The fact that the Wild are looking like a playoff contender is impressive enough, but the fact that they’re challenging the Canucks for a division that they’ve had an absolute stranglehold on for the past couple of seasons is even more impressive.
In the middle of their current winning ways have been their two prized free agents: Ryan Suter and Zach Parise. Suter has been solid all year and could very well be a Norris Trophy candidate. Parise, while he’s been pretty good, is really starting to find his groove of late.
Parise has points in eight of 12 games so far in March. Three of those eight games have featured a multi-point performance from Parise. That includes his three-point night on Monday, in which he scored a pair of goals and added an assist in the Wild’s 7-4 win over the Dallas Stars.
The numbers for Parise are about what the Wild were hoping for when they signed him to a monster deal last summer. He has 14 goals on the season and 13 assists, along with a plus-8 rating. He also has 10 points on the power play, including five goals with the man advantage.
It’s not that Parise was having a poor year before the calendar turned to March. But considering almost half of his total points for the year have come just during this month gives a pretty good indication of why the Minnesota Wild have been so successful lately.