One of the Wild’s main areas of concern last year was a lack of scoring — the team only averaged 2.46 goals per game, 22nd in the league.
This year, the lack of offensive production (2.11 goals per game) is an issue once again.
That’s why head coach Mike Yeo is stressing a need for creativity and aggression heading into tonight’s affair with Nashville, hoping the Wild can bust out of a slump that’s seen them score just five goals over the last four games.
“We’ve got to create more chances. We have to have an attack mentality,” Yeo told Fox Sports Minnesota. “When there’s an opportunity to finish, we’ve got to finish.”
Getting pucks on goal hasn’t been a problem thus far. Minnesota is averaging 30 per game.
The power play isn’t an issue, either. The Wild are going at a 26.3 percent clip, fourth-best in the NHL.
But it’s at even strength where the team suffers. Minnesota only has nine 5-on-5 goals this year — third-fewest in the league — are is the only team in the league with more power-play goals than even strength ones.
According to Zach Parise, the solution to these goalscoring woes is simple — less perimeter play, more guys crashing the goal.
“Right now, we’ve just got our guy in the high slot waiting for a one-timer, and our other guys on the outside,” he told the Minnesota Star-Tribune. “That’s not how you score. We need to get some guys going through the middle and getting around the net, penetrating the defense a little bit.’’
The Calgary Flames have released Ryan Wilson from his professional tryout.
The 28-year-old was trying to make a comeback after missing 79 games with a shoulder injury last season.
Even with T.J. Brodie sidelined because of a broken hand, Wilson still faced long odds to make the final roster.
The veteran will be hard-pressed to find NHL work with another team.
He hasn’t suited up in more than 12 regular season games since 2011-12.
The Stockton Heat, Calgary’s AHL affiliate, also made some news on Sunday.
The club announced that they’ve signed Colton Orr to an AHL contract.
The 33-year-old tough guy suited up in just one game for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. He has 12 seasons of NHL experience under his belt.
The Arizona Coyotes have returned Dylan Strome to the Erie Otters of the OHL.
Strome, 18, was the third overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft.
The 6’3, 185 pounder was hoping to stick with the Coyotes this season, but the team decided to take the conservative approach with their top prospect.
Strome will look to build off an incredible junior season that saw him score 45 goals and 129 points in 68 games.
Strome seems to be taking the demotion in stride.
The team also announced that they’ve assigned goaltender Louis Domingue and forward Matthias Plachta to their AHL affiliate in Springfield.
Domingue, 23, had a 1-2-1 record with a 2.73 goals-against-average and a .911 save percentage in seven games last season.
Plachta, a free agent signing, will begin his first pro season in North America. The 24-year-old had 14 goals and 35 points in the German League last season.