Minnesota wrapped up the first season of the Fleck era being outscored by Northwestern and Wisconsin a combined 70-0. Yikes. Then quarterback Demry Croft, who started the last six for Fleck, opted to transfer out of the program and released a tweet that explained why he’s returning his oar. Double yikes. But Fleck received some good news earlier this week, when junior college quarterback Vic Viramontes announced he’s committing to Minnesota, filling the void at the position for the moment. As recruiting season begins, we’re expecting Fleck’s stock to keep rising.
Alex Stalock, Wild goalie (⬇ DOWN)
Despite the team’s struggles, Stalock was one of the Wild’s few feel-good stories early on in the year. The St. Paul native had allowed two goals or less in three of his five starts to begin the season, but his numbers took a massive hit Monday. Stalock surrendered seven goals to the Winnipeg Jets in an ugly 7-2 loss on the road. Although it’s worth mentioning the Wild’s blue liners were to blame for a good portion of the goals, as Stalock was caught on the wrong side of the crease several times due to poor defending.
Jason Zucker, Wild forward (⬆ UP)
After his six-game point streak ended Nov. 18, Zucker kicked off a new one just four days later. The 25-year-old is now riding a four-game point streak, scoring two goals and adding two assists in his last four outings. He’ll put it to the test in a clash Thursday night with his hometown Vegas Golden Knights.
Taj Gibson, Wolves power forward (⬆ UP)
Gibson’s made more of a difference for the Timberwolves than many had expected when he inked a two-year deal in July. He scored a season-high 24 points in the win over Orlando last Wednesday and followed it up with back-to-back double-doubles at home on Sunday and Tuesday. In 21 contests this season, the 32-year-old has a positive plus-minus in 14 games, including six of the last eight.
Associated PressRingo H.W. Chiu
Tyus Jones, Wolves guard (⬆ UP)
Mission accomplished, #FreeTyus fans. Jones made his first NBA start Sunday, helping the Wolves to a win over the Phoenix Suns with starting point guard Jeff Teague on the shelf. He had a big day on the defensive end, racking up nine points, seven assists, seven steals, four rebounds and two blocks. He started again Tuesday night, scoring 12 points and adding seven assists and a steal in a loss to the Washington Wizards.