The Minnesota Wild have been on an upward trend lately, with three wins in four games. Even so, their 4-3-2 record tells the fuller story that Bruce Boudreau’s bunch haven’t always been able to navigate some significant injury challenges early in 2017-18.
On the bright side, they’re calling in a key reinforcement on Tuesday, as Nino Niederreiter has been activated from injured reserve before tonight’s game against the Winnipeg Jets.
The 25-year-old hasn’t appeared in a game for the Wild since Oct. 12. Even with that in mind, this must be an antsy time for “El Niño,” who has yet to score his first point in 2017-18 after signing a five-year, $26.25 million contract during the summer.
Not bad, and you can imagine that group climbing to explosive with Coyle and (ideally) a semi-healthy Parise in the mix.
Niederreiter was already showing some promise early in his Minnesota career (three straight 20+ goal seasons), but 2016-17 seemed to signal a breakthrough to another level. The Swiss-born winger generated career-highs in goals (25), assists (32), and points (57), while also continuing to be a fancy stats darling with outstanding possession numbers.
Maybe the Wild lack outright superstars, but players such as Niederreiter are difference-makers at forward, and you can bet that he’s been sorely missed.
Considering the firepower on hand for the Winnipeg Jets, the Wild could really use the boost, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the two teams traded blows in a fun affair.