The Wild have been one of the worst puck possession teams in the NHL over the last 6-7 years, with only Edmonton averaging worse numbers, but they have turned it around fairly dramatically in a short space of time.
Those terrible teams of the last few years were characterised as being very defensive and lacking in any real goalscroing talent. Let's look at the Corsi (shot attempts) For per 60 minutes and the Corsi Against per 60 minutes for the team each season from 2007-08 through to this year to see exactly how good or bad the team was at generating and limiting shot attempts.
-Wild CF60 and CA/60 at 5v5 Close year-by-year:
- Looking at the numbers above, you can see that the Corsi Against outweighs the Corsi For in every season except for this current one.
- Between 2007 and 2013, when the team struggled that badly to possess the puck and generate shot attempts, it made it easy for the opposition to do so, and thus you get those massive amounts of Corsi events against. The defence being incredibly mediocre and incapable of moving the puck didn't help.
- You can see that the the Corsi Against rates hit peak awfulness between 2010 and 2012 before being pulled back to a more reasonable level last season.
- The team has traditionally hovered around 47 to 49 CF/60, but this year has made a huge jump to 52.7. A major reason for this, besides having more offensive talent is the absolutely excellent defensive play.
- While the team still isn't generating enough offence, at least the defensive play has been truly lights-out. It's amazing that some Wild fans are still crowing about how the team needs another big-bodied, physical defenceman (ya know, those Pronger-replicas that are available on the cheap all the time) when this unit could hardly be doing any better.
- You can see that every team except for the Devils has been generating more shot attempts than the Wild.
- The Wild have prevented shot attempts against better than every team except for the Blackhawks, Blues, Kings and Devils.
- The closest comparables for the Wild are probably the Lightning, or, to a lesser extent, the Blues.
- To become one of the elite teams in the league, the Wild need to start generating 5-10 more shot attempts per 60 minutes at 5v5 Close.
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Noon Christmas Tune:
Seeing as we're now into December and Christmas is fast approaching, I'll be featuring a different Christmas song in each of the Noon Numbers I write up until the big day.
Your 8th song of the month is a classic from John Lennon and Yoko Ono: