Tag Archives: Minnesota Wild

November 5 – Day 30 – Let’s keep it in the division

Last night’s divisional rivalry between the St. Louis Blues and the Chicago Blackhawks was absolutely wild, as the Notes came back from a three-goal deficit to win in overtime.

Within six and a half minutes, the Blackhawks had a 3-1 lead.  Marko Dano, assisted by Ryan Hartman, scored the opening goal for Chicago at the 2:08 mark, but Colton Parayko and Vladimir Tarasenko assisted Alexander Steen to a game-tying goal only 54 seconds later.  1:35 later, the Blackhawks again took a one-goal lead when Andrew Shaw fired his penalty shot past Brian Elliott, followed 1:58 later by Trevor Teravainen scoring his fourth of the season.

Three more goals were scored in the first, beginning with Robby Fabbri’s tally, assisted by David Backes, at the 15:12 mark.  Chicago was responsible for the final two scores, as Patrick Kane and Teravainen assisted Brent Seabrook to his fourth of the season at the 17:09 mark, followed 43 seconds later by Seabrook and Shaw assisting Kane to make the score 5-2, which held into the first intermission.

The second period was all Blues, as they scored three goals to tie the game.  They notched their first of the period at the 3:11 mark when Parayko and Jay Bouwmeester assisted Steen to his second of the night, setting the score at 5-3.  The Notes‘ fourth goal of the game didn’t come until the 17:12 mark, when Troy Brouwer and Scott Gomez assisted Bouwmeester to his first of the year, which was followed 2:14 later when Alex Pietrangelo and Fabbri assisted Backes to his third of the season to tie the game at five-all, which held into the second intermission.

Although there weren’t any goals in the third period, the Blackhawks certainly gave it their best effort, as they out-shot the Blues 14-7 in the final period.  Although it was a better showing than the second period for the Hawks, they still were not able to break through Jake Allen, and the game went to overtime.

It took only 3:54 for Pietrangelo to assist Tarasenko to the game-winner, giving the Blues the bonus point.

6-3-1 Corey Crawford earned his first overtime loss of the season after stopping only 23 of 29 (79.3%), while 5-3-0 Jake Allen earned the victory after stopping 27 of 28 (96.4%).  Brian Elliott was the Blues‘ starter, but was pulled twice (once as a blatant informal timeout, and again for an injury), and only played 17:03.  They were a bad 17 minutes though, as he saved only 11 of 15 shots (73.3%), but earned a no-decision after Allen and the offense’s spectacular play.

The DtFR Game of the Day series now stands at 18-7-4, favoring the home team at 16 points over the roadies.

It’s another busy day in the NHL!  As usual, the action gets started at 7 p.m. eastern when two teams drop the opening puck (Tampa Bay at Buffalo [Bell TV] and Boston at Washington), followed half an hour later by two more (the New York Islanders at Montréal [RDS] and Winnipeg at Ottawa [RDS2]).  Nashville at Minnesota gets started at 8 p.m. eastern, followed an hour later by an additional two fixtures (Philadelphia at Calgary [SN360] and Colorado at Arizona).  Finally, this evening’s double-dose of nightcap gets started at 10:30 p.m. eastern when Columbus visits Los Angeles and Florida visits San Jose.

Two of tonight’s matchups involve divisional rivals (LightningSabres and PredatorsWild), and a total of four games include two teams qualifying for the playoffs (BruinsCapitals, IslandersCanadiens, JetsSenators and PredatorsWild).

The game that qualifies for both categories sounds like the best one to watch!

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This is Minnesota‘s fourth time being featured in the Game of the Day series, and are currently a perfect 3-0-0 in such games.  It is Nashville‘s first appearance in the Game of the Day series.

The 7-2-2 Nashville Predators currently sit in fifth place in both the Central Division and the Western Conference, albeit because of losing the second tiebreaker to tonight’s opponent.  They enter the game riding a two-game losing skid, with their most recent defeat coming at the hands of the Anaheim Ducks on The Pond, falling 4-2 on Sunday.

While the offense has been on par with the league so far this season, it has been 6-1-2 Pekka Rinne and the defense (specifically Alternate Captain Roman Josi and his 28 blocks) who have really shined.  They’ve allowed only 25 goals so far this season, including only four power play tallies, on 309 shots faced (91.9% save rate) (all of those numbers are under the league average).  Pair that with their 87.1% penalty kill rate, and you find a team that is hard to beat, even when the opposition has the upper hand.

