And Now You’re First-place … Minnesota Wild?

Yes, these are tough times. The Twins are coming off of a 99-loss season. The Vikings just got smoked by the rival Packers to fall to 2-7. And the Wolves … they probably aren’t playing a game this season.

But across the Northland marched a team in skates. The Wild are here to rescue downtrodden fans in Minnesota.

I knew the Wild were playing well, but it was a little startling to see them atop the Northwest Division standings after a come-from-behind victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday. So it’s time to give the Wild some attention.

How are the Wild doing it?

  • One trademark of previous successful Wild teams was good goaltending, and this year’s team is no different. Josh Harding and Niklas Backstrom have formed a formidable 1-2 combo in net for Minnesota. Only two teams – the Red Wings and Rangers – have given up fewer goals than the Wild’s 38 allowed this season.
  • The Wild aren’t punishing opposing goalies too much, but there have been a couple of nice contributions. Dany Heatley – acquired in an offseason trade – leads the team with 11 points, and Moorhead’s own Matt Cullen has 10 points thanks to a team-high seven goals this season.