The Minnesota Wild entered this season with zero expectations. Not sure where they want to go with prospects on the horizon, they acquired one-year rental type players to determine their fate. Either they have career years and they get to bolster a playoff run with no long-term commitment, or they’re sold to the highest bidder as the Wild try to get future assets for expiring contracts.
Well, the first part looks like it might happen.
After a heroic 4-3 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Kings and in the middle of a win streak that has spanned six games, Minnesota are sitting second in terms of odds to win the whole damn thing.
Now this is tricky.
MoneyPuck is a fantastic tool to get a sense of how the team is playing, and while the Wild are currently leading the West Division in terms of points, this is how they calculate these playoff odds:
By running a simulation of the rest of the NHL season 100,000 times we can create precise probabilities of the outcome of the season for each team. Each game is simulated using the probabilities from the pre-game prediction model discussed below. For games further into the future, the model scores are regressed to the mean to account for uncertainty.
Of course a team currently on a great run of wins and killing their opposition in terms of expected goal percentages, would get a favorable outcome in these odds. That’s why some teams like the Montreal Canadiens have been considered contenders for the past few seasons.
Still, it’s fun to see the Wild expected to come out of the West and the shrinking giants of the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche become just all-in failures while Joel Eriksson Ek and Kirill Kaprizov make them look silly.
This is the time to just sit back and enjoy Minnesota Wild hockey, in all of its glory.