The offense has accounted for 32 goals this season (Alternate Captain James Neal leads the way with seven), including eight on the power play (21.62% success rate), even though they only have 344 shots to their credit (8.7% shot percentage).  The power play has been potent, made evident by their goal total exceeding the league average even when Nashville has had fewer opportunities.  The Wild would be wise to keep penalties to a minimum.

The 7-2-2 Minnesota Wild enter tonight’s game after losing to the St. Louis Blues on the road in overtime on Halloween, 3-2.  Their offense has propelled the team to fourth in the Central Division and Western Conference.

Led by Alternate Captain Zach Parise’s seven goals, the Wild have notched a total of 35 goals on only 306 shots (11.4%), including eight power play goals (21.62% success rate).  As made evident by those percentages, Minnesota has found success scoring the puck, and it will be interesting to see how they handle a team as proficient on the defensive end as the Nashville Predators.

The offense has had to be good, because the defense has not done them many favors.  7-2-1 Devan Dubnyk and co. have given up 32 goals (league average) on only 300 shots (89.7% save percentage).  Fortunately, Jared Spurgeon’s 26 blocks have kept many pucks from reaching the crease, but Coach Mike Yeo should have reason to worry if Dubnyk is not simply starting his season slowly.

The biggest struggle for the Wild has been the penalty kill, as the squad has given up six goals on only 25 attempts (76%).  While the team has done all they can to avoid going a man down, this is an alarming number that can affect how the Wild plays going forward in the season.  If this rate cannot be improved, Minnesota will not be able to play as aggressively or check as often has they would like.

Last season, Minnesota won the season series 3-1-1 with a 4-2 victory on April 9 in Nashville.

Some players to watch in this one include Minnesota‘s Dubnyk (seven wins [tied for league lead] and one shutout [tied for seventh in the league]) and Nashville‘s Rinne (six wins [tied for third in the league], 1.97 GAA [sixth in the league] and one shutout [tied for seventh in the league]).

Although the Wild are hosting this game, I don’t think Dubnyk and the defense will be able to prevent Nashville from scoring, especially if the Predators can get under their skin and earn some power plays.  I think you can plan on seeing a Nashville Predators winner.

October 30 – Day 24 – Western Conference Semifinal Rematch

Head Coach Dan Bylsma’s return to the Consol Energy Center ended poorly, as his Buffalo Sabres fell 4-3 to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Pens opened the scoring only 56 seconds into the game, as Sidney Crosby and First Star of the Game Ben Lovejoy assisted Pascal Dupuis to his first goal of the season.  Pittsburgh followed up that early goal with another at the 7:16 mark, when Crosby and Olli Maatta provided the helpers to Second Star Patric Hornqvist.  The two-goal lead held until the 14:25 mark, when Jamie McGinn, assisted by Tim Schaller and Rasmus Ristolainen, fired a shot past backup goalie Jeff Zatkoff, followed 2:15 later by a Nicolas Deslauriers goal, assisted by Third Star Ryan O’Reilly and Ristolainen, to set the score a two-all, which held into intermission.

It was all Pittsburgh in the second period.  Lovejoy broke the tie at the 8:18 mark, assisted by Evgeni Malkin.  Malkin’s line had only just begun, as he is responsible for the game-winner 6:39 later, assisted by Hornqvist and Phil Kessel.

Just as Pittsburgh controlled the second, Buffalo dominated the third.  In fact, the Sabres put 24 shots on goal in the final period, compared to a lowly four for Pittsburgh.  One of those shots, this one fired by Matt Moulson and assisted by O’Reilly and David Legwand, broke through in the 18th minute to set the final 4-3 score.

Chad Johnson’s record fell to 3-6-0 with tonight’s loss.  He saved 25 of 29 shots (86.2%), while Zatkoff saved 50 of 53 (94.3%) to earn his first win in his first start of the season.

After tonight’s game, the DtFR Game of the Day series stands at 14-6-3, favoring the home squad by 11 points.

