Looking at the positives from the Wild has been somewhat of a challenge thru the first 16 games but here goes.
Most of the positives have occurred lately as the very beginning was super ugly. The big offseason addition. Mats Zuccarello took some time to get acclimated to his new surroundings, however he is looking very much like the player he had been with the Rangers and briefly late last season in Dallas. Zuccarello is currently riding a five game point streak with three goals and three assists over that span. His pass last night to set up Jason Zucker for the one timer and the Wild's 5th goal of the night was brilliant and displayed the high end playmaking ability Mats possesses.
Eric Staal has been on fire with his own six game scoring streak (4 goals, 5 assists) and points in eight (6 goals, 7 assists) of the last nine Wild contests. The Wild top line of Staal, Zuccarello, and Zucker have been very good since being united.
Brad Hunt continues to be a factor night after night ever since his arrival late last January. Hunt was stuck in the number 8 position on the Golden Knights blueline relegated to the press box most nights. Coming to the Wild to add offense from the blueline that was sorely lacking after Matt Dumba went out in early December, Hunt stepped in and performed very well earning himself a new deal with the Wild. Hunt has taken his newest opportunity filling in for the injured Greg Pateryn and run with it scoring five goals and adding four assists making the decision very difficult when Pateryn returns in the next week or so.
Last night saw some positives in what could be described as an ugly loss or at least the first 20 minutes. The Sharks blitzed the Wild for four first period goals that sent Alex Stalock to the bench to open the second period. Trading two goals apiece late in the second period the Wild still trailed by four entering the third. They mounted a nice comeback falling just short in the 6-5 loss.
Stalock was once again given the opportunity to compete for the starting job and following the recent patern the results were the same. Alex is a backup goalie and there really is no competition for Devan Dubnyk's net. That is a real problem as Dubnyk has not been the goalie we have gotten used to seeing in the Wild crease.
Off to Arizona on Saturday night...