The arguments for the Minnesota Wild to improve on last season’s dismal performance were straightforward:
Multiple important players missed huge chunks of the season.
They had the best team defense in the league by expected goals last year.
They added some offensive talent late last season and over the summer, and there should be some development for younger guys on the roster.
And yet, through six games, the only thing that’s really held up is health, and it’s mathematically difficult to have guys miss “significant time” when you’re in mid-October. Even then, yes, they’ve been without defenseman Greg Pateryn (not exactly a huge difference-maker) the whole season to date, and Mats Zuccarello is about to miss a week with a lower body injury. So maybe that’s not turning around as fast as anyone would want.