Tonight’s schedule is another busy one, as there are nine games on the Friday schedule.  Four of those games get started at 7 p.m. eastern (Philadelphia at Buffalo [Bell TV], Toronto at the New York Rangers [SN360], Columbus at Washington and Colorado at Carolina), followed half an hour later by two more (Ottawa at Detroit [RDSI] and Boston at Florida).  Chicago and Minnesota drop the opening puck at 8 p.m. eastern, followed an hour later by Montréal at Calgary (RDS).  The final game gets started at 10 p.m. eastern between Vancouver and Arizona.

Five of the nine games tonight are divisional rivalries (Columbus at Washington, Ottawa at Detroit, Boston at Florida, Chicago at Minnesota and Vancouver at Arizona), and only one is between teams qualifying for the playoffs (Vancouver at Arizona).  But, only one is a rematch from last season’s playoffs: the ChicagoMinnesota matchup.  Since it’s also a divisional matchup, we’ll look a little further into that one.

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The 6-3-0 Chicago Blackhawks have relied on their defense to find their early success.  Led by 5-2-0 Corey Crawford and Niklas Hjalmarsson (23 blocks), the Hawks have only allowed 246 shots on goal, saving 93.5% of those attempts.  That converts into only 16 goals so far this season, eight below the league average.  Even when down a man, Chicago has still found a way to keep the opposition off the board, as they’ve only given up three power play goals on 25 attempts for a 88% penalty kill rate, 7.35% above the league average.

The offense, on the other hand, has not been quite as stellar. as they’ve only notched 19 goals so far, five below the league average.  That being said, the power play has scored just as many as the rest of the league (six), albeit on six more opportunities.  Therefore, Chicago‘s 16.67% power play trails the league average by 1.68%.

Turning our attention to the 6-2-1 home squad, we find a Minnesota team that leans on their offense for success.  They’ve scored 28 goals so far this season, seven of which are a result of the power play (one above the league average).  On 30 attempts, their 23.33% power play percentage leads the league average by 4.98%.  The most exciting facet of this offense has been their two shorties scored this season.  While not something the team can rely on, these tallies can certainly sway the momentum of a game in their favor, and it is beneficial to the squad to know they have that capability going forward.

While the defense hasn’t been as successful as the offense, it still has been fairly stout.  The squad has only given up one more goal than league average, of which only five have been on the power play.  This stat is slightly misleading though, as the team has only defended 23 power plays, giving them a 78.26% kill rate (3.39% below league average).

Probably the biggest shortcoming of this Wild team is their lack of shots.  Minnesota has only notched 245 shots on goal this season, 23 below the NHL average.  Fortunately for them, they’ve scored 11.4% of those shots (2.3% over the league average), but it may not be wise to rely on that percentage for long without increasing their shot count.

Last season, Chicago won the regular season series against the Wild 3-2-0 before sweeping them in the Western Conference Semifinals.

Some players to watch in tonight’s game include Chicago‘s Crawford (two shutouts [tied for league lead], five wins [tied for fourth in the league], 1.76 GAA [tied for sixth in the league] and .938 save percentage [tied for eighth in the leauge]) & Patrick Kane (13 points [fourth in the league] on six goals [tied for sixth in the league]) and Minnesota‘s Devan Dubunyk (six wins [tied for second in the league] and one shutout [tied for sixth in the league]) & Zach Parise (seven goals [tied for second in the leauge]).

The line for tonight’s game reads -145 in favor of Minnesota, but given Chicago‘s success against Minnesota last year, I am weary of siding with Vegas in this one.

October 22 – Day 16 – Welcome back, buddy!

After a total of eight goals were scored in regulation, last night’s Game of the Day between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Boston Bruins ended with a Flyer power play goal from Claude Giroux to seal the win.

The first goal was witness to four goals, but ended in a two-all draw. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare began the scoring at the 9:28 mark of the first to give Philly a one-goal lead.  However, it was short lived, as Brett Connolly scored his first of the season exactly four minutes after.  Philadelphia again took the lead with a goal from Sam Gagner at the 15:04 mark, but the Bruins struck back again 2:20 later with a power play goal from new father Patrice Bergeron.

The second period was all Boston, who scored twice and held the Flyers scoreless.  Chris Kelly fired a shorty at the 4:31 mark to give the Bruins their first lead of the evening, followed 4:18 later by Jimmy Hayes’ second score of the year.

Just as it was a perfect second for Boston, it was a mirror in the third for Philadelphia.  Giroux narrowed the deficit to one at the 7:48 mark, followed by Wayne Simmonds’ game-tying tally at the 10:24 mark.

