Category Archives: NHL

Wild Whangdoodle: Buyouts!

The Wild have bought out Parise and Suter.

They will be paying them $833,333 each for the next 8 years, and their hit against the salary cap will be as follows.

2021-22: $2.37M
2022-23: $6.37M
2023-24: $7.37M
2024-25: $7.37M
2025-26: $0.833M
2026-27: $0.833M
2027-28: $0.833M
2028-29: $0.833M

If they hadn't been bought out it would have been $7.54M for the next four years.

Bill Guerin apparently didn't buy into the short season's success against weak competition in California and is building for 4-5 years down the line?

I don't know how else to interpret this one.

NHL PLAYOFFS: Game 7 – Wild @ Vegas

It's the last time the Wild will play the Golden Knights this season. The final game of the first round playoff series is here.  There is just nothing left to say about this series. You know what we're looking at.

Two teams playing each other for the 7th time in a row will never lack for stories. This series is no exception. Talbot and Fleury have gone back and forth.  The Wild managed to figure out how to break up almost every single Las Vegas offensive zone pass in game 6, but have struggled to sustain that disruption in almost every other game. Goals have been called back on both sides in pivotal moments.  It's been a ride, and as good as you could hope for a playoff series.

Winner gets to start round 2 on Sunday against the Avalanche who haven't played a game in a week.

Continue reading NHL PLAYOFFS: Game 7 – Wild @ Vegas

NHL PLAYOFFS: Game 6 – Las Vegas @ Minnesota

Tonight the Wild get an elimination game at home. A win here forces game 7 back in Las Vegas on Friday. The home team hasn't fared well in this series so far, with Vegas getting the only home win in game 2.

The Wild didn't make it look super easy, but they got a win in game 5.  At this point in the series, it no longer matters how well the team plays, it just matters if they win and keep the series going. Continue reading NHL PLAYOFFS: Game 6 – Las Vegas @ Minnesota

NHL PLAYOFFS: Game 5 – Wild @ Vegas

*Deep breath*

Well, let's do this one more time. The Wild play their first absolute "must-win" game of the year.  They are back in Vegas, so we get another real late start, and it would be understandable if interest in this playoff season is waning. Disappointment and frustration are the dominant Wild fan feelings at this point, and the temptation is to write a post-mortem on this season already.


The Wild aren't done until they lose one more game, so let's see what they can do with their backs against the wall. Continue reading NHL PLAYOFFS: Game 5 – Wild @ Vegas

NHL PLAYOFFS: Game 4 – Vegas @ Minnesota

I am honestly not sure what to say about game 3. The first period looked so good. Wild players were in front of the net. Pucks were finding their sticks and actually getting past Fleury. Spirits were high!

And then the Wild turned in the worst two periods of the entire season series against the Golden Knights. Vegas got more goals than the Wild got shots over the last 40 minutes of game 3. It was an intensely frustrating game to watch. Continue reading NHL PLAYOFFS: Game 4 – Vegas @ Minnesota

NHL PLAYOFFS: Game 3 – Vegas @ Wild

The series is tied, and now moves to Minnesota for the next two games.  The Wild have dominated in general as the home team, and have had three years of success against Las Vegas in Minnesota.

On the other hand, they will probably have to score more than one goal per game to win these two games. Continue reading NHL PLAYOFFS: Game 3 – Vegas @ Wild

NHL PLAYOFFS: Game 2 – Wild @ Vegas

Late night hockey for game 2 as the Wild look to take another game in Las Vegas.

Road teams that win games 1 and 2 in the NHL playoffs win 80% of the series (79 out of 99 historically).  Road teams that win game 1 and lose game 2 win 43.5% of the series (70 out of 161 historically). Unsurprisingly, it would be good to win this game. Continue reading NHL PLAYOFFS: Game 2 – Wild @ Vegas

NHL PLAYOFFS: Game 1 – Wild @ Vegas

The most successful team in Wild history (by points percentage) now begins the playoffs on the road in Las Vegas, a team that could easily be the best in the NHL this season. A lot of the predictions and previews out there has focused on the Wild's success against Vegas in the regular season, where the Wild won 5 out of 8 and only lost once in regulation. That's not nothing, and it's always better to line up against a team that doesn't feel like the overwhelming favorite (see: Avalanche, Colorado), but it's also pretty clear that the Golden Knights are an elite team, one of the best in the NHL and there will be no easy wins for the Wild in this series.

