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Wild stay hot, Panthers remain the opposite

Nov 15, 2013, 10:46 PM EDT

hardinghappygetty Getty Images

In a meeting of two teams that seem to be going in totally opposite directions, the status quo reigned supreme, as the Minnesota Wild edged the Florida Panthers 3-2.

Here are a few nuggets to drive that point home:

  • The Wild have won three games in a row and nine of their last 11 games. They’ve also won five in a row in Minnesota.
  • Josh Harding hasn’t lost in regulation since Oct. 17.
  • Meanwhile, Florida’s winning streak ends at … one game. They’ve now lost 10 of their last 11 games and only have two wins in 15.
  • A goalie not named Tim Thomas has won exactly one game: when Jacob Markstrom prevailed in the Panthers’ home-opening 6-3 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Oct. 11.

Yup, it doesn’t get much more disparate than that. The Wild are in the thick of things in an outstanding Central Division while the Panthers might secretly be excited that Buffalo might show some life, as that could increase their odds in the draft lottery.

But, hey, at least they got rid of Kris Versteeg

  1. lordfletcher - Nov 15, 2013 at 10:52 PM

    This was the first game I haven’t been able to see all year (at the cabin getting ready to hunt in the morning)

    Anyone give details on the game?

    Go Wild!!!!

    • helloname01 - Nov 15, 2013 at 11:39 PM

      Wild owned the first, took the foot off the gas in the second, were in a coma for the first half of the 3rd and then got woken up and stepped on the panthers’ neck.

  2. tlow97 - Nov 15, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    The game wasn’t as close as the score. The Panthers are awful. Goals from Parise, Pominville and Coyle.

  3. greatmiamisportsmind - Nov 15, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    Don’t get me wrong, your absolutely correct the Panthers are an awful team. However, since Dineen got axed last week, they have been playing better. They beat Anaheim earlier this week, and I believe every loss since Horachek took over has been by 1 goal.

    As a fan of both teams, this is what I kinda expected. But damn finally seeing the Wild play, they are good and I hope for all your sake, they make a deep run

    • endusersolutions2013 - Nov 16, 2013 at 12:47 AM

      Wild are substantially improved, and there have a big issue with a “deep playoff run”. They are in the toughest division in the league, and would be matched up against the Hawks or Blues in he 1st round.

      • greatmiamisportsmind - Nov 17, 2013 at 12:41 AM

        Assuming that Colorado doesn’t stick around in the top 3 spots of the division.

        With that being said, my Panthers beat them 4-1 tonight

  4. LampyB - Nov 16, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    Wild are still an overrated team. Last seven games, five of which faced off against FLA, CAR, CALG, NJ, MON. All slumping teams.

    Hard to give the team and Harding much credit when your schedule’s a cake walk.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Nov 16, 2013 at 11:06 AM

      An objective assessment would saw that they are a good and improving team, not a great team. Sagarinn is a statsgeek that noly ranks teams, but ranks strength of schedule. You are correct in that they have a SOS of 26th, with an overall rating of 10th. The team that is really overrated in the Pens, with a SOS of 30th, and rated 11th by Sagarin. If the wild were in the seriously weak Metro instead of the strongest division, they would be in 1st or a close 2nd.

      My own rankings combine % of possible points (weighted x 3), trend (points in last 10 games weighted x 2), but also goals differential, SOG differential, PP (with # of opposition PIM), PK (with team’s own PIM), scoring deapth, +/- depth and injuries.

      I have the Wild at 6th. The difference is that Sagarin looks just at score and related stuff – opponents records, home and away. I add how they got where they are. I knew that the Redwings had a deceptively high percent of possible points rating when their goal differential was -4.

      • greatmiamisportsmind - Nov 17, 2013 at 12:45 AM

        way too many numbers to even try to comprehend any of that

  5. rebekah319 - Nov 16, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    Just because the above teams have not done great you still have to beat them and the wild are beating them. Points are points and they are doing a good job of getting them! Harding has been great and continues to be great :) Cant really ask for much more than that!

  6. LampyB - Nov 16, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    Of course you still have to beat the other team to get a W. This doesn’t mean a team is red hot in my book. A hit team is one like PHX who has stiod ground against some of the leagues best teams. Or STL or SJS who are awesome yet play in the toughest division in the league.

    No one is discrediting the Wild for the work they’ve done, just merely stating it is easier to win against weak teams and the team prob wont be able to go deep in playoffs

    • mp1131211 - Nov 16, 2013 at 4:50 PM

      Good point about STL’s division. Take a look at who sits right above them in the standings, genius.

  7. endusersolutions2013 - Nov 16, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    One thing that may well be having an impact that will carry over against better teams is now the 1st and 2nd lines are stable and working well.

    Coach Yeo has also changed his offensive appraoch as he’s seen how his team is performing from being VERY conservative to a more exciting and higher risk with higher reward approach. The players are responding to that.

    Wild now are at .684% of possible points. While that is likely not sustainable for them in a full season, that would have been good enough for 1st in either conference the last full year.

    If they end up at .63% of possible, that would have them end up with 103 points, which I believe is acheivable. I see them taking 3rd in the central, which is not bad again considering that they are in the central, and last year just snuck into the playoffs on the strength of a tie-breaker over Columbus.

    Improving, good not great.

    They have decent overall points and +/- depth, just not up with the elete.

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