Wild lead the NHL in just about every category since Dec. 4

The Wild lead the NHL in a bunch of important categories since Dec. 4, and Eric Staal is leading the charge.

The Minnesota Wild were 11-8-4 on the morning of Dec. 4. That night would start a winning stretch that the Wild are still on, driving hard for the top seed in the Western Conference with the All-Star break just two weeks away.

Since Dec. 4, the Wild rank high in almost every statistical category.

  • Wins: 1st (10)
  • Losses: 1st (1)
  • Points: 1st (21)
  • Goals: 1st (50)
  • Goals allowed: 5th (29)
  • Power play goals: 5th (11)
  • Power play: 1st (31.4 percent)
  • Penalty kill: 7th (86.2 percent)

Additionally, Eric Staal has more points (18) than all but one player in the entire NHL since Dec. 4. He's also tied for the league lead with three game-winning goals in that stretch.

Minnesota has four players in the top five of plus-minus since Dec. 4. Mikael Granlund is tied second at +10 and Mikko Koivu, Ryan Suter and Jared Spurgeon are tied third at +9.

Clearly, Minnesota's hot streak has been fueled by a dominating offensive attack.

"The last few years we haven't been able to put up the numbers like this," Suter said after Minnesota crushed Montreal 7-1 Thursday. "It's good to have that element now and hopefully we can keep that up."

Minnesota still has a long way to go in head coach Bruce Boudreau's mind.

"We weren't really very good (against Montreal). We took advantage of a very tired team. We gotta play a lot better this weekend if we want to be successful," Boudreau said, while adding they can't rely on puck luck.

"Sometimes that's good for you but you can't rely on it forever. If you rely on that kind of thing, then success won't follow you to far. So we gotta get better."

Minnesota's defense remains strong but goalie Devan Dubnyk hasn't been quite as dominant of late. His .920 save percentage since Dec. 4 is tied for 10th in the league, although his goals-against average is still a very good 2.22.

But we're just getting greedy if we're picking on Dubnyk. This Wild team appears to be for real. They are only two points behind Chicago for the best point total in the Western Conference.

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