Team Recap: 35th-seeded ’08-’09 Minnesota Wild

The 35th-seeded '08-'09 Minnesota Wild

The 35th-seeded ’08-’09 Minnesota Wild

  • Niklas Backstrom (G)
    • 3 GP   3 GS   1-2-0   5.00 GAA   .803 SV%   0 SO   0 Stars   (Lost starting job after Game 3)
  • Eric Belanger (C)
    • 5 GP   1 G   0 A   1 P   -4   9 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Marc-Andre Bergeron (D)
    • 5 GP   0 G   0 A   0 P   -1   2 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Derek Boogaard (LW)
    • 5 GP   0 G   1 A   1 P   Even*   0 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Pierre-Marc Bouchard (LW)
    • 5 GP   1 G   2 A   3 P   -8   23 S   1* GWG   2* PIM   1 Stars
  • Andrew Brunette (LW)
    • 5 GP   5* G   0 A   5* P   -1   16 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   4* Stars
  • Brent Burns (D)
    • 5 GP   1 G   0 A   1 P   -3   9 S   0 GWG   2* PIM   0 Stars
  • Cal Clutterbuck (RW)
    • 5 GP   1 G   0 A   1 P   -1   7 S   0 GWG   2* PIM   0 Stars
  • Marian Gaborik (RW)
    • 5 GP   0 G   2 A   2 P   -4   10 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Colton Gillies (C)
    • 5 GP   0 G   0 A   0 P   -1   0 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Josh Harding (G)
    • 4 GP   2 GS   0-2-0   1.50 GAA   .942 SV%   0 SO   1 Stars   (Took starting job after Game 3)
  • Kim Johnsson (D)
    • 5 GP   0 G   2 A   2 P   -8   13 S   0 GWG   2* PIM   0 Stars
  • Mikko Koivu (C)
    • 5 GP   1 G   4* A   5* P   -5   44* S   0 GWG   0 PIM   2 Stars
  • Antti Miettinen (RW)
    • 5 GP   0 G   1 A   1 P   -4   14 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Owen Nolan (RW)
    • 5 GP   1 G   2 A   3 P   Even*   18 S   0 GWG   2* PIM   0 Stars
  • Erik Reitz (D)
    • 5 GP   0 G   0 A   0 P   Even*   0 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Nick Schultz (D)
    • 5 GP   0 G   0 A   0 P   -1   4 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • John Scott (D)
    • 5 GP   0 G   0 A   0 P   -1   0 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • James Sheppard (C)
    • 5 GP   0 G   0 A   0 P   -1   5 S   0 GWG   2* PIM   0 Stars
  • Martin Skoula (D)
    • 5 GP   1 G   0 A   1 P   -4   6 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Stephane Veilleux (LW)
    • 5 GP   0 G   1 A   1 P   -1   12 S   0 GWG   2* PIM   0 Stars
  • Marek Zidlicky (D)
    • 5 GP   0 G   0 A   0 P   -2   4 S   0 GWG   2* PIM   0 Stars

* – Team Best

Team Stats:

  • Record: 1-4-0
  • Goals Scored: 12
  • Goals/Game: 2.40
  • Goals Allowed: 20
  • Goals Allowed/Game: 4.00
  • Shots: 196
  • Shots Allowed: 177
  • Shots/Game: 39.2
  • Shots Allowed/Game: 35.4
  • # of PP’s: 11
  • PPG’s: 2
  • PP%: 18.2%
  • TSH: 6
  • PPGA: 0 – 1 of 6 teams to not allow a PPG in tournament
  • PK%: 100.0%
  • Penalties in minutes: 16

The ’08-’09 Minnesota Wild have now represented Minnesota’s second NHL franchise in both Ultimate NHL Playoffs. In the inaugural tournament, the ’08-’09 Wild made their way out of the First Round before being eliminated in the Second Round. However, in their second trip, they were not as successful.

First Round:

After winning Game 1, lost the next four to lose to the 30th-seeded ’85-’86 Hartford Whalers in five games

 

Under legendary head coach and former player Jacques Lemaire, the ’08-’09 Wild posted a record of 40-33-9, which was good for 89 points and 3rd in the Northwest Division. Minnesota was ranked 22nd in the league in goals for with 219 and 2nd in the league in goals against, typical of a Lemaire system. Hockey Reference ranked the Wild’s strength of schedule at 19th toughest in the league, but their SRS rating system had the Wild as the 10th best team in the league that year. The ’08-’09 Wild’s SRS (0.22) is the fourth highest for any Minnesota Wild team. This Wild team finished 9th in the Western Conference and missed the playoffs by three points.

Like all Lemaire-coached teams, the ’08-’09 Wild did not focus too much on the offensive aspect of the game. Mikko Koivu was by far and away the team’s leading scorer with 67 points. Andrew Brunette was second with 50 and Pierre-Marc Bouchard was third with 46. Longtime NHLer Owen Nolan led the team in goal-scoring with 25 goals in just 59 games played. Nolan was resurrecting his career in ’08-’09, but he missed a lot of games with a variety of injuries. Brunette and Koivu were second and third in goal-scoring with 22 and 20, respectively. Koivu also the team’s leading assist-getter by a wide margin with 47 assists. Bouchard and defenseman Marek Zidlicky were tied for second with 30. Lemaire’s system is only as good as the goaltending, and the ’08-’09 Wild had very good goaltending. Niklas Backstrom appeared in 71 games while posting a 2.33 goals against average and a .923 save percentage with eight shutouts. Surprisingly, to me at least, defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron posted the team’s highest Corsi% at 53.2% while Zidlicky was second at 51.9%. Backstrom posted a Point Share rating of 15.6, which was twice as high as the second-best Point Share for Minnesota, Zidlicky at 7.8.

Up next are the 34th-seeded ’84-’85 Quebec Nordiques!

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