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Minnesota Wild: 2015-16 Season Projection

2014-2015 Overall Record: 46-28-8 (100 Points) 6th in the Western Conference

***Lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinal***

WILD TEAM LEADERS

Minnesota Wild: 2014-2015 Team Leaders

Notable Offseason Losses:

F Chris Stewart (New Team: Anaheim Ducks)

F Matt Cooke (Release by Wild)

F Kyle Brodziak (New Team: St. Louis Blues)

D Jonathon Blum (Signed with KHL’s Admiral Vladivostok)

Notable Offseason Acquisitions:

None

Main Team Stats Breakdown:

GFA (Goals For Average): 2.74 (NHL Ranking: 11th)

GAA (Goals Against Average): 2.39 (NHL Ranking: 6th)

SV% (Save Percentage): .913 (NHL Ranking: 12th)

Last season the Minnesota Wild (and the Ottawa Senators) taught us two very important aspects of a hockey organization rarely seen. The first being that confidence can be one of the most important aspects of gameplay. It can make an organization look terrible or it can make a team look like a Stanley Cup favorite. The other aspect showed us that the goalie position can make or break a team in more ways than one; including how confident one is concerning job security (Mike Yeo probably comes to mind). With that being said, the question now remains, what team will we see next season after a four and out against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Looking at last season, one continued to wait for the decline of Devan Dubnyk. Much like the Calgary Flames as a whole, or the regular season Andrew Hammond, Dubnyk continued to prove everyone wrong with his amazing and very consistent play. He was finally given the opportunity he had been waiting for, and he ran with it. In 39 games for the Wild during the regular season, Dubnyk went 27-9-2 with a .936 save percentage and a 1.78 goals against average. You can’t argue with those numbers, but one also can’t expect that consistency in a full season. Regardless, only time will tell.

Minnesota is a very fast team, when if playing their disciplined brand of hockey can make teams look foolish at times (just ask the St. Louis Blues). While the Wild shed more than they gained during this offseason, they really didn’t hurt themselves or their chances for a formidable next season. Projecting next season with a jam packed Central Division, the Minnesota Wild should still be pulling at minimum, that Wild Card, as the Central should again see 5 teams when the Playoffs return.

2015-2016 Season Projection: 5th in the Central

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