Minnesota Wild on pace for plus/minus milestone
Timely scoring and a dominant defense have the Minnesota Wild on pace to rewrite their record books.
Jason Zucker, Ryan Suter, Jared Spurgeon, Mikael Granlund and Mikko Koivu now lead the league in plus/minus rating, and will also own the top five single-season ratings in franchise history at their current pace.
Plus/minus is a measure of a player’s effectiveness at even strength (5-on-5) and while shorthanded, with a “plus” representing a goal scored while that player is on the ice and a “minus” representing a goal allowed.
Suter, Zucker and Spurgeon are on track for a franchise record at plus-26, with Granlund and Koivu not far behind at plus-23.
NHL plus/minus leaders, 2016-17
|David Savard||Blue Jackets||43||2||10||12||21||21:37|
Wild Franchise Record — Plus/Minus
The Wild’s skaters have had plenty of help this season thanks to goaltender Devan Dubnyk, who leads the league with a .937 save percentage and a 1.85 goals-against average.
He ranks second with five shutouts.
The franchise plus/minus record is currently held by former defenseman Keith Carney, who played in the NHL from 1991-2008 and spent the final two seasons of his career in Minnesota.
He was a plus-22 during the 2006-07 season, helping the Wild to a second-place finish in the Northwest Division while playing in front of a goaltending tandem that featured Manny Fernandez and Nicklas Backstrom.
While plus/minus tends to be a team-wide trend a clean sweep of the top five is a relatively rare occurrence and has happened just once since 2000.
The last team to do so — the 2011-12 Boston Bruins — lost in the first round of the playoffs but won the Northeast Division with a record of 49-29-4.
Statistics courtesy of STATS LLC and Hockey-Reference.com