The Scouting Report: Minnesota Wild
CALGARY, AB -- The Minnesota Wild are in the midst of a struggling playoff push.
Though currently holding down seventh in the Western Conference, the Wild have just one win in their last seven games and are just 3-6-1 in their past 10 contests, holding just a two-point edge over the Dallas Stars and Columbus Blue Jackets - ninth and 10th in the West.
The Wild's struggles have been widely offensive. Minnesota has been shut out in three of their past five games and have scored just eight goals in seven games during the month of April.
Having scored just five goals in three games against the Calgary Flames this season, the Wild will need to find a way to get offensive to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Flames Season Series Record: 1-0-2
The Wild opened their season series with Calgary on February 11th at Scotiabank Saddledome, eking out a 2-1 shootout victory on the strength of Mikko Koivu's shootout winner in his 500th career game.
The Flames followed up the shootout loss by taking two points away from Minnesota on home ice in a 3-1 victory on the strength of Matt Stajan's multi-goal game, including an empty netter with nine seconds remaining to close out the win on February 23rd.
Just three days after the win, Calgary dropped a late, third period lead on Jason Zucker's goal with 4:19 remaining while Zach Parise scored just 27 seconds into overtime for a 2-1 win.
SOG: 108 | +/-: 0
Acquired at the trade deadline in exchange along with a fourth round pick in 2014 in exchange for Johan Larsson, Matt Hackett, a first round pick in 2013 and a second round pick in 2014, Pominville has been one of Minnesota's top players since joining the Wild. The 30-year-old has two goals and two assists over his last four games. Split between Buffalo and Minnesota, Pominville has 12 goals and 29 points in 42 games this season.
SOG: 98 | +/-: 6
Though he holds a share of the team lead in Minnesota with Zach Parise, Koivu is pointless in his last seven games after scoring in seven straight contests and is minus-2 during that stretch while averaging over 20 minutes of ice time per game. Despite his slump, though, the 30-year-old has 24 assists and 33 point this season.
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
Though the rookie has just nine points in 30 games in his first stint at the National Hockey League level, Coyle has certainly made an impact in the Wild lineup. Goals account for six of the nine points for the six-foot-two forward, who plays with a physical edge. The 21-year-old Boston University standout and former Saint John Sea Dog isn't shy to throw his body around with 40 hits this year.
If Coyle is a physical player, Clutterbuck is a destroyer. Though he's only five-foot-11, the 213-pounder throws about his body with reckless abandon. Though he's missed seven games this season, Clutterbuck leads the Wild and remains in the NHL's top-20 in hits with 120 this season. Opponents are no stranger to Clutterbuck's physicality, leading the league in hits from 2008 to 2011.
Signing the most lucrative offseason deal amongst free agent defensemen a summer ago, Suter has lived up to the expectations of a 13-year, $98 million deal. A Norris Trophy candidate, Suter has four goals and 30 points this season, but its his play at both ends that is drawing praise. The sheer volume of minutes the 28-year-old defenseman is logging is impressive, too. No player has averaged more than Suter's 27:16, while only former teammate Shea Weber has played more than his 1,118 minutes.