Weekly Wild Whangdoodle: Hotel California

Trade Deadline News:

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Games this week:

On the road to finish off the season series against all three of these teams. It doesn't look like any of these three are going to make the playoffs, so this is Minnesota's last trip to California until next year.

Current Standings:

RankTeamGPPtsMagic Number
1Vegas47700
2Colorado45660
3Minnesota47650
4Arizona484722
5St. Louis454618
6San Jose4741-
7Los Angeles4540-
8Anaheim4835-

5-2 win over the Coyotes

The power play was 3 for 3 in this one and is as good now as it was bad earlier in the year.  The power play shooting percentage has reached an inflection point and is moving toward the league average (the median NHL power play shooting percentage is 14%, the Wild season power play shooting percentage is 11%, and is 14% once you remove the first 10 games of the season).

Power play shooting percentage over the 5 games preceding this weekend - 31.3% (10 goals on 32 shots).

Two wins over the Sharks

The fourth line was the story here. Bonino-Sturm-Parise combined to score 6 of Minnesota's 13 goals this week.

Bonino had 6 points, Parise had 4, and Sturm got a goal and an assist.  It was amazing how much this line controlled play when they were on the ice.  Zach Parise had a really good couple of games, and immediately all the podcasts and Russo articles and everything rushed to recognize his fourth line contributions.

I'm interested to observe how Evason's doghouse works, because there are clearly players that he doesn't give the benefit of the doubt (Nico Sturm - who's been really good and still plays fourth line when he's not scratched).  Parise was in trouble with Evason earlier in the year and I wonder how long it will take to see Zach on the power play again.

Kirill Kaprizov Corner

Leaderboards

PlayerGPlayerAPlayerPtsPlayerxGAR
Kaprizov22Greenway22Kaprizov41Eriksson Ek11.5
Fiala17Kaprizov19Fiala32Kaprizov10.6
Eriksson Ek15Zuccarello19Zuccarello29Spurgeon7.7
Zuccarello10Suter16Greenway 28Brodin7.2
Foligno9Fiala/Soucy15Eriksson Ek25Sturm7.2

 

36 thoughts on “Weekly Wild Whangdoodle: Hotel California”

      1. Kaprizov would be on pace for 35 goals in an 82 game season right now. That would put him tied for 34th all time for NHL rookie goals.

        In the last 20 years, 14 players have topped 30 goals in their rookie season. Only 4 have 35 or more (Ovechkin, Crosby, Matthews, Laine).

        Kaprizov is something special.

        1. Top 30 goals per game for rookies since the 2005 lockout (minimum 19 goals).

          Rank Player Games Goals GPG
          1 Ovechkin 81 52 0.64
          2 Svatos 61 32 0.52
          3 Laine 73 36 0.49
          4 Matthews 82 40 0.49
          5 Ryan 64 31 0.48
          6 Crosby 81 39 0.48
          7 Boeser 62 29 0.47
          8 Kaprizov 46 21 0.46
          9 Grabner 76 34 0.45
          10 Kubalik 68 30 0.44
          11 Prucha 68 30 0.44
          12 Malkin 78 33 0.42
          13 Connor 76 31 0.41
          14 Couture 79 32 0.41
          15 Pettersson 71 28 0.39
          16 Skinner 82 31 0.38
          17 Panarin 80 30 0.38
          18 Toews 64 24 0.38
          19 Olofsson 54 20 0.37
          20 Staal 81 29 0.36
          21 Penner 82 29 0.35
          22 Eaves 58 20 0.34
          23 Hoffman 79 27 0.34
          24 DeBrincat 82 28 0.34
          25 Stastny 82 28 0.34
          26 Hall 65 22 0.34
          27 Lee 76 25 0.33
          28 Stone 80 26 0.33
          29 Forsberg 82 26 0.32
          30 Boyes 82 26 0.32
  1. ha. there's a video on after the game of a tour of kaprizov's apartment. he shows where he plays video games and the producer asks does he play any ea sports? the NHL game? he laughed and said no, i play hockey.

    1. I saw that too, made me wonder if part of the reason FIFA is such a popular game for professional athletes is that it could be one of the sports they've played the least (or maybe not at all) of the big sports game genres. Granted, I'm taking what EA's marketing team fed me while I worked there about how many football/basketball players spent a lot of time with FIFA.

      1. FIFA is super popular with teens and has been for years. My son, who doesn't watch a lot of soccer on TV, knows all the players and teams from playing FIFA. Makes sense that this would apply to once teens who now are pro athletes.

  2. Wild finish the season series 7-1 against Arizona (no OT/SO games).

    Arizona against the top 3 teams in the division -- 4-17-1
    Arizona against the bottom 3 teams in the division -- 11-3-3

    They've got 7 more against the Kings and the Sharks and that might be enough to get them into the playoffs and a first round date with Colorado or Las Vegas. I'm going to guess that won't be an exciting first round matchup either way.

        1. That certainly is funny. I'm expecting a painful loss in like 5 games, no matter which of those two teams we face. Hypothetically the Wild could win a series, and hypothetically the Knights are the weaker team, but the Knights and Avs are probably two of the best teams in the NHL, right? And we love the Wild, but they aren't that.

          1. I think the Avs are the best team in the league by a lot (unless something happens to Grubauer, like DG said once before). There might be arguments for one or two teams maybe being better than the Knights (Lightning? Maple Leafs? Hurricanes? Someone from the other division...?), but I'd still probably take them second. And would certainly rather take a shot at them in the playoffs first if I had to choose one.

    1. Whether or not Kaprizov should get the Rookie of the Year award because he played in the KHL is one of those issues that like 3 people will care about in 4 months.

      1. So true.

        Robertson has a legitimate case regardless of past experience. But, I still think Kaprizov wins it. The best arguments I've seen for Robertson put him just a touch ahead of KK97 statistically, and given the way Kaprizov started the year and announced himself to the NHL, it would take a more significant difference to dislodge him from the top spot.

        But then, I've watched a lot more of Kaprizov than any of the other candidates.

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