For the second time in three seasons, the Minnesota Wild have staked claim to the Stanley Cusp, awarded annually to the team judged to have a decent record with less than 30 games played. It's truly an unprecedented run for an expansion franchise within its first 13 years of existence, and proves 2011-2012 was no fluke after the 2013 strikeout-shortened season.
Proving that no sample size is too small to make sweeping judgements, Wild fans have doubled down on their enthusiasm for the future of this juggernaut. There will be no talk of letdowns amongst
Minnesota's 'The State of Hockey's' most hockey-savvy ...no seriously, there won't. So, their faith in their young players probably won't be shaken either.
Because none of this would have been possible but for the acquisition of born-again rookie of the year, Nino Niederreiter, who was ironically acquired as karmic amends for the acquisition of Kyle Okposo, who stubbornly refused to let Niederreiter take his job despite the Swiss winger's higher draft pedigree.
First career multi-point game for Niederreiter— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) November 4, 2013
"Any time you get a multi-point game from a player during the Stanley Cusp chase, you like your chances", Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "I like what I see from this kid. This team has the makeup to be in the Cusp chase every year and that kid has a motor that never quits during the chase."
Others added: "It's amazing that the New York Islanders braintrust let this one get away. Something something, 15-year goalie contract, Yashin buyout, cheap owner." When reached for comment on possibly the most lopsided trade in NHL history, Isles general manager drooled and soiled himself.
Niederreiter noted that only Mark Streit had phoned him to congratulate him on his Stanley Cusp victory. When asked about his former teammate, current Isles captain John Tavares stated, "That was a great movie...oh wait, you mean that guy who used to play with Pandolfo?"
"We feel like we can challenge for the Stanley Cusp every year, and that's what it's all about," said Dan(n)y Heatley who has become Nino's best friend on the team for some reason. He went on to note "Nino is a big part of that success. We're all a bunch of Nieder-Riders...... um, he's on a hot streak like no young player has ever done before... and he's scored 33% of his points in one game!"
"I'm on the first, second and sometimes third line now," said Niederreiter, "so this is a much better situation for me." El Nino is in the running for the Smythe-Con trophy for the player most valuable to his team's early Stanley Cusp run. His physical game has come a long way since the Islanders shoddy development team made him do this.
Veterans Zach Parise and Ryan Suter were celebrating with Dwayne Wade and LeBron James. "This one is really sweet," said Parise. "You have no idea how hard it is though to grind out the rest of the season when you win the Stanley Cusp so early. Teams really start gunning for you."
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