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Five notable numbers from the 2013-14 Wild season

Aug 13, 2014, 2:28 PM EDT

Ryan Suter, Zach Parise Getty Images

54.3 — The average number of shots in a Wild game. Only New Jersey games (52.3) averaged fewer. In contrast, Senators games averaged 67.5 shots, the most in the NHL. For that reason, you often hear the Wild called a “low event” team (while others just call them “boring”). But at the end of the day, it’s not the sum of shots or chances that has a huge impact on outcomes; it’s the difference between the two opponents. Proof? In 2013-14, the top teams in terms of shot differential were San Jose, Chicago, Los Angeles, NY Rangers, St. Louis, Boston, and Anaheim. Two of those teams met in the Stanley Cup Final, and all of them made the playoffs. The Wild, meanwhile, ranked 21st, suggesting they’ve still got some work to do when it comes to controlling possession.

48.6% — The Wild’s Fenwick close rating, which also ranked them 21st in the NHL. This is, obviously, related to the point made above re: shot differential (Fenwick is the number of unblocked shot attempts). Minnesota actually started the season among the top teams in terms of pucks possession — remember the story about how they’d embraced analytics? — but as the following chart from Extra Skater shows, the club didn’t remain up there with the elite of the league:

source:

Injuries to key players like Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu most definitely had something to do with the decline in possession, but that’s still not a chart any team wants to see.

45 — Power-play goals scored, the 22nd most in the NHL. This is one of the areas where the addition of Thomas Vanek could change things. The Austrian sniper has scored 113 times with the man advantage during his career, and Minnesota general manager Chuck Fletcher said he targeted Vanek in part because he “wanted somebody that could help our power play.”

53 — Power-play goals surrendered. Only five teams allowed more: Arizona, Toronto, NY Islanders, Ottawa, and Florida. Notice anything about those five teams? Yeah, none of them made the playoffs. So in a very tough Western Conference, improving the penalty kill in 2014-15 could go a long way for the Wild.

.913 — Minnesota’s team save percentage, to which five goalies contributed. Given all the injuries they had to endure at arguably the most important position, that’s not too bad. In fact, it ranked them in a tie for 13th in the NHL.

Related: The Wild are ‘definitely comfortable’ with their goaltending situation, but should they be?

  1. runhigh24 - Aug 13, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    7 – Another notable number. As in the number of games Matt Cooke was suspended for.

    • btlpper68 - Aug 13, 2014 at 3:18 PM

      15- the number he should’ve been banned for

      • lordfletcher - Aug 13, 2014 at 3:22 PM

        I love humor but the key is timing.

        Fail

  2. rsmaggiemae - Aug 13, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    Was Brodzys 17 missed shots on goal counted on his one man rush to the net??
    That was just terrible to see that game after game..

    • wutangwild - Aug 13, 2014 at 7:14 PM

      I know, right? He squandered away sooo many breakaways and open looks. I mean flippin STONE HANDS STONER had a breakaway goal last year!

  3. luvmnsports2012 - Aug 14, 2014 at 8:55 AM

    LOL^^ I’m Pretty excited for the upcoming hockey season. The West is tough, I just hope we can step forward from last year and not backwards! GO WILD!!!

  4. nharris28 - Aug 14, 2014 at 10:44 AM

    You forgot to post there chart from the playoffs(Thanks Avs). Also left out Spurgeon being a key injury. Another notable number 7 7th in GAA.

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