Noon Number (October 11th): 4.26%

Hannah Foslien

It's Friday, Wilderness. Read these words I have written, and then go enjoy your weekend.

The Wild finally got their first win last night and it was a big relief for everyone. Obviously, the narrative now is that they won because they put it more effort, or played the system better, or because of the team changes, but, truth is, they played the same as they have in every game so far. The Wild completey dominated puck possession and, for once, weren't completely screwed by unsustainably bad Even-Strength Shooting and Save percentages.

To put some perspective on this, even after last night's slight return to the norm, the Wild's percentages at 5v5 are still poor overall:

-ES Sh%: 4.26 (25th in the league)

-ES Sv%: 940 (12th in the league)

There is no way the Wild's ES Sh% stays that low this year. It will progress to the mean over the course of the season and will end up somewhere around league average. This has been discussed on the blog a fair bit, so I'm not gonna spend too much time on it, but if you're kind of scratching your head about all this, I recommend reading this and this.

-Here are the lowest ES Sh% and ES Sv% teams from each season since 2007:

SEASON

LOWEST ES SH%

TEAM

LOWEST ES SV%

TEAM

12-13

5.94%

PANTHERS

89.27%

FLAMES

11-12

6.07%

KINGS

90.34%

LIGHTNING

10-11

6.31%

DEVILS

90.92%

SENATORS

09-10

6.53%

BRUINS

89.77%

SENATORS

08-09

6.48%

RANGERS

90.15%

MAPLE LEAFS

07-08

6.52%

BLUE JACKETS

90.06%

LIGHTNING

Bear in mind, these numbers are the absolute worst case scenario. Generally low numbers like this are caused by a truly remarkable drop-off in talent in net or in terms of goalscoring due to injury or whatever. The Wild have reasonable goaltending and plenty of good goalscoring, so unless they have a dramatic number of injuries this year (touch wood) then they shouldn't come close to those kind of percentages.

Still not convinced? Well the Wild are 2nd in the league behind San Jose in Fenwick For% and CURRENTLY LEAD THE LEAGUE IN CORSI FOR%. Yes, the perennially terrible Wild are actually dominating the league in a statistic that is proven to be a pretty strong indicator of future success. This is really exciting. Sure they might come back to Earth soon, but the evidence so far is that the Wild are an excellent puck possession team. I'll be reviewing this situation throughout the year to see if their performance continues. But, just know, if they keep putting-up those kind of puck possession numbers and get average ES Sh% and ES Sv% numbers, they should be up there with Chicago and St.Louis at the top of Conference III come playoff time. I can't wait to see how this plays out.

Get on the bandwagon now before everyone starts doing it so you look super cool.

Follow me on Twitter for more "expert" opinion. Don't be afraid to leave some comments in the comments section too.

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