Tuukka Rask earned the loss (or was it Ryan Spooner and his hooking penalty?) after making only 32 of 37 saves on the night (86.5%), while Steve Mason earned the win after replacing Michal Neuvirth (10 for 12, 83.3%) after the first period.  He stopped 16 of 18 (88.9%)

After the loss, the DtFR Game of the Day series still favors the home squad, standing at 8-5-2.

Tonight’s NHL schedule is full of excitement as there are eight games being played.  The evening gets started at 7 p.m. eastern when Arizona visits the New York Rangers and Dallas visits Pittsburgh (SN360), followed half an hour later by New Jersey at Ottawa.  At 8 p.m. eastern, two more games get started (Anaheim at Nashville and Columbus at Minnesota), followed half an hour later by Florida at Chicago.  At 10 p.m. eastern, Washington pays their yearly visit to Vancouver (SN360), followed half an hour later by the final game of the night: Los Angeles at San Jose.

Before yesterday, the most exciting thing happening pertaining to a particular game was the return of Mike Santorelli to Nashville… where he played 54 games over two seasons… yeah…  Other than that, it was the lone divisional rivalry of the night between the Kings and Sharks.

Luckily for us, the Blue Jackets decided to add a little bit of drama and fire Head Coach Todd Richards, a day after his own birthday no less, and hire everyone’s favorite loose cannon coach: John Tortorella!  That makes Columbus at Minnesota our Game of the Day!

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Hey buddy, how’ve you been?  Missed you! .Gif compliments of Sean Gentille at SportingNews.

Anyways, our buddy Torts is taking over the worst team in hockey currently, as the Blue Jackets have yet to even take a game to overtime in seven tries.  The Jackets have two goals less than the league average, which isn’t terrible in the grand scheme of things, but have given up 19 more goals than the average team.  That one there is bad news.  Seven of those goals have been a result of being a man-down, which is three higher than the rest of the league.  Due to this, the Jackets are only killing two-thirds of the opposition’s power play, a rate almost 20% below average.

There are a few good things going on in Columbus though, one of which being the power play.  Teams are averaging only four power play goals so far this season, but the Jackets have six to their credit (of course, half of those belong to Brandon Saad) and have earned nine more power play opportunities, giving them a 2.4% better power play than the average team.  They are also not committing too many penalties, as they’ve only been a man down an extra time over the league average.

They have also accounted for a ton more shots than everybody else (52 more, to be exact), but they haven’t been able to sneak any past the opposing goaltender.  The Jackets‘ shot percentage is only 5.8%, compared to the league average 8.9%.  That stat comes with a grain of salt, though, as they’ve also given up 32 more shots than the average team, and only saving 85.2% of them (compared to the 91.7% league average).

Lucky for them, their new master commander will lead them into battle for the first time against the team that currently occupies the final wild card spot in the Western Conference with seven points: the Minnesota Wild.

Some players to watch in this one include Minnesota‘s Zach Parise (five goals [tied for second in the league],

And, of course, Torts.

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Feeling is mutual, buddy.  Thanks to Reddit user MixtapeNostalgia for supplying the .gif here.

The Wild are favored at -200 at home, which only further convinces me that Minnesota should run away with this one.

Colby’s Corner: Columbus Winless through 7 and Torts

Columbus Blue Jackets

The Columbus Blue Jackets were picked by many, including myself, to make the playoffs this year. The key addition ofColumbus Blue Jackets Logo Brandon Saad was supposed to improve the team drastically. However, after a 0-7-0 start to their season, many people might be recanting their statements.

On Wednesday, October 21st, the Columbus Blue Jackets fired their coach Todd Richards and hired John Tortorella (Torts) as the new coach. Torts brings experience and a Stanley Cup ring from when he led the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004. Along with signing him, Columbus has to give a second round pick to Vancouver because Torts was last employed by them and he was fired. The pick would’ve been a third rounder if Torts was hired during the off-season, but during the season requires it to be a second rounder. Columbus also agreed to keep some of their assistant coaches, maintaining familiarity with the players.

The team only has two players that are even in plus-minus this year, and the rest of the team is a minus. Goaltending has been another serious issue with save percentage under NHL average, and Sergei Bobrovsky has the league’s worst with .835. The star players in Columbus might be another major issue. Ryan Johansen, the number one center, only has one goal in the year thus far. There are only three players with multiple goals: Brandon Saad (3), Boone Jenner (3) and Scott Hartnell (2). Nick Foligno and Ryan Johansen led the team in points last season, but this season each only has one goal through 7 games. The record resembles their performances on ice and their stats.

