jersey Devils of old.
They would not govern the opposition an inch and it showed as both teams would leave frustrated.
The defensive structure and style are the same but they are winning games with offense now. They have found a perfect mixture of smothering defense and more offensive creativity than previous seasons.
In their three games of the new 2023-24 season, Minnesota has scored 11 goals, averaging 3.67 goals per game, and giving up nine goals, which is a solid three goals per game.
The Minnesota Wild are off to a great start so far this 2023-24 season.
Minnesota is a combined 7-2 over the preseason and start of the regular season. The team is clicking on all cylinders and has a team full of promise.
The offense is led by Kirill Kaprizov, who has one goal and four assists for five points in three games. His linemates, Ryan Hartman and Mats Zuccarello are a hot line and have combined for 18 points, including preseason.
Special teams have also accumulated some success. The defense is allowing 29.3 shots per game, while the power play is operating at a 30.8% rate, which is sixth in the league. forward Joel Eriksson Ek leads the Wild with three power-play goals.
Surprisingly, the team’s success had come with some of the Wild’s best players injured. Defenseman Alex Goligoski is out with a lower-body injury. Left winger Matt Boldy is out with an upper-body injury that was suffered in Saturday’s game in Toronto against the Maple Leafs.
Center Caeden Bankier’s injury is undisclosed and defenseman Jared Spurgeon is also out with an upper-body injury that was suffered in the preseason against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Once these players return, Minnesota is a team that will be scary good. The roster is loaded from top to bottom, with each line posing a playmaker, goal scorer, and a player who plays the physical game.
The goaltending has been quite good as well but right now the team is led by the offense. Everyone is contributing, scoring goals, or creating an offensive chance in the offensive zone.
Defensemen are also chipping in when they have to, meaning the offense is coming from everywhere. The Colorado Avalanche are the cream of the crop in the division but the Minnesota Wild could make this division more interesting at the top, closer than people may think.