THE WILD WIRE - #2Oct 15, 2019
AN EARLY ODDITY
The Iowa Wild didn’t allow the first goal in four straight games at any point during the 2018-2019 regular season.
Yet, here we are, just four games into this season and the Wild have done exactly that: trail 1-0 at some point in every contest.
The good news is that the club is 3-0-0-1, picking up seven of a possible eight standings points.
However, everyone in that locker room will tell you, it tends to catch up with you when you’re always playing from behind.
Last year, AHL teams who scored first went 767-247 when looking at just regulations wins versus regulation losses. On average, AHL teams posted a .726 points percentage when taking a 1-0 lead. A season ago, the Wild were 16 games above .500 and earned points in 34 of the 44 games where they scored first.
This season, the league average is .679. There are only three teams who haven’t scored an FG (first goal) yet and Iowa is one of them.
So, as nice as it’s been for the club to rally in every game thus far, the numbers say you need the first goal most nights to find success.
It should come as no surprise that newcomer Gabriel Dumont has come up big in the early part of the season for the Wild.
A crafty veteran, Dumont has played big minutes in big games throughout his entire career.
To that point, he’s played in 61 Calder Cup Playoff games, including two deep playoff runs – 2011 with Hamilton and 2017 with Syracuse.
Last season, he collected 15 goals with the Syracuse Crunch and just less than half of them were game-winners (4) or the first goal of the game (3).
He’s got three goals with the Wild thus far, with two of them coming in the third period and serving as (at the time) the equalizing marker.
As this season moves on, look for Dumont to keep leading by example and for the team to keep leaning on him in big moments.
MAYHEW GETS THE CALL
There have been only a few players who’ve truly been “Iowa Wild graduates”. By that, I mean their professional debut came in an Iowa uniform and eventually they reached the NHL. It’s even more special when that player goes from Iowa to Minnesota and when that player began his career on a tryout contract.
Michigan native Gerry Mayhew got his first NHL call-up on Sunday and could make his NHL debut on the Minnesota Wild’s current road trip this week.
Mayhew ranks amongst the top eight in franchise history in goals (52), assists (53) and points (105). His constant hustle, proclivity for producing when the stakes are high and boisterous personality have made him a fan favorite, and for good reason.
Here’s wishing him luck whenever that NHL debut officially comes his way.
TIME FOR A ROAD TRIP
The Wild now embark on a seven-game road trip, one of the longest in team history.
A point of emphasis this season from Coach Army’s perspective is to improve the team’s play away from home, as last season the Wild earned just 14 road wins.
They’ll get a chance to get things rolling in the right direction this weekend in Winnipeg against the Manitoba Moose (1-3-0-0).
The Wild and Moose split a pair of preseason games in late September.
- Wild Joe Radio