At long last, Minnesota will finally get the chance to host an outdoor NHL game next season. The Wild will play the Chicago Blackhawks in one of the NHL’s two “Stadium Series” games. The match-up is set for Feb. 21, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium. “A real thrill,” Wild CEO Matt Majka said. “And happiness. And a little relief maybe, too, because we’ve been waiting a long time.”
Alright Wild fans, are you back on the bandwagon yet? I, of course, never got off. But was last night’s win enough to get you back to believing in this team? It was enough for WCCO-TV reporter Rachel Slavik, who sent me the following text after last night’s game:
Devan Dubnyk stopped 18 shots in his Minnesota debut, Jason Pominville had three assists against his former team, and the Wild snapped a six-game skid with a 7-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night. The Sabres extended their losing streak to nine — all decided in regulation. No NHL has done that since the Edmonton Oilers lost nine straight in regulation from Feb. 25 to March 15, 2007, according to STATS.
The NHL has suspended Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter for two games, without pay, for elbowing Pittsburgh Penguins forward Steve Downie. Suter struck Downie on Tuesday night at 4:22 of the second period. The NHL handed down the punishment on Wednesday.
On Jan. 2, the Minnesota Wild defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs by a score of 3-1. The hope at the time was that winning the first game in 2015 would be a springboard to another playoff berth much like last year, when Minnesota defeated Buffalo in their first game of 2014. Instead, the Wild have lost six-straight games and find themselves eight points out from the final playoff spot.
David Perron scored twice and added an assist to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins by the reeling Minnesota Wild 7-2 on Tuesday night. Paul Martin, Kris Letang and Chris Kunitz each had a goal and an assist for the Penguins. Marcel Goc and Brandon Sutter also scored for Pittsburgh.
Defenseman Ryan Suter has been selected to represent the Minnesota Wild at the NHL All-Star Weekend Jan. 24-25 in Columbus, Ohio. It is the second All-Star appearance for Suter. Suter has one goal and 21 assists in 38 games this season for the Wild, the fourth-most points by a Minnesota player.
Zach Parise has returned to the Minnesota Wild, still saddened by the death of his father but eager for a respite on the ice. Parise practiced with the team Friday and said he plans to play Saturday against the Nashville Predators.
J.P. Parise, the former North Stars playmaker and father of Wild star Zach Parise, died Wednesday following a struggle with lung cancer. He was 73.
The month of December was not kind to the Minnesota Wild. During the month the Wild went 4-5-3 and found themselves ranked 11 out of 14 teams in the Western Conference, and seven points out of a playoff spot.
If the Minnesota Wild are going to bounce back from another December swoon, they’ll need Darcy Kuemper to return to his early season form. Kyle Brodziak, Jared Spurgeon and Mikko Koivu scored, Kuemper made 34 saves, and the Minnesota Wild beat the short-handed Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 on Friday.
The Minnesota Wild have sent forward Tyler Graovac to the Iowa Wild of the AHL. Graovac, assigned on Thursday after being recalled on Sunday, played two games with Minnesota.
Kevin Connauton had a goal and an assist and Sergei Bobrovsky made 28 saves to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets past the Minnesota Wild 3-1 on Wednesday night. With the game knotted at 1 in the third, Columbus scored a power-play goal at 5:57. Cycling the puck, Connauton slid a pass to David Savard at the top of the left circle. His hard one-timer beat goalie Darcy Kuemper stick side inside the near post.
Families at the Ronald McDonald House in Minneapolis got a special post-Christmas treat Friday morning. Minnesota Wild Star Ryan Suter dropped by to say hello and hang out.
Wayne Simmonds scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period, lifting the Philadelphia Flyers to a 5-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night for their third straight win. Vincent Lecavalier, Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier and Michael Raffl also scored for the Flyers, who have won the first three games of an eight-game road trip that spans 15 days.
Loui Eriksson’s goal 1:30 into overtime gave Boston a 3-2 win over Minnesota on Wednesday night, only the second victory for the Bruins in eight games and the fourth loss for the Wild in the past six. Carl Soderberg, who set up the winner with a cross-crease pass in front of Wild defenseman Marco Scandella, scored early for the Bruins along with Patrice Bergeron.
Patrick Kane scored a tiebreaking power-play goal with 3:28 left, and the Chicago Blackhawks bounced back to beat the Minnesota Wild 5-3 on Tuesday night for their 13th win in 15 games. Kane’s centering attempt from behind the net — intended for Patrick Sharp — struck the skate of Minnesota defenseman Jonas Brodin and carried into the net.
Zach Parise had a tying power-play goal late in the third period, and then scored in the shootout to help the short-handed Minnesota Wild beat the sliding Arizona Coyotes 4-3 on Saturday night. Mikko Koivu’s shot into the roof of the net in the third round of the shootout won it, after Niklas Backstrom stopped Tobias Rieder’s attempt.
The NHL is facing an unusual outbreak of the mumps. So far, about a dozen players on four teams have been diagnosed with the illness that usually strikes children. It started in Anaheim and plagued the Ducks, who had three players affected. It then moved to the Minnesota Wild, who had five victims.
The NHL has suspended Minnesota Wild defenseman Marco Scandella for two games for a hit to the head of New York Islanders forward Brock Nelson. The ban was handed down by the league’s Department of Player Safety on Wednesday, one day after the Wild’s 5-4 home win over New York. Scandella struck Nelson with 2:28 left in the game and was given a minor penalty for an illegal check to the head.
Minnesota Wild defenseman Keith Ballard has been released from the hospital, diagnosed with multiple facial fractures and a concussion after a collision with the boards. The Wild announced Wednesday that Ballard will be out indefinitely.
Nino Niederreiter tapped in the go-ahead goal with 4:33 left and capped a furious comeback by the Minnesota Wild in a 5-4 win over the New York Islanders 5-4 on Tuesday night. The Wild trailed 3-0 after the first period and 4-1 at the second intermission, but they were fired up midway through the game. Defenseman Keith Ballard was sent to a hospital after his head bounced hard on the ice, following a hit from Matt Martin.
The NHL has seen a dramatic decline in fighting over the past several years. The website Hockeyfights.com says there were 143 fights through the first 408 games of the NHL season, which projects to 431 fights overall.
Matt Beleskey scored the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period to give the Anaheim Ducks a 5-4 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Friday night. Ryan Kesler had two goals, and Jakob Silfverberg and Tim Jackman also scored for the Ducks, who rallied after giving up a 3-0 lead and trailing 4-3 early in the third period.
Wild fans hoping to see Ryan Suter in action Wednesday night got some disappointing news. Suter had played 153 consecutive games with the Wild, but was held out Wednesday because of “mump-like” symptoms.