As we begin to close in on this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Minnesota Wild find themselves sputtering a bit. They’ve won just three of their last ten games and have managed points in only four of ten overall. That hot streak that carried them into playoff contention has obviously come to an end.
Injuries have played their part in that of course, and the team has to find a bit of new chemistry after several moves prior to the trade deadline, whether those were trades or callups. One player who could make a difference in helping the Wild to climb out of their slump is Jason Zucker.
To this point, Zucker is really only known for being the victim of a shoulder to the dome earlier this season, courtesy of Corey Perry. That caused him to miss a long stretch with a concussion. When he has been on the ice this year, particularly in the AHL, he’s made a difference.
Zucker was named a first team All Star in the AHL, after enjoying a fine season with the Houston Aeros. He was averaging almost a point per game, with 26 goals and 24 assists in 55 games with the Aeros prior to his recent callup. That success with the Aeros is part of what led to his call to the Wild prior to the weekend.
In 16 games with the Wild this season, Zucker has just five points, with one goal and four assists. He is a plus-5 for the year, though, which is a positive.
With their offense sputtering, the Wild now turn to Zucker to try and spark their somewhat anemic offense. As we head into this final stretch of games, which includes only two games against playoff contenders in the Western Conference, Zucker will be important in trying to get this ship righted before the postseason.