Doubleheader today, with two home openers for the Minnesota professional hockey teams.
The Minnesota Whitecaps begin their NWHL title defense with their first game of the season at 2:00pm (you can watch on Twitch if you desire). They've got a highly touted rookie Nicole Schammel, from last year's Gophers team.
It sounds like most of the teams have rookies (more than 50% of players are new) due to the folding of the CWHL and the formation of the PWHPA and their members sitting out the season in order to demand higher pay and benefits.
In my exhaustive research I find that the Whitecaps are expected to be good again this year, although it's hard to predict anything in a league with such massive turnover.
The Wild continue their search for a victory, now back home in Minnesota against a Penguins team that hasn't looked super great so far.
Minnesota is 29th of 31 in the league in shooting percentage (6.3%) and 28th out of 31 in save percentage (0.854). PDO says ... yuck. If you really want to get depressed, check out the High Danger Scoring Chances stat on hockey-reference. If you want an illustration of what needs to change for the Wild to succeed, I think this does it.
|HDSC For||% Converted||HDSC Against||% Converted|
|36||2.7% (31st)||39||15.2% (30th)|
However, I promised at one point that I wouldn't lose my mind, so here we go, playing at home against a team that isn't playing their best hockey, that sounds like it could be a win.
GAME 3 RECAP - WINNIPEG 5, MINNESOTA 2
Ugh. For a third straight game, the Wild battled out of an early deficit. For a third straight game, they gave it right back and lost.
It's fine to look at a lot of these metrics and see that the Wild are creating just as many chances as their opponents, and they are controlling possession just fine. But also, they just are not converting and they are not keeping their opponent off the board late in games.
Third period goals for the season -- MIN 1, Opponents 5 (+3 empty netters)
A team can't shoot this poorly all season, but boy it would be nice if they started proving that soon.