Two straight thrilling seasons for the Wild. Two straight first-round disappointments. It’s all the time the identical story for Minnesota sports activities: Even essentially the most thrilling groups discover a solution to allow you to down.

Maybe that’s not completely honest for this group — they didn’t enter both season with the very best expectations — however given their efficiency, it felt like they deserved a bit extra within the playoffs.

Perhaps the third time’s the appeal within the Kirill Kaprizov period. Even although final season didn’t finish as many hoped it will, the group’s regular-season efficiency spoke volumes about the place the membership at present stands: The Wild are a authentic contender.

Since Kaprizov’s arrival, this mannequin has been an enormous fan of what the Wild have been doing — generally to an overzealous diploma. That’s not stopping anytime quickly because the Wild enter the season with a powerful probability of being one of many league’s best groups.

The Wild have arrived.

The projection

As is often the case, the mannequin loves the Minnