Even though it’s the middle of October and snow isn’t on the ground (yet), hockey season is officially here. In Minnesota, the Wild is off to a 2-0 start and has yet to allow a goal, shutting out Colorado 5-0 in its home opener and then going to Colorado last Saturday and winning 3-0.
Minnesota is hardly a marquee place in major professional sports, a midsized market in the middle of the country best known on the coasts for the length and extremity of its winters. In the NHL, though, there’s evidence mounting to the contrary. Thomas Vanek was the latest free agent to pick the Wild, two summers after Zach Parise and Ryan Suter jolted the league by coming as a package deal.
When we last saw the Minnesota Wild they were skating off the ice stunned after losing in overtime to Chicago 2-1 as the Blackhawks took the series in six games. While the sudden impact of the season being over may have hurt initially, fans could take solace in knowing that the Wild had their best playoff showing since their run to the Western Conference Finals in 2003.
There’s no other moment in sports that comes close to what Americans felt that day in 1980, when a bunch of college kids beat the mighty Soviet Union in the “Miracle on Ice.” And for that, we have Bob Suter to thank. Suter died Sept. 9 from a heart attack at the age of 57. But he left quite a legacy behind.
Training camp for Ryan Suter will be more than a tuneup for the season. Practicing with the Minnesota Wild will bring respite. Suter’s father, a Wild scout and former U.S. Olympic team member, died Sept. 9 of a heart attack. Bob Suter was 57.
Bob Suter, a member of the “Miracle On Ice” team that won the Olympic gold medal in 1980 and the father of Minnesota Wild star Ryan Suter, died Tuesday at the age of 57. The Wild announced Suter’s death and called him “a great hockey ambassador, he was a terrific person off the ice who will be greatly missed.” The team did not disclose other details.
It’s been a stomach-churning couple weeks for the Minnesota Wild and their fans. The team was decided underdogs against the Colorado Avalanche, and much more so against the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Minnesota Wild are at a point where they are counting on the home ice carrying them. “That’s the plan. We know in the first round we played pretty well here and we’re excited to play here. But, you know, that doesn’t guarantee much,” said forward Zach Parise.
As you know by now, the Minnesota Wild won their first playoff series in 11 years, defeating the Colorado Avalanche in seven games to move on to the next round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
In Game 6 of the series versus Colorado, the best players for the Minnesota Wild proved to be just that. Zach Parise had a four-point night (2G, 2A) including the game-winning goal. Mikko Koivu and Ryan Suter added two assists as Minnesota defeated Colorado 5-2 to even the series at 3-3, forcing Game 7 in Denver.
Darcy Keumper is used to this roller coaster ride. It’s the advantage to starting the season in obscurity, then playing your way to the NHL. “I think it’s probably even more important in the playoffs to keep a level head and kind of shuffle out the outside noise,” Keumper said. Don’t worry about that too much.”
On April 8, the Minnesota Wild clinched a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. What was yet to be determined was who their opponent in the first round would be. The thought was the Wild would face either Anaheim or St. Louis, both of whom were leading their respective divisions at the time. When the dust settled on the regular season Sunday, it was the Colorado Avalanche who turned out to be Minnesota’s opponent in the first round.
The Minnesota Wild went into Tuesday night knowing they would only need one more point to clinch a playoff berth in the Western Conference. The task would not come easy as the Boston Bruins, the defending Eastern Conference champions, were in town. Fortunately for the Wild, their play-off berth was solidified before the start of the third period. The Phoenix Coyotes lost their game in overtime to the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3.
Matt Moulson and Mikko Koivu scored 62 seconds apart early in the third period, and Zach Parise connected during a power play for the Wild, who snapped the Kings’ six-game winning streak with a 3-2 victory on Monday night.
Matt Moulson’s goal at 2:15 of overtime gave the Minnesota Wild a 4-3 come-from-behind win over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday night. Charlie Coyle had a goal and an assist and Jason Pominville and Zach Parise also scored for Minnesota. Ryan Suter had two assists and Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 13 shots.