The Minnesota Wild were a playoff team largely due to goaltender Niklas Backstrom and some timely offense. Sometimes it showed up in bunches while other times it would hibernate for a week at a time. Let’s take a look back at the Wild who made fantasy owners crazy at times.
Team Name: Minnesota Wild
Record: 26-19-3, 2nd Northwest, Lost 4-1 to Chicago in Western Conference Quarterfinals.
Player of the Season: Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu both get this distinction. Parise (18-20–38 with 13 PP points) and Koivu (11-26–37 with 13 PP points) were two of the most consistent players on this team this season. They, along with Suter, were the three real keys to success on the power play.
Breakout of the Season: Josh Harding doesn’t have a great stat line with a 1-1-0 record and a 3.24 GAA and .863 save percentage. He did, however, perform better in the playoffs. He allowed Chicago 12 goals in five games with a better GAA and save percentage. And all of this while he is battling the effects of MS. On top of this, he might be a sleeper in goal next season as he could inherit the top job.
Disappointment of the Season: Ryan Suter started out slowly on the blue line. Like no goals and 12 assists through the first two months of the season slowly. A 16-point March helped him save value but when you factor in his contract (13yr, $98MM) you expect more out of him. While it is mildly disappointing, it’s not like a first-round pick playing six games then tearing a knee ligament.
Team Analysis: Backstrom carried the team as they had offensive issues early on and again late in the season. They opened the season with a 9-7-2 mark despite scoring just 37 goals in 18 games. The Wild went mild late with a 5-8-1 April where they scored 8 goals in the first 7 games of that month. If this team had anything resembling consistency they could push into the upper echelon of their division and maybe conference.
2013-2014 Story Lines: Will Backstrom come back in 2013-2014? He’s an unrestricted free agent and had sports hernia surgery in the offseason. Backstrom had some really good nights (33-save shutout of San Jose) and some really bad ones too (2 goals allowed in 2 shots in the first 3:07 at LA) but should get a lot of play on the open market for teams that need to shore up their goaltending (Tampa, Florida, Colorado to name a few). If Backstrom goes, who will tend the net?
2013-2014 Fantasy Guys to Have: Parise, Koivu, Suter, Devin Setoguchi (13-14–27)
Guys On the Fringe: Zenon Konopka (only if you need the PIMs), The starting goaltender when one is named, Dany Heatley, Jared Spurgeon (half of his 15 points came on the power play).
|Zach Parise, LW||48||18||20||38||2||16||20:40||7||6||0||0||182||9.9|
|Mikko Koivu, C||48||11||26||37||2||26||21:06||0||13||0||0||127||8.7|
|Ryan Suter, D||48||4||28||32||2||24||27:17||3||12||0||0||91||4.4|
|Devin Setoguchi, RW||48||13||14||27||5||20||14:26||5||1||0||0||97||13.4|
|Matt Cullen, C||42||7||20||27||9||10||15:53||0||4||0||0||79||8.9|
|Dany Heatley, RW||36||11||10||21||-12||8||18:32||3||4||0||0||83||13.3|
|Pierre-Marc Bouchard, RW||43||8||12||20||3||8||13:57||0||2||0||0||71||11.3|
|Jared Spurgeon, D||39||5||10||15||1||4||21:33||4||3||0||0||67||7.5|
|Charlie Coyle, RW||37||8||6||14||3||28||15:04||1||0||0||0||50||16.0|
|Tom Gilbert, D||43||3||10||13||-11||18||19:19||1||3||0||0||36||8.3|
|Kyle Brodziak, C||48||8||4||12||-18||20||17:21||1||1||1||0||88||9.1|
|Jonas Brodin, D||45||2||9||11||3||10||23:13||1||1||0||0||51||3.9|
|Cal Clutterbuck, RW||42||4||6||10||-5||27||13:44||0||0||0||1||87||4.6|
|Clayton Stoner, D||48||0||10||10||0||42||18:13||0||0||0||1||40||0.0|
|Jason Pominville, RW†||10||4||5||9||0||0||17:31||1||2||0||0||24||16.7|
|Torrey Mitchell, LW||45||4||4||8||-8||21||10:30||0||0||0||0||39||10.3|
|Mikael Granlund, C||27||2||6||8||-4||6||13:11||0||2||0||0||36||5.6|
|Jason Zucker, LW||20||4||1||5||4||8||11:16||0||0||0||0||34||11.8|
|Mike Rupp, LW†||32||1||3||4||1||67||8:53||0||0||0||0||27||3.7|
|Justin Falk, D||36||0||3||3||-9||40||13:13||0||0||0||0||27||0.0|
|Marco Scandella, D||6||1||0||1||-1||4||14:26||0||0||0||0||7||14.3|
|Brett Clark, D||8||0||1||1||-9||0||14:04||0||0||0||0||6||0.0|
|Jake Dowell, C||2||0||0||0||0||0||8:33||0||0||0||0||3||0.0|
|Darroll Powe, RW†||8||0||0||0||1||9||10:13||0||0||0||0||5||0.0|
|Zenon Konopka, C||37||0||0||0||-4||117||8:26||0||0||0||0||18||0.0|
|Nate Prosser, D||17||0||0||0||4||4||11:15||0||0||0||0||5||0.0|
|Johan Larsson, LW||1||0||0||0||0||0||14:02||0||0||0||0||2||0.0|