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A Minnesota Wild Christmas List

A look at what the good little boys of the Wild want for Christmas

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Los Angeles Kings Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It’s one week until Christmas and the Hockey Wilderness has managed to get quite the holiday scoop: a look at the Christmas wish list of the Minnesota Wild as well as a prediction on whether or not those wishes are going to come true.

  • Mikko Koivu - A goal. He’s gone 24 games since his last one. I’m sure Santa may eventually grant this wish, but if the Kaptain is unlucky, he may have to wait for the Easter Bunny instead.
  • Ryan Suter - A continued presence on the power play. I’ve gone ahead and peeked inside his package from Santa and found that he will in fact continue to get power play time. And penalty kill time. And overtime time. All of the time, basically.
  • Eric Staal - A consistent linemate on his left wing. It is never going to happen.
  • Mikael Granlund - A repeat of last season’s overall performance. Granlund won’t be receiveing any coal in his stocking, but his pace so far would put him a handful of points behind last year’s tally.
  • Nino Niederreiter - Penalty kill time. Boudreau uses almost everyone on the PK, but Nino’s penalty kill time totalled only nine seconds for the entire season last year. The Wild are the most penalized team in the league this year, so Nino has rececived his gift early this year with 2:41 on the shorthanded squad already.
  • Jason Zucker - To stay on the power play after Zach Parise returns. See below.
  • Zach Parise - To regain his spot on the power play once he’s fully recovered from back surgery. Of course he will.
  • Matt Dumba - To stay on Ryan Suter’s pairing after Jared Spurgeon returns. See below.
  • Jared Spurgeon - To regain his spot on Suter’s pairing once he’s fully recovered. He better.
  • Matt Cullen - Proof that delaying his retirment for one last go around with the Wild instead of retiring as a Pittsburgh Penguin and champion was the right decision. Eh... I suppose it could happen. All teams are even at the start of the playoffs. Which is encouraging... if you make the playoffs.
  • Chris Stewart - To once again lead the Wild in goal scoring this year. Zucker has doubled Stewie’s goal total, and both Staal and Niedereitter are ahead of him too so this dream can join Boudreau’s of having a full head of hair again on the bus to Nevergonnahappensville.
  • Ryan Murphy - To play for Team USA in the Olympics. Not sure if his time with the big club has already rendered him ineligible for the team at this point, but the team’s continued struggles to field a fully functional blueline might keep Murphy around regardless so this is looking less likely by the day.
  • Devan Dubnyk - To repeat as a Vezina finalist. It could happen, but he’s going to have to pull a reverse of last season which saw his save percentage drop heavily during the last two months of the season.
  • Tyler Ennis - A way to win board battles. Unlikely as Ennis gets pushed around like a mop. He has drawn some penalties lately on a team that desperately needs them at least.
  • Marcus Foligno - For Chris Stewart to become the Wild’s only fighter. Can’t risk that beautiful mug again. Foligno has turned down a fight since recovering from a facial fracture, but hot heads frequently prevail. Foligno will drop the gloves again this season. It’ll just be later into the season.
  • Jonas Brodin - For Scott Stevens to return as the Wild’s defensemen coach. Brodin is scoring at a rate three times slower than last season and has already earned 16 PIMs (which is only four shy of his total for all of last season). While it’s not fair to pin all of this on the change of coaching, Brodin did seem to excel under the Hall of Famer’s tutelage. Unfortunately for Brodin, this is never going to happen.
  • Mike Reilly - No more trips down I-35 to the Baby Wild. Reilly has been playing well enough to stay with the club (and perhaps get the occasional scratch), his status as waiver exempt combined with the Wild’s cap struggles make this unlikely.
  • Joel Eriksson Ek - A chance to play with some of the more skilled wingers on this team. The return of Zach Parise will guarantee him one (whether its Parise or somebody else is the question)
  • Daniel Winnik - To not get waived and sent to the AHL. While Winnik hasn’t quite delivered the level of play fans were hoping for, his low cap hit will protect him from getting sent to Iowa. As part of a trade, however, he might not be as safe.
  • Charlie Coyle - To stay on the right wing and not be an occasional third line center. It’ll happen, but not this season. Once Eriksson Ek and Kunin are established, Boudreau won’t need to tinker with Coyle as a center anymore.
  • Gustav Oloffson - To avoid taking any penalties the next time he gets on the ice. Probably not going to happen as it seems like the Wild are getting no breaks in that department this season.
  • Nate Prosser - To Prosser and not get Prossered in return. His game against the Edmonton Oilers saw Prosser delivering some big body checks and even draw a penalty after a retaliatory hit following one of them. Still though, Prosser gonna get Prossered.
  • Alex Stalock - To continue his stellar play as the Wild’s starter while Devan Dubnyk is out with an injury. So far, he’s maintained an average save percentage of .942 since stepping in to relieve Dubnyk in Calgary. With Dubnyk week-to-week but joining the team on the road trip, Stalock will have at least a couple more games to extend his streak before Dubnyk will reclaim his spot on the ice. Seems like Stalock is up for the challenge.

Stats are courtesy of Hockey Reference and the NHL.