I have to be honest, I don't know how I'm expecting this series to go. All the games against Las Vegas were super exciting and fun to watch, so if we get a series full of more games like that with playoff intensity on top of it? That will be something. It's been such a fun regular season, and the road through the playoffs is soooo tough, that it's impossible to say that getting knocked out would be an unexpected disappointment. But disappointment is still the word. Continue reading NHL PLAYOFFS: Game 1 – Wild @ Vegas

Weekly Wild Whangdoodle: The End

Games this week:

Tonight is the last game of the season between Colorado and Las Vegas, the two teams at the top of the West division.  Here's what's at stake:

  • Vegas wins the division with any type of win.
  • If Colorado wins in regulation, they control their own destiny for the division title, they would need two more wins (of any type) against LA to take the top spot.
  • If Colorado wins in OT/SO, Vegas wins the division with a win over San Jose on Wednesday (LV is 7-0-0 against SJ this year)

Of course, the team that doesn't win the division gets Minnesota in the first round.  Las Vegas has already clinched home ice in the first round, but Colorado needs 3 more points to ensure that they would start the first round in Denver.

Marcus Foligno

Building off my comment in last week's Whangdoodle, let's play a guessing game.  If i give you a graph that shows the Wild's xG% (all situations) in every game this season (depicted as a five-game rolling average), can you spot the point in the season where Foligno broke his ankle and missed  4 weeks? (click the image to see the answer)

If you guessed game 26, you are correct. He was out for 15 games, and when he came back the xG% quickly corrected itself to climb back over 50%.

To get some sense of the importance of xG% and its correlation to Minnesota's success, we can look at the Wild's record when they control scoring chances (xG% >55%) versus when they are significantly out-chanced (xG% <45%).

xG%Wild Record
xG% >55%17-3-1
45% < xG% < 55%12-5
xG% <45%6-6-4

Those four losses in the top category are all memorable, and with maybe one exception, could have easily gone the other way.

  1. Gibson shuts down the Wild (lost 0-1)
  2. Fleury steals a game, Talbot has off game (lost 1-5)
  3. Wild can't score against the Kings (lost 1-2)
  4. Heartbreaking loss in the last minute/OT against STL (lost 2-3, OT)

To pull the whole thing together, you notice that the three groups the games were sorted into are pretty close to equally populated.  When we factor in Marcus Foligno's presence, we get a different distribution

Foligno?Low xG%Middle xG%High xG%

The last fact in all of this is that the Wild managed to end up playing six of their eight games this season against the Avalanche without Marcus Foligno in the lineup. This seems particularly relevant given the playoff scenarios that are playing out this week and how likely it is that we'll be seeing another Colorado-Minnesota playoff series soon.

Current Standings:

1Vegas54803 (division)
2Colorado53763 (R1 home ice)
4St. Louis5357#4 seed clinched
6Los Angeles5348eliminated
7San Jose5549eliminated

I mentioned this before, but even if the Wild don't earn another standings point, they will finish the season with the highest points percentage of any Wild season in their 20-year history.

Kirill Kaprizov Corner

27 goals in 54 games.  He's 8th in the NHL in goals scored. One goal every other game hasn't been accomplished by a rookie in 15 years. (Ovechkin in '05-'06, 52G in 81GP, Svatos in '05-'06, 32G in 61GP)

51 points in 54 games.   Tied for 19th in the NHL in points.

We're getting down to the end of the season, so you would understand if I said I was running a little short on Kaprizov highlights... Oh wait, the folder is still full.

I'm leaving out the highlights of his assists, because he had some beautiful passes, but goodness, he scored so much this week.



Fiala20Kaprizov24Fiala40Eriksson Ek14.6
Eriksson Ek19Zuccarello24Zuccarello35Spurgeon11.4
Foligno/Sturm/Bonino10Spurgeon18Eriksson Ek30Fiala8.7

If Kaprizov doesn't score another goal this season, he'll finish on pace for 39.5 goals in an 82 game season.  So, I think we can round that to say this was a 40-goal season.

Kaprizov is closer to Connor McDavid in xGAR (25.3) than he is to Eriksson Ek.  He is 3rd in the NHL in xGAR. Anyone thinking about who will finish as the runners up to McDavid for the MVP will have to at least consider Kaprizov.

Also, raise your hand if you had Eriksson Ek down for a 20-goal season? It could happen!