Something like 1 in 8 NHL games ends in a shutout, I gather, which would make the average for any specific team about 1 in 16. The Wild, usually known as one of the more defensive teams in hockey, had four last season and three the season before that, which is more like 1 in 23.

This being the Wild’s 23rd season opener, you’d think that Filip Gustavsson’s 41-save shutout would therefore have a decent chance at being Minnesota’s first shutout in a Game 1. Instead, this being the home of defensive hockey, it was the fourth, after Dwayne Roloson, Niklas Backstrom, and Darcy Kuemper.

Such is life in Minnesota, I guess. The Wild got goals from Brock Faber and Joel Eriksson Ek (on the power play). Marco Rossi and Matt Boldy also got the puck in the net, but the former was waved off for offside, and the latter because of goaltender interference.

You can’t particularly say that the Wild looked good, except for Gustavsson; they got run over in the first period, and outshot 41-21 for the game. Marcus Johansson also got hurt, which was kind of the Wild’s nightmare; they’re completely up against the salary cap, and called up Dakota Mermis, who is a defenseman, solely because his is the contract they can afford.

They’re either going to have to do some cap gymnastics to get a forward on the roster, or play with 11 forwards and seven defensemen on Saturday in Toronto; I’m not sure if Marc-Andre Fleury can play wing, but if he can, that would help a lot.

Last season’s start was famously terrible for Minnesota; the Wild lost their first three games and gave up 20 goals in the process. Obviously this is a better way to begin the year, but here’s hoping we see a better overall performance on Saturday; I don’t see Auston Matthews and company shooting 0% on 41 shots.


GOPHERS MEN’S HOCKEY vs. St. Thomas, 7:30pm/6pm, both games on FOX9+
GOPHERS WOMEN’S HOCKEY at St. Thomas, 4pm/4pm, Friday on FOX9+
(note: Friday doubleheader at Xcel Energy Center)



WILD at Toronto, 6pm Saturday, BSN (and on Hockey Night in Canada)
TIMBERWOLVES at New York, preseason, 6:30 Saturday, NBATV


VIKINGS at Chicago, noon Sunday, FOX
GOPHERS VOLLEYBALL vs Northwestern, 12:30pm

The Future

GOPHERS FOOTBALL at Iowa, October 21
LOONS at Sporting KC, October 21
TIMBERWOLVES at Toronto, season opener, October 25