The satirical storyline of Zucker, a new father to his two-week-old son, “getting enough sleep” on the Wild’s recent road trip has long been exhausted. Now it’s time for opposing teams not to sleep on Zucker. The 25-year-old forward leads Minnesota with nine goals and 15 points. He’s riding a five-game point streak, extended on Tuesday night with an empty-net heave to clinch the Wild’s win over Philadelphia. Zucker had seven goals last week -- seven -- no one else in the NHL had more than four.
Jordan Murphy, Gophers forward (⬆ UP)
Expectations are high for Richard Pitino’s Gophers. Two games in, it looks like Murphy is up for the task. The junior earned Big Ten Player of the Week honors on Monday afternoon after recording a career-best 35 points and 15 rebounds in a win over USC Upstate. He followed that up Monday night with another double-double -- the 23rd of his career – to lead Minnesota to a road win at Providence and a 2-0 record.
The Associated PressJim Mone
Demry Croft, Gophers quarterback (⬆ UP)
Croft saved the best game of his career for a good time. In front of a home crowd at TCF Bank Stadium, Croft compiled 302 total yards and three rushing touchdowns in the Gophers’ 54-21 trouncing of Nebraska. It’s really Croft’s first performance – outside of his three touchdown passes in relief during the second half of the Michigan State game – that looks like he could have a promising future in Fleck’s culture under center.
Jeffrey BeckerUSA TODAY Sports
Devan Dubnyk, Wild goalie (⬆ UP)
For the first time this year, two Wild players are trending up in our stock report. And for good reason. Dubnyk has stopped 106 consecutive shots en route to back-to-back-to-back shutouts, fueling Minnesota’s three-game winning streak. He hasn’t allowed a goal in over 195 minutes. For you mathematicians, that’s 3.25 hours of scoreless hockey.
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David Morgan’s hair (⬆ UP)
The Vikings’ 6-foot-4, 265-pound tight end found himself wide open in the end zone on Sunday, securely catching a one-yard pass from Case Keenum for his first career touchdown. But that wasn’t the only time Morgan was on camera. When the broadcast team at FOX was focused on an emotional Teddy Bridgewater before the game, Morgan unknowingly photobombed the moment, flipping his mane back and forth as he was scanning the sky for the pregame fly-over planes. It was majestic.
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Timberwolves bench (↓ DOWN)
All five Minnesota starters averaged at least 34.3 minutes per game last week. That doesn't leave much time for the reserves. The seven bench players who saw action for the Wolves played in a combined 188 minutes (Nemanja Bjelica led the way with 47 while Jamal Crawford and Tyus Jones each had 41).