My Opinion

I feel like the firing of Todd Richards was unfair, and how they did it was very unprofessional. It’s not the coach’s fault if the franchise goalie forgot how to play hockey overnight. I understand it’s not all Bobrovsky’s fault, but he has a goals-against average of 5.07 in addition to his league’s worst save percentage. The defense is another struggle. David Savard and Dalton Prout have plus-minuses of minus 9 on the season. Defense is where Richards could be blamed, but you can only use what you have, and GM Jarmo Kekalainen didn’t strengthen the back end this off-season, he only went after forwards. giphy

The Blue Jackets screwed up in their hiring process after the 4-0 loss to the New York Islanders Tuesday night. The management began looking into new coaches and had actually agreed to a deal with Torts before letting Todd Richards know he was fired. This is crap and actually makes me sick. The headline Wednesday morning was Richards out Torts in, and I understand the need for action, but come on. Torts, however, doesn’t have full control of his staff because Richards’ assistants stayed with team. Normally the head coach is allowed to pick his assistant coaches, but not in this situation. Now Columbus has to hope one of the most hard-headed coaches in the league gets along with these assistants.

To wrap up, the Blue Jackets won’t go winless all season, so Torts will get a win, but unless Bobrovsky remembers how to play hockey, the Blue Jackets will not make the playoffs. Columbus will realize the issues weren’t behind the bench but in goal and in weak defensemen. The Blue Jackets’ next game is Thursday vs. Minnesota Wild.

Down the Frozen River Podcast #12- Surprise Surprise, Connor Only Messed Up Once

The Down the Frozen River crew talks about many things as week one (and a half) of the 2015-2016 regular season has gone by. Standings, winners and losers, and a couple of new segments debut in this episode of the Down the Frozen River Podcast. Connor only messed up one name and Colby will be back next time.

Surprisingly mentioned this week- Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo. Surprisingly not mentioned this week- Zach Boychuk, Pete Blackburn, DJ Bean.

Join the conversation, make a suggestion, or ask a question for our next podcast using #AskDownTheFrozenRiver or #DTFRPodcast on Twitter- your thoughts might make it on our show! Please interact with us.

Colby’s Corner: Bold Predictions Part 2

Bold Predictions will be a two-part series where I, Colby, will discuss who I think will and won’t make the playoffs this season and why. The second part will be the teams who will not make the playoffs and why not. Now remember, these are my opinions. If you disagree, feel free to leave a comment; we always appreciate feedback.

Eastern Conference

Atlantic                                    Metropolitan                                     Wild Cards

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning           1. Washington Capitals                 1. Columbus Blue Jackets (M)
  2. Montreal Canadiens             2. Pittsburgh Penguins                 2. New York Islanders (M)
  3. Ottawa Senators                    3. New York Rangers

The two teams people will be surprised to see missing from the playoffs are the Detroit Red Wings and the Boston Bruins.

Boston Bruins: Aging core with weak blue line equals no playoffs for the city of Boston for the 2nd year in a row. Zdeno Chara is by far the best defenseman on the Bruins’ team this year. The 38-year-old is just coming off an injury, and because he is getting up there in age he has people in Boston questioning when he will hang up his skates. It’s not surprising that the older he gets, the number of injuries he has and the time he misses increase also. As he gets older, though, the Bruins seem to be leaning on him more as they get rid of their other defenseman like Johnny Boychuk and Dougie Hamilton. Dennis Seidenberg and Patrice Bergeron grow another year older as they remain part of this Bruins core. Injuries have already plagued the Bruins on the defensive end and will likely result in them playing three young men in the back: Zach Trotman, Colin Miller and Joe Morrow. The three of them together only have 44 games played in the NHL. I don’t even see the Bruins being close to the wildcard spot, as some Bruins fans have been joking about. #AustintoBoston

Detroit Red Wings: New coach, different results. The Detroit Red Wings hired Jeff Blashill when Mike Babcock left during this offseason. I was a big fan of hiring from within the organization, as Blashill was the coach for the Red Wings affiliate last season. The Jump from AHL to NHL is big, you can ask all the players who never transition. Some coaches have been successful in this jump, like John Tortorella. However, I feel like Wings fans will truly see how much Babcock did for their organization and the core they have there. The Wings are also dealing with a goaltender battle between Petr Mrazek and Jimmy Howard. Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg will have to have wide shoulders if the Wings want a chance at making the playoffs, along with help from Tomas Tatar and Mike Green. The Wings will compete for the wildcard at the end of the season, but will fall short.

