We are back on the west coast for March’s final Weekly Lost & Found. We’ll take a trip to both divisions as the Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota Wild make the list. However, the Pittsburgh Penguins earned a quick shoutout for scoring 11 goals against the Detroit Red Wings on March 27.
Both the Ducks and the Wild have made appearances on the Weekly Lost & Found before. The Ducks have been lost more than they’ve been found, whereas the Wild are in their third appearance and will break a tie. Find out which way it goes as you dive into the latest edition.
Lost: Anaheim Ducks See Crippling Winless Streak
The Ducks have hit a tailspin. They’ve won just one of their past 10 games. Including overtime and shootout losses, they haven’t won since March 6, and haven’t won in regulation since March 1. They’re not only on a four-game losing streak, but a nine-game winless streak as well.
Starting goaltender John Gibson hasn’t had any offensive help over this stretch. He’s facing an average of 31.6 shots-against per game (SAPG), and the team has only scored 20 goals to support him. As a whole, they’ve allowed 41. He played in seven games, going 0-6-1, and allowed 27 goals with an .870 save percentage (SV%) in the process.
Anthony Stolarz played three games and has their only win. He’s 1-0-1 and has allowed six goals with a .926 SV%.
Their special teams have been dismal. They scored just two power-play goals on 29 attempts, a 6.8 percent conversion rate, and allowed a shorthanded goal. Their penalty kill has similarly struggled, it killed just 70 percent of opposing power plays. Both markers are well below their season averages.
The young stars have still stayed on the scoresheet, but their production hasn’t been close to enough support for their goaltenders. Both Trevor Zegras and Troy Terry have hovered around an average of 20 minutes of ice time a game, having each played in nine of the team’s past 10 games. Zegras has a goal and five points, while Terry has two goals and six points.
At this point, it isn’t that big of a surprise as the Ducks traded away several key players leading up to and at the trade deadline. One of the bigger deals came when rookie general manager (GM) Pat Verbeek traded Rickard Rakell to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Related: Ducks’ 2022 Trade Deadline Grades
They have a busy week coming up, playing four games against three different opponents. While the Arizona Coyotes aren’t sniffing a playoff spot, they’re still a scrappy team to play against. Aside from them, they’ll see the Dallas Stars, who are hunting for a playoff spot, and the Edmonton Oilers, who currently hold one.
Found: Minnesota Wild Own League-Best Winning Streak
This is the third time we’ll discuss the Minnesota Wild, and unlike their previous appearance, they’re playing some really good hockey. They’re on a league-best six-game winning streak, and have won eight of their past 10 games. They’ve now hit the 40-win mark for the first time since the 2017-18 season.
The Wild have been giving their goaltenders the necessary support, having scored 34 goals in their past 10, and the goaltending has been incredibly strong in return. In his lone game with the team since GM Bill Guerin acquired him, Marc-Andre Fleury allowed just two goals and had a .920 SV% to secure his first win with the Wild.
However, incumbent starter Cam Talbot shouldn’t be too worried. He’s won his past seven games, allowing just 14 goals with a .931 SV%. These incredibly strong performances come as the Wild look to hold onto a playoff spot in the highly contentious Central Division.
It’s not just the goaltending that’s been popping off at the right time. Superstar Kirill Kaprizov has scored eight goals and 11 points in his past 10 games, while Mats Zuccarello has tallied nine assists and 11 points in his past 10.
Meanwhile, Marcus Foligno has continued his strong play, contributing five points in his past 10, being a physical presence who can be relied on in all situations. While their 76 percent penalty kill is right around their season average, the power play has scored at nearly 27 percent over that same span, which is above season average.
Things won’t get much easier for the Wild as they head into April. They play four games, three of which will be against Metropolitan Division playoff teams, two on the road. While they have some breathing room, four points clear for second in the Central, they’ll need to fight to keep their winning ways going, and hope they’ll get some help from teams going against their divisional rivals.
Despite their severe drop in play, the Ducks are still a very exciting team to watch, and these glimpses only serve as a preview of what the next few years will bring. The Wild are also a very exciting team, this being arguably the most exciting team in franchise history.
For coverage on those teams, the rapidly approaching NHL Entry Draft and more, stick with The Hockey Writers.
Sean Raggio lives for hockey. He will be covering the Seattle Kraken, and is a co-host of “What’s Kraken” for THW. Sean gained experience in writing for television, print and radio while studying journalism at Quinnipiac University and being an active member in the student media organizations there. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out on Twitter! A link can be found at the bottom of his articles, such as this one.