Midweek Stock Report: P.J. Fleck bringing reinforcements
Every Wednesday, FOX Sports North takes a look at which athletes’ stock is trending up and whose is trending down.
In other words, who is heating up and who is cooling off.
With that in mind, let’s take stock of the current Minnesota sports scene.
P.J. Fleck, Gophers football coach
After leading Western Michigan to the Cotton Bowl, Fleck is rowing his boat to — OK. I’m sorry. No more boat puns. Fleck is here to right the ship — sorry — stabilize a Gophers program that has been in the news for all the wrong reasons recently, and he’s bringing reinforcements. So far nine WMU recruits have pledged to follow Fleck to Minneapolis.
Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves center
Towns was on pace for a truly bonkers performance in the Wolves’ win over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday. He scored 20 points in the first quarter, but slowed down considerably after that, finishing with 34 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and three blocks.
Ricky Rubio, Timberwolves guard
Rubio posted a season-high 15 assists Monday, registering a double-double with 13 points and adding five steals. It’s his first double-double since mid-December, and just his second on the season.
Bruce Boudreau, Wild head coach
Boudreau will make his first trip to the All-Star Game after guiding the Wild to the best point percentage (.705) in the division. Last year’s revamped format returns (hooray!), pitting the NHL’s four divisions against each other in a 3-on-3 tournament. Boudreau will lead a Central Division lineup captained by Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban that also includes Wild defenseman Ryan Suter and goaltender Devan Dubnyk.
Mikko Koivu, Wild center
His assist numbers may be down, but Koivu is on pace for a career high with 12 goals in 39 games. He scored twice in the Wild’s comeback win over the San Jose Sharks last week, and added another goal in their overtime loss to the L.A. Kings. Koivu has never topped 22 goals in a single season, but is on pace for 24 at the halfway point.
Zach LaVine, Timberwolves guard
LaVine exited the Wolves’ win Monday with a hip contusion, and is officially listed as questionable for their matchup with the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. If there’s an upside here it’s that little-used guard Tyus Jones finally got an extended look, playing 11 minutes, but LaVine’s absence would be a big blow for Minnesota’s offense.
Minnesota Duluth men’s hockey
UMD’s run as the No. 1 team in the nation is over. The Bulldogs salvaged just one point in a home series against unranked Colorado College, scoring in an unofficial 3-on-3 overtime session that will go down as a tie Friday, before falling 2-1 on Saturday. It’s a bad time to stumble with the conference tightening. Denver now trails Duluth by just three points (one win) in the standings, while North Dakota is suddenly threatening after steamrolling Miami.