The trees are back. The Wolves are rocking their throwback uniforms for a game against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, a black and green number that recalls the Kevin Garnett-era Wolves. Who knows what the rest of the season holds for the Wolves, but one thing's for sure: Whatever happens, they're going to look good.
Josh Okogie, Wolves guard (↑ UP)
Head coach Tom Thibodeau's aversion to playing his rookies is well known, but Okogie has forced the issue after sitting out the Wolves' first two games. Why exactly should Okogie be a regular part of the rotation? Consider this sequence from the third quarter of the Wolves' win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday. That's Brandon Ingram, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 draft, who is notably 5 inches taller than Okogie. The rookie played a career-high 30 minutes in that one, racking up 17 points, four rebounds, three assists, three steals and that block.
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Mikael Granlund, Wild forward (↑ UP)
The Wild's offense is off to a slow start, but Granlund is off and running. The 26-year-old leads the Wild with six goals and is tied with Zach Parise and Ryan Suter with 12 points. He has four goals in his last five games, and got the game winner Monday in the Wild's 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers.
Joel Eriksson Ek, Wild forward (↓ DOWN)
Eriksson Ek is off to a slow start following his first season as a Wild regular. He's been held off the scoresheet completely through six games, and has attempted just 14 shots on goal over that span.
Devan Dubnyk, Wild goalie (↑ UP)
Dubnyk has been looking an awful lot like the guy who finished third in the Vezina Trophy voting in 2015. The 32-year-old has a .955 save percentage at 5-on-5 this season, and has allowed three or more goals just three times this season.
Brace HemmelgarnBrace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport
The Gophers men's hockey team (↓ DOWN)
The so-called "Vegas flu" hit teams early and often last season, as the Vegas Golden Knights cruised to the Stanley Cup Final after going 29-10-2 at home. After scoring seven goals in three straight games against defending champion Minnesota Duluth, the U.S. under-18 team and Canadian club Trinity Western, the Gophers had similar issues against North Dakota during the U.S Hockey Hall of Fame Game in nearby Paradise, Nevada on Saturday. Minnesota managed just one goal in front of a decidedly pro-UND crowd at Orleans Arena, and was outshot 33-21. The whole thing seemed to hinge on a five-minute power play in the second period. The Gophers scored their only goal on a 5-on-3 chance to start the power play, but the Fighting Hawks killed off the rest of the major, then outshot Minnesota a whopping 20-2 the rest of the way.