Wild October: Minnesota Starts the Season Strong

Nick MaxsonCorrespondent IOctober 30, 2008

The Minnesota Wild have once again opened the first month of hockey with a very strong October. Minnesota has come out strong, posting a 6-1-1 record in their first eight games.

Most surprisingly, however, is that their success has not come from the hands of their star players.

Mikko Koivu who earned the captain "C" for the month of October from head coach Jouques Lemaire has really stepped up his game. He has compiled 13 points in the first eight games with 12 assists.

Koivu along with Andrew Brunette and Antti Miettinen  one the top line have produced most of the offense for the Wild so far with 11 goals and 31 points.

Miettinen, who is serving his first year with the Wild after being acquired in the off season from Dallas has recorded a team high six goals along with four assists.

Brunette who has returned to the Wild after serving a few years with the Colorado Avalanche has given a jump to the offense with his passing and his great vision on the ice.

While the Wild newcomers continue to do well, some of the big names have been watching from the bench.

Team point and goal leader from a year ago Marian Gaborik has been sidelined with a lower body injury, and in the early part of the year Gaborik, Bouchard and Bergeron were all sidelined with injuries and yet the Wild continue to do well.

This is a good sign for the Wild as in years past they have lacked depth at offense and thus injuries plagued their team's ability to win games.

If there were any concerns coming into the 2008-2009 season for the Minnesota Wild it was team chemistry and offensive production.

With many new faces on the team, fans wondered if the team would come together in time for the season, and so far the Wild have out-performed its expectations.

New young gun Benoit Pouliot who has made some appearances for the Wild in recent years has earned a full time job this season. Colton Gilles the 19-year-old center out of British Columbia is another young starter added to the team's roster.

During the off season, when asked about all the off season acquisitions he made Wild GM Doug Reisbrough said that everyone was brought in for a specific reason.

He had to have been right, after loosing Brian Rolston who over the last three seasons scored 30 goals, Minnesota Lost one of its most consistent offensive players.

Minnesota also lost Pavol Demitra to Vancouver, one of Marian Gaborik's favorite line mates who showed un-surpassed chemistry on the ice together.

Now under the final year of his contract, Marian Gaborik has reportedly rejected numerous contract offers from the Wild. Also under reports from the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Wild GM Doug Reisbrough has been actively shopping Marian Gaborik with other NHL teams.

Minnesota needs an offensive player, but with injury problems along his career and his last seasons "disapperance" in the playoffs, Gaborik may be moved before the trade deadline.

Kurtis Foster is coming close to a return after suffering a broken leg late last season, he has been skating casually but no set date has been scheduled for his return.

After suffering its first loss in regulation to Dallas, the Minnesota will hope to continue its success early this season tonight as the red hot Canadians visit the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.