Wild star Zach Parise had a big week and now has 18 points this season for 16-7-6 Minnesota.
Brace Hemmelgarn/Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport
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 making a meteoric rise — like St. Thomas’ 14-0 football squad — and who is plummeting.
With that in mind, let’s "take stock" of the current sports scene in Minnesota, shall we?
Hank Goff, Concordia (St. Paul) DL
Goff was a super senior in every way imaginable in 2015. So much so, in fact, that Goff received the Disney Spirit Award trophy last Thursday. Goff, 28, overcame some serious tribulations before enjoying a decorated senior campaign. The 6-foot-4, 260-pound senior from Minnetonka registered 7.5 tackles for loss this season — but that doesn’t even begin to tell his story. Goff originally played football at South Dakota State nearly a decade ago, before academic issues led to him joining the Marines and, eventually, serving in Afghanistan. Upon returning to civilian life, Goff returned to college football for a sense of purpose. Mission accomplished. Goff has been featured recently by numerous media outlets, including FOX Sports 1, Sports Illustrated and on ESPN’s College GameDay.
Zach Parise, Wild LW
Now that Zach’s back, the foreseeable future seems brighter for the Wild (16-7-6, 38 points). Parise, who had missed significant time after spraining the MCL in his right knee back on Nov. 5 against Nashville, is gathering steam lately. Last Friday, the Minneapolis native assisted on Jared Spurgeon’s goal in an overtime loss at Arizona. In Saturday’s 2-0 win at San Jose, Parise gave Minnesota a late 1-0 lead when he lit the lamp. Then, in Tuesday’s rout of Vancouver, the Wild star had a goal and two assists. Parise, 31, now has 10 goals this season and 18 points.
The Maroon and Gold marched on to the Final Four with Saturday’s 3-1 win over Hawaii in a regional final in Des Moines, Iowa. Daly Santana rattled off 26 kills as the Gophers withstood a late charge from Hawaii. It will be Minnesota’s first appearance in the Final Four since 2009. The Gophers improved to 30-4 this season with Saturday’s dramatic victory.
Richard Pitino, Gophers basketball coach
This was expected to be a bit of a rebuilding year for Pitino’s troops. Unfortunately, this season has displayed some serious cracks in the program’s foundation. After last Saturday’s 62-60 setback against Oklahoma State, the Gophers found themselves saddled with a 5-5 overall record. Minnesota is ranked 170th in the NCAA’s RPI rankings this week, due in part to its 1-3 record in neutral-site games. Pitino, in his third year in Minneapolis, is now 48-33 overall as the Gophers’ head coach.
Ricky Rubio, Wolves PG
The lifeblood of the Wolves’ offense hasn’t done much offensively this season. In Sunday’s loss at Phoenix, for example, Rubio scored just one point on 0-for-4 shooting from the floor. In Tuesday’s loss to Denver, Rubio had a +/- of minus-7. His per-game averages for scoring (9.9 points per game) and steals (1.67) are below his career averages, and he’s also shooting poorer than his career standard, with a 34.5 field-goal percentage currently. Over his last 10 games, the 25-year-old native of Spain is averaging just 8.1 points per outing.
Brian Robison, Vikings DE
Robison, now 32 and in his ninth NFL season, has been rather quiet throughout much of 2015. In last Thursday night’s 23-20 loss at Arizona, Robison recorded two solo tackles and he now has 31 total tackles for the year. More importantly, the former Texas Longhorn has just three total sacks this season, and two of those came in Minnesota’s 31-point home loss to Seattle earlier this month. If the Vikings hope to chase down the Packers in the NFC North, this veteran defensive end might need to start corralling some opposing QBs — and quick.