Noon Number for 9-4-2013: (-9)

This dynamic duo improved the Wild greatly last season. - USA TODAY Sports

A look at the Minnesota Wild's blue-line production.

The Wild got 95 points from their defensemen in 2011-2012.

I can't find the numbers by team, but I'm fairly sure at the time that we were talking about it as if it were last in the NHL. The league leader in goals, Pittsburgh, had 153 points from their blueline. The fifteenth-highest scoring team (New Jersey, who also lacked big names on their blueline) had 107. Even Los Angeles, who finished 29th in goals, ran circles around the Wild in terms of defensemen scoring with 142 points from their defensive corps.

It was a pathetic number, which only highlighted the Wild's biggest problem that year: The fact that their defensemen couldn't move the puck and contribute to the offense in any meaningful way last season.

So what did the Wild do to attempt to correct this? They spent 98 million dollars on Ryan Suter, as well as putting rookie Jonas Brodin on the roster. This was supposed to help the Wild move the puck and generate more offense.

And what did they get for their troubles? A measly 86 points from their blueline last year.

86.

That's 9 less than the year before.

I CAN'T BELIEVE IT! SPENDING 98 MILLION DOLLARS AND IT MAKES THE OFFENSE WORST THEN LAST YEAR, MIKE YO SHOULD BE FIRED AND I CANT BELEAVE TAHT FRAUD RYAN SUTER COULDN'T MAKE THE OFFENSE ANY BETTER FIRE FLETCHERFIREYOFIREKOIVUFIRESUTER-

what?

...Really?...

Oops, I guess that was in only 48 games.

Moving on.

So yeah, the Wild actually improved their blueline production last year- the numbers from last year, extrapolated over a full season, would have gotten the Wild 147 points from their defensemen, an improvement of over 50 points.

The defense still needed improving last year, we know that, and so do the Wild. Tom Gilbert is out, bringing in Keith Ballard, and the Wild seem to be hoping with all their might that offensive dynamo Mathew Dumba can seize the reins from a guy like Justin Falk. Marco Scandella also seems poised to leap the offensively challenged Clayton Stoner in the depth chart. Even with the leap they made last year, the Wild are (and should be) attempting to boost their blueline on both sides of the ice.

But it's nice to see that our 98 million dollar man and 19-year-old übermensch made such a big impact on this team.

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