Minnesota Wild: Something Special Could Be Starting

The Minnesota Wild bested the Canadiens last night in Montreal to extend their win streak to nine tying a franchise record.  This win streak seems special or more reasons that just the wins, as it looks like the Wild are building something a little more special than the normal season.

A win is a win no big deal.  Even the worst teams in the league win a few games in a season.  The Minnesota Wild won again last night and it wasn’t just any old win.  The with a 4-2 over the Montreal Canadiens in Bell Centre, the Wild added to an impressive 9 game winning streak and draw within 4 points what seemed to be the insurmountable lead for the Central Division.

Not to diminish the winning streak the, but that might be the best story of all from last night.  Sure the Wild are in the throes of their franchise best tying winning streak, but the win over the Atlantic Division leading Canadiens on the road seems to be huge statement.

The idea that the Wild beat what is considered one of the best teams in the league confidently in a close and hard-fought game is huge.  It shows the mental muscle of this team has strengthened and the Wild are up to the task of climbing into top spot in the NHL.

Had the Wild gone out and laid an egg, the critique would have been that the Wild are good but not ready to beat the best.  A team like Montreal will be there in the post season and is a legit cup contender. So, to beat them in a game like this says the Wild are ready to take on teams at the top and do more than just make the playoffs.

Dec 22, 2016; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk (40) makes a save against Montreal Canadiens left wing Daniel Carr (43) as right wing Nino Niederreiter (22) defends during the second period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Still individually the battle of Devan Dubnyk versus Carey Price was everything it was touted to be.  The back a forth saves of the two best netminders in the NHL was awesome.  Dubs faced 27 shots to Price’s 34, but in the end it was Dubs who came out on top with the win.

That’s huge for Dubnyk’s budding Vezina run as he took on what was his biggest rival to that trophy head on and bested him.  It just seemed like whenever people started to ask who the best netminder in the NHL was Dubs’ name came up, but it was usually quickly dismissed in favor of Price even though Dubnyk has had a better stat line than Price for weeks now.

In addition to Dubnyk it seems the Wild as of late have seen the important questions entering this season come along into the positive column.  The ability of Eric Staal to bounce back was questioned, but he has proven critics wrong and even added talk of being back to his old form.  And the young players like Zucker, Granlund, and Niederreiter are upping their games and showing results on the scoreboard.

It’s hard to think all these things are starting to go exceptionally at time when historically this franchise has tanked.  That’s what makes this winning streak seem so special.  Instead of feeling hopeless, the State of Hockey has optimism for a team that looks to finally have a chance at beating the best in the NHL.

They’ve got to momentum and there will be some losses from here till the end of the season, but the outlook based on what’s happened thus far is that this team has the chops to make sure it doesn’t take them out.  The fight that this win streak is showing is what is important.  It’s the reason this run is special.  So enjoy it for now, because the Rangers await tonight and it’s back to work.

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