It’s #GerryTime: Wild rookie Mayhew shines in debut

Gerald Mayhew, Wild forward (↑ UP)

The Minnesota Wild have struggled out the gate this season under first-year general manager Bill Guerin, going 1-5-0. The first two weeks of the season have produced one feel-good story, however: #GerryTime. Mayhew, 26, made his AHL debut in 2016 after spending four seasons at Ferris State. The Bulldogs’ all-time playoff points leader, Mayhew developed into an effective scorer down in Iowa, registering 27 goals and 33 assists in 71 games last season. Now, a few months after signing his first NHL contract, Mayhew has arrived. He made his NHL debut Tuesday, playing in place of forward Kevin Fiala — a healthy scratch after posting one assist in five games — potting his first career goal with just over a minute to play in the third period.

 

Kirk Cousins, Vikings quarterback (↑ UP)

Cousins, ever the genial Midwesterner, claims not to have heard Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Zach Brown’s comments prior to Sunday’s game. Right. Brown, who last week called Cousins the weakest piece of the Vikings’ offense, is out of a job — the Eagles released him Monday — while the veteran quarterback is coming off one of his best games since signing with Minnesota. Cousins threw for 333 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Vikings to a 38-20 win over the Eagles, the first time he’s tossed four TD passes since Week 2 of last season.

 

Devan Dubnyk, Wild goalie (↓ DOWN)

With goals at a premium this season, the Wild will need more from Dubnyk, who posted a .913 save percentage and a 2.54 GAA last year. They haven’t gotten it yet. Dubnyk has allowed at least three goals in all five of his appearances so far, and has a .867 save percentage after allowing four goals to the high-flying Maple Leafs. Meanwhile, backup Alex Stalock posted his sixth career shutout Monday afternoon against the — admittedly much, much worse — Ottawa Senators.

 

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Stefon Diggs, Vikings receiver (↑ UP)

Diggs’ public discontent lasted about a week. The perception that all those cryptic press appearances and televised winks were not-so-subtle pleas for a trade lasted about a week longer. He and the Vikings buried that storyline during Sunday’s win over the Eagles. Diggs went off for 162 receiving yards and a career-high three touchdowns against Philadelphia on 11 targets and seven catches. He averaged nearly 24 yards per reception, scoring on 62, 51 and 11-yard passes. Holster your Bill Belichick memes, folks.

 

Eric Staal, Wild forward (↓ DOWN)

Just two years after scoring 40 goals for the first time in a decade, Staal is struggling to get anything going after re-signing with the Wild. Staal has just one assist and 10 shots on goal through six games to go with a minus-nine rating. He’s not alone. The Wild have scored just 14 goals this season, exactly half of league leaders Toronto and Nashville’s output through six games.

 

P.J. Fleck, Gophers football coach (↑ UP)

Less than two months after eking out a win over FCS powerhouse South Dakota State, Fleck’s Gophers are one of the last unbeaten teams in FBS at 6-0. Ranked in the Associated Press poll for the first time since 2014 after rolling past 4-3 Nebraska, No. 20 Minnesota’s schedule heats up in a hurry next month (Penn State, Wisconsin and Iowa are still out there) but it’s getting tough to deny the Gophers their due.