Wild See Positives From Calen Addison in Otherwise Rough Week

This past week of hockey saw the Minnesota Wild finally get their first win under their belt but they aren’t down the rocky slope just yet. Out of three games played, they won one and lost the other two but thankfully the final scores are getting closer instead of the blowouts they’d been facing. Unfortunately, they are still struggling with their goaltending and letting in too many goals.

In the last week, they faced the Colorado Avalanche, Vancouver Canucks, and Boston Bruins, and their losses came against the Avalanche and Bruins but they slipped a win past the Canucks. Their power play remains successful, as they’ve scored a goal while on the man advantage in every game they’ve played so far, and hopefully, they can continue that streak. While the usual players stepped up big this last week there were some surprises thrown in the mix as well.

Wild’s Addison Shows Talents

Mats Zuccarello and Kirill Kaprizov were once again at the top of the stat sheet this past week which comes as no surprise, but defenseman Calen Addison also cracked the top three. In fact, he tied Kaprizov with five points and Zuccarello stole the lead with six points. Kaprizov and Zuccarello tallied both goals and assists while Addison was busy setting up everyone else’s goals with five assists.

While Addison struggled a little in the defensive zone with two giveaways and only three blocked shots, he showed his offensive strengths with his assists and seven shots on goal. Not surprisingly, Matt Boldy made the success list once again, however his numbers dropped slightly with just two points (1G, 1A) but he had eight shots on goal and generated a lot of chances.

Calen Addison Minnesota Wild
Calen Addison, Minnesota Wild (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Their power play deserves another mention with all the success it’s been having this season after such disastrous results last season. They’re currently on a five-game streak of scoring power-play goals, hopefully, it will continue and start turning these games into wins instead of losses. They seem to have finally found the perfect line combinations to make their power play work and it’s been very entertaining to watch.

Wild’s Gaudreau & Dumba Struggle

The goaltending could take up this entire section and then some but there are a couple of players who need to improve their play as well. Frédérick Gaudreau had a great preseason but since the regular season started he’s been pretty quiet despite being on a line with Boldy who’s been doing very well. Gaudreau has had some very good looks and close calls but he hasn’t been able to get past any of the goalies they’ve faced so far. This last week was no different, he had six shots on goal and nothing went in but he did contribute defensively with two hits and a blocked shot.

Speaking of defense, another player that has struggled is defenseman Matt Dumba. The Wild’s season has started rough, but Dumba was on the right track with an assist in each of their first two games, however, since then he hasn’t tallied a point. Thankfully he’s done well defensively, especially in the last week of games with seven blocked shots, just two behind team leader Jared Spurgeon.

Matt Dumba Minnesota Wild
Matt Dumba, Minnesota Wild (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Dumba’s blocked shots were great but he also gave up the puck twice which is two more than he should have. The Wild really need both Dumba and Gaudreau to find their scoring stride but also improve their defense if they hope to win some games.

Wild’s Road Test

The Wild had a very rough home stretch to start the season, something that was very unusual for a team that has been known for its strong play at Xcel Energy Center in the past. Now they’ll have an even bigger challenge with their first road trip of the season and it’s already started with a difficult loss in overtime to the Bruins. They have a very interesting opponent on Tuesday, Oct. 24, in the Montréal Canadiens who everyone expected to not win a single game, but they’re actually 3-3-0.

Related: Wild Have Too Many Good Prospects & Not Enough Roster Slots

The Wild will have to be prepared as the Canadiens have some strong scorers on their roster in Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield, and Sean Monahan who the defense will have to be on the lookout for. Their offense will be busy trying to find ways past both the Canadiens’ defensemen and their goaltenders Jake Allen and Sam Montembeault. Hopefully, the Wild’s goaltending will be up to the challenge of shutting down these talented scorers and they can get their second win of the season to try to restart their road trip.

With one last side note, this road trip may be a bit harder than the Wild thought as they’ll be without Jordan Greenway who injured himself barely 20 minutes after re-joining the lineup in their game against the Canucks. With Greenway out, Mason Shaw has another chance to show what he’s capable of and hopefully, he can be the spark they need to get them their next win.

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