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Statistically Speaking: Behind the Wild's offensive defense

After surpassing franchise record set only last year, Minnesota's defense aims for new heights

by Kayleigh Jackson /

"The best defense is a good offense," as the saying goes, but for the Wild, it could easily be flipped. 

With two defensemen on pace for career-high points this season and one who has already exceeded his own, the Minnesota Wild has no shortage of secondary scoring. Beyond a deep forward group that frequently allows coach Bruce Boudreau to roll at least three lines equally, the back end has already surpassed a franchise record for scoring. 

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Statistically Speaking: Monitoring the Western Conference playoff bubble

With the postseason a little more than a month away, seven teams are battling for the final four playoff spots

by Dan Myers @DanMyers /

With seven weeks remaining in the NHL's regular season, and Western Conference teams packed tightly in the standings, players, coaches and fans alike will begin the nightly routine of scoreboard watching.

For Wild coach Bruce Boudreau, an avid fan of the game, he's watching hockey almost every night, even when his own team isn't playing. 

Even during Wild games, Boudreau admitted last week that he's taking a peek at scores from around the League.

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Statistically Speaking: Home ice has been especially friendly for Wild

Minnesota's 38 points on home ice this season is second-most in the NHL

by Dan Myers @DanMyers /

ST. PAUL -- Since entering the NHL in 2000, the Minnesota Wild have enjoyed one of the best home-ice advantages in the League. Even during its early expansion years, Xcel Energy Center was always a friendly place for the home team, while being especially hostile for visitors.

The Wild have played 662 games in St. Paul over 16-plus seasons, having won 362 of those games for a .618 winning percentage. 

Last season, the best regular-season finish in the Wild's history, Minnesota's 27 wins on home ice were fifth-most in the NHL and second-most among Western Conference teams.

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Statistically Speaking: Scoring first big for Wild, Central teams

Minnesota is 16-4-1 when lighting the lamp first this season

by Dan Myers @DanMyers /

Scoring first in the NHL is more important than perhaps in any other professional sport.

Look no further than the Wild's game in Nashville last Saturday.

As the contest continued scoreless for 20 minutes, then 40 minutes, it became crystal clear that whomever scored the first goal was going to have a giant advantage.

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