Western Conference

Pacific                                     Central                                    Wild Cards

  1. Anaheim Ducks                1. Dallas Stars                   1. Chicago Blackhawks (C)
  2. Calgary Flames                 2. St Louis Blues               2. Colorado Avalanche (C)
  3. Los Angeles Kings            3. Minnesota Wild

The two teams people will be surprised to see missing from my playoffs are two teams that made it last season, the Nashville Predators and the Winnipeg Jets.

Nashville Predators: Same tricks don’t work twice Nashville was a top team in the west last season due to big performance from James Neal, Filip Forsberg, Shea Weber and Pekka Rinne. I am calling that Forsberg will have the crucial sophomore slump. I also don’t see Rinne having the same numbers as last season. He and Weber got help this off-season from Barrett Jackman, however I don’t think this will be enough. The Preds will have a bad year because that division is just so good now and teams like Dallas added a lot of talent.

Winnipeg Jets: Off ice causes issues on it Winnipeg is dealing with a lot, what with all the trade rumors surround

RALEIGH, NC - NOVEMBER 13: Dustin Byfuglien #33 of the Winnipeg Jets reacts for the camera during their NHL game against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on November 13, 2014 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)

ing star defenseman/winger Dustin Byfuglien. It seems like reports are linking him to just about any team out there. Byfuglien had some issues with Evander Kane, back when Kane was in Winnipeg. There seems to always be tension inside that locker room. Another reason I feel Winnipeg doesn’t make the playoffs is in between the pipes. Michael Hutchinson and Onderj Pavelec are not number one goalies in the NHL. The reason they made the playoffs last season was because of Hutchinson’s amazing play down the final stretch of the season. I don’t see him doing this again this year. I actually have Winnipeg last in this division. I would say they finish about 10th in the conference, however, because the Pacific is so weak.

Numbers Game: Look to the Rafters- Minnesota Wild

By: Nick Lanciani

My look at what retired numbers around the league may look like in the future continues. While there’s only a finite set of numbers to utilize on the back of a jersey, many teams choose to retire (or honor) some numbers based on extraordinary circumstances, dedication to the organization, or legendary status.

Many thoughts went through my head in each and every consideration. Feel free to agree or disagree- I want to know what you, the fans, consider worthy when evaluating a player, their career, and whether or not their number should be retired by a franchise. I am interested in seeing what you have to say, assuming you are actually a fan of the team and/or player that you argue for or against. Drop us a line in the comments or tweet to @DtFrozenRiver using #DTFRNumbersGame.

For each team, I thought of former and current players that should have their numbers retired now or once they hang up the skates.

Unknown-4Minnesota Wild

Current Retired Numbers- 1 Minnesota Fans

Recommended Numbers to Retire

9 Mikko Koivu

Koivu has been one of the first- if not the first- products of the Minnesota Wild’s system. The franchise itself is still young, having first appeared in the 2000-2001 season, so not many players have gone through Minnesota for their entire career, or under extraordinary circumstances, hence as things stand right now, we’ll likely only see the Wild retire a number in the next ten or fifteen years.

Zach Parise's legend continues to grow each year in Minnesota. Will he lead them on a Cup run in the near future? (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Zach Parise’s legend continues to grow each year in Minnesota. Will he lead them on a Cup run in the near future? (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

11 Zach Parise

Provided Parise spends the majority of his career with the Wild, there’s a good chance they’ll honor him and his legendary Minnesota family. Also, if he keeps scoring hat tricks like the one he had Thursday night, they’ll probably honor him too.

20 Ryan Suter

Likewise, it’s the same case with Suter- minus the hat tricks (see above).

Other Notes

Minnesota fans are number 1 in the State of Hockey, especially after having to live through the whole North Stars relocation to Dallas- probably hence why the number is set aside to make that connection between a committed franchise and their fans.

Otherwise, I really got nothing for you in terms of what the future could look like for the Minnesota Wild’s rafters.

Down the Frozen River Podcast #11- The 2015-2016 Regular Season is Underway!

The Down the Frozen River crew talks about the first few days of the 2015-2016 regular season. Also discussed, Milan Lucic and Dustin Brown’s actions, John Tortorella, Raffi Torres, fighting in hockey, Zack Kassian, and some of the matches from week one of the 2015-2016 regular season.

Surprisingly not mentioned this week- Zach Boychuk, Pete Blackburn, DJ Bean, and Brunch. Pardon our slight audio issue, we hope to have that fixed next time. As always, thanks for listening.

Join the conversation, make a suggestion, or ask a question for our next podcast using #AskDownTheFrozenRiver or #DTFRPodcast on Twitter- your thoughts might make it on our show (and we really mean it this time, because we’re going to have a new segment for your thoughts next time)! <– We said that last statement last week but this time we really, really, mean it. Please interact with us.

Colby’s Corner: Bold Predictions Part 1

Bold Predictions will be a two-part series where I, Colby, will discuss who I think will and won’t make the playoffs this season and why. The first part will be the teams who will make the playoffs and the order I think we will see them in. Now remember, these are my opinions. If you disagree, feel free to leave a comment; we always appreciate feedback.

Eastern Conference

Atlantic                                   Metropolitan                                        Wild Cards

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning           1. Washington Capitals                 1. Columbus Blue Jackets (M)
  2. Montreal Canadiens             2. Pittsburgh Penguins                 2. New York Islanders (M)
  3. Ottawa Senators                    3. New York Rangers
The real surprises in my predictions for the Eastern Conference playoff teams are first, choosing five teams from the Metropolitan, and secondly, Ottawa having the number three division spot.
Five teams from Metropolitan- I chose these five teams because I believe these teams have improved dramatically. With the Capitals and Penguins’ additions this off-season, they will be top two in this division without a doubt. The Islanders’ sliding down to the last wildcard spot was a tough choice of mine; I looked at the teams left from both divisions and felt like the Islanders were the best team left of both divisions.
Ottawa at number three- The Senators deserved to make the playoffspic ottawa bold predictions 1 last season and no one can debate the fact that they were good enough even with their 3rd string (at the time) goalie. This season, with Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond healthy, they should be able to add more points than last season and take that division spot away from the other teams in the NHL.
                                        Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

Western Conference

Pacific                                   Central                                    Wild Cards

  1. Anaheim Ducks                1. Dallas Stars                   1. Chicago Blackhawks (C)
  2. Calgary Flames                 2. St Louis Blues               2. Colorado Avalanche (C)
  3. Los Angeles Kings            3. Minnesota Wild

The major surprises I feel in my Western predictions are Dallas at the top of the Central and Colorado getting a wild card spot.

Dallas to the top- Dallas is at the top because of one word: OFFSEASON. The additions of two multiple Stanley Cup pic dallas bold predcitions 1champions—Patrick Sharp and Johnny Oduya—not to mention another Stanley Cup champion in Antti Niemi between the posts, leaves Dallas with an advantage. So with two number one goalies with experience paired with the young talent of Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, there is no way Dallas doesn’t make the playoffs. If Dallas tops their division, I know that GM will be getting a raise, and he’s got an A in my book.

Glenn James/NHLI/Getty Images

Colorado as a wild card- I like Colorado and I like how they have built up their organization. This offseason pic colorado Bold perdictions 1they knew an upgrade was needed at the blue line and they got this with young kids Nikita Zadorov and Brandon Gormely along with veteran defenseman Francois Beauchemin. I think with these additions they will be able to protect Semyon Varlamov better and get the puck to bounce in the right direction, giving them a chance at the playoffs again.

                                                                                                      Joe Mahoney / AP

Down the Frozen River Podcast #10- 2015-2016 Season Preview: Central Division

The Down the Frozen River crew wraps up their 2015-2016 season previews by analyzing all of the Central Division team’s offseason moves. Connor hosts the podcast for the first time ever, we get way off topic several times towards the end, and Colby and Nick profess their love for listening to Brunch (which has nothing to do with hockey, but we mentioned it anyway).

Join the conversation, make a suggestion, or ask a question for our next podcast using #AskDownTheFrozenRiver or #DTFRPodcast on Twitter- your thoughts might make it on our show (and we really mean it this time, because we’re going to have a new segment for your thoughts next time)!