8th in the West - Secured their first playoff berth since 2008 by defeating the Avalanche on the last day of the season. They fell in 5 games to the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round. For the fans in Minnesota, however, just returning to the playoffs at all was a major accomplishment:
2013 Season Stats
26-19-3 (55), GF & GF/G: 118, 2.46 (23rd), GA & GA/G: 125, 2.60 (15th), PP: 17.9 % (16th), PK: 80.7% (18th)
Niklas Backstrom: .917%, 2.43 career
Josh Harding: .915%, 2.67 career
Backstrom is no question going to be their workhorse again this season. However, Josh Harding should have at least earned a few starts by becoming an emergency starter during the series against Chicago.
- Nino Niederreiter (acquired from Islanders)
- Matt Cooke
- Jonathon Blum
Players You Should Know
- Ryan Suter
- Zach Parise
- Mikko Koivu
- Jason Pominville
- Danny Heatley
- Jonas Brodin
Bringing in Pominville was a superb move by the Wild, even if they didn't have much time to enjoy it. Though Heatley is but a shadow of his former self, he can still put the puck in the net if healthy. It's hard to think this lineup is going to be in the bottom 10 again this year. Much was made about Jonas Brodin's rookie year, and how it impacted Suter. The pressure is now on for him to keep up his superb play.
5 Weber Smashes
Nashville fans certainly won't ever let Suter forget leaving Music City, especially now that he's in the same division. Matt Cooke still radiates a face-punching aura, and he and Matt Hendricks know each other well from the Pens/Caps rivalry. Plus, if either of these teams want to make the playoffs they have to make the wins again each other count.
Yes. Many things have to fall into place, but they have shown enough flashes of being a decent team in recent years to not be underestimated. However, if they can't find a way to put more pucks in the net, they won't be able to keep up for an entire season.
Tuesday, October 8 Minnesota @ Nashville (the home opener)
Tuesday, October 22 Nashville @ Minnesota
Saturday, January 12 Minnesota @ Nashville
Thursday, February 6 Nashville @ Minnesota
Sunday, April 13 Nashville @ Minnesota (season finale)