On Tuesday night, the Minnesota Wild beat the Chicago Blackhawks by a score of 2-1 in what many would consider to be their most important game of the year. This game was so important because it secured their spot for a playoff berth, and what could be something even more special: a Stanley Cup title.
Though the Wild are a very young team, it is still very possible that they could win the Stanley Cup this year; or at least make a deep playoff run. Lately, the team has been working extremely well together, and has seemed to be able to beat, if not at least put up a good fight against any team that they face.
Another reason the Wild have a good shot at winning the Stanley Cup is because of their star player, Zach Parise. His style of play consists of working hard and not being afraid, even against the biggest opponents. Many argue, and could make a good case, that he is the hardest working player in the league. No matter what situation the Wild are in, he continues to work his hardest. This fact was shown by his performance when the Wild were in their slump earlier in the year, and he still managed to wrack up points consistently. Parise’s continued work ethic will definitely be a positive factor for the Wild’s run at winning Lord Stanley’s Cup.
Having Devan Dubnyk in goal also sets the Minnesota Wild up to be a Stanley Cup contender. Dubnyk is considered to be the Wild’s season savior by many fans, so much so that there have been signs brought to the games that say exactly that; and chants of “Duuuuuuub” every time he touches the puck. The January 15th trade has helped turn the Wild into a winning team, and has turned them into the hottest team since the all-star break. Dubnyk holds a save percentage of 93.8% and a GAA of 1.73 in his 38 games for the Wild, which is the best statistics he has ever had in his NHL career; and it may earn him a nomination for the Vezina Trophy. The Wild have always seemed to lack a goaltender, and now that the void is filled, they could see a much longer Stanley Cup run.
The Wild possess many young guns that are thirsty for a Stanley Cup ring. Jason Zucker, in specific, stands out because he just returned to the lineup after a long-term injury. With Zucker back, the Wild get a player who has a knack for scoring, as he has 19 goals in just 49 games. In fact, he has already scored in his first game back versus the Blackhawks. The Wild performed well without him, so having him back in the lineup will allow them to have an even stronger squad in preparation for the playoffs.
Finally, this team could make a Stanley Cup run because they have shown they are a tough team. Not many teams can look completely lifeless and then turn around to be a team that is in Stanley Cup talks amongst NHL experts. With this crazy turnaround, it would be surprising to see the Wild go out without a bang. They finally seem to have found all of the pieces they were missing, so do not be surprised if the Minnesota Wild are your 2015 Stanley Cup Champions.