One thing that has struck me about the WIld so far has been the low goal output thus far. In 4 games, they are averaging only 2.5 goals a game, with their greatest output a 4 goal night on opening night. This has probably been the greatest frustration with the Wild since they came into existence. Even when Marian Gaborik was here, the Wild just never seemed able to score.
Now with the Wild owning a roster full of offensive threats, it seems like they should be scoring more goals. Instead, they are at the 2.5/game mark I mentioned earlier, which is better than the last two years (only marginally better than ’10-11) but behind the pace of goals scored in the two previous seasons.
Why am I concerned, specifically, with the past 4 seasons? Because they were the team with the fewest shots/game in each of those seasons. Every single one of them. They weren’t scoring because they weren’t getting the puck on net. You can’t score if you don’t shoot it, as they say.
This season, through 4 games, however, they are a bit more successful. So far, they are averaging 5 shots a game more than they were last season, and are 13th in the league in shots/game. That’s a substantial improvement, and a sign that the Wild are more offensively oriented, which is what the Parise signing, the Granlund ascension and the Heatley trade were supposed to induce.
More shots means that the team has the puck in the offensive end, and is putting pressure on their opponents, which is good for the team. They just aren’t finishing now. That’s an entirely different problem, but at least the team is moving in the right direction. Heck, this is a problem that might solve itself by the end of the month.