NHL.com is providing in-depth analysis for each of its 31 teams from Nov. 16-Dec. 16. Today, three key statistics for the Minnesota Wild.
1. Power-play percentage
The Minnesota Wild were tied for 10th in the NHL on the power play (21.3 percent) last season with the Florida Panthers. Forwards Zach Parise and Kevin Fiala, and defenseman Ryan Suter tied for the Wild lead with 18 power-play points. Center Eric Staal was fourth with 14 power-play points, but he was traded to the Buffalo Sabres for center Marcus Johansson on Sept. 16. Minnesota will need to replace Staal’s production, and forward Kirill Kaprizov, who led the Kontinental Hockey League in goals (33) last season, could help offset this loss. The Wild could also get more from forward Mats Zuccarello, who scored seven power-play points last season after scoring at least 14 in five of his previous six seasons.
2. Penalty-kill percentage
Minnesota was 25th on the penalty kill (77.2 percent) last season. Devan Dubnyk was 45th in power-play save percentage (.844 percent) among goalies to play at least 20 games and was traded to the San Jose Sharks on Oct. 5, leaving the Wild to rely on Alex Stalock or Cam Talbot, who signed a three-year contract on Oct. 9. Stalock had a .865 save percentage (tied for 32nd) when facing the opposition’s power play, and Talbot had a .888 save percentage with the Calgary Flames, which was tied for ninth in the NHL.
3. 5-on-5 shooting plus save percentage
The Wild were fifth in 5-on-5 shooting plus save percentage (101.0 percent) last season behind the Colorado Avalanche (102.3), Tampa Bay Lightning (102.2), Boston Bruins (101.7) and St. Louis Blues (101.3). Minnesota was tied for second in 5-on-5 shooting percentage (9.5 percent) with the Washington Capitals, and was tied for 19th in 5-on-5 save percentage (.915) with the Los Angeles Kings, Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers. One potential concern for the Wild is their expected decline in 5-on-5 shooting percentage after they lost three of their top four in that category: forwards Ryan Donato (17.3 percent), Alex Galchenyuk (16.7 percent) and Staal (14.5 percent); Zuccarello was at 16.0 percent. Last season, 22 of the top 24 teams at 5-on-5 shooting plus save percentage qualified for the postseason.