The Minnesota Wild have stormed out to a 6-2-1 record in the 2015-16 campaign and it's been done in an uncharacteristic fashion. The Wild have been known for playing a boring style of hockey and are a defensive-minded team. Opposing coaches talk about the multiple layers that the Wild defend its opposing net with. And while Minnesota has been able to control the puck in a positive manner, the stifling defense, for which it has been known for, it has not been.
Is Jason in Problem-ville?
With Pominville still scoreless, could we be seeing the decline of the former scorer?
No, it's been scoring that has lead the Wild to early wins this season. But not just scoring often, rather it's been the Wild's ability to score multiple goals in relatively short periods or time. Minnesota has scored a total of 28 goals through nine games, a 255 goal pace. Two hundred fifty-five goals last season would have placed the Wild in the top three in the league for goals scored - a rank that the Wild have never been close to in its entire 15 year history.
The goal scoring is on a torrid pace, but it's about the way the goals are scored. In nine games, the Wild have scored two goals in a span of roughly two minutes nine times. Five of those goals have come under a minute apart and one was scored before the Star Spangled Banner was finished. it's like the Wild have developed an offensive switch that they can just flip on. Which, get that, that's a concept that has never been associated with the Wild. They just explode for quick goals and it has helped them win.
@hockeywildernes Having just looked at all the box scores: if we're talking 2 goals within less than a minute... 5 out of 9 so far.— Becca (@BeccaStP) October 28, 2015
Thanks to Becca for the research.
In four the the Wild's six wins, it has been able to score quickly to come back, or quickly put the opposition behind. Everyone remembers when the Wild scored four goals in just 5:08 to storm back and beat the Avalanche on opening night. Zach Parise and Charlie Coyle potted goals just 21 seconds apart against the Blues to extend the Wild lead in that game as the Wild held on for the win. Parise and Thomas Vanek scored 58 seconds apart in Phoenix to punk down the Coyotes who were off to a fast start themselves up to that point. Not counting Jason Zucker's goal just ten seconds into the game in Winnipeg, the Wild's Mikko Koivu and Justin Fontaine scored within 38 ticks of each other to make a game of it when the game seemed out of hand early versus the Jets. Ryan Suter and Charlie Coyle's game-winner clocked in at just 43 seconds in the third period to come from behind and win that game versus the Oilers.
The Wild have found ways to use the time following a goal scored where momentum appears to be in flux and quickly swing things in its favor with yet another goal.
Our own Dustin Nelson actually tracks back-to-back goals scored in quick succession for every team in the NHL. The Wild actually rank number one in the league for quick strike back-to-back goals, and the most for goals scored in less than a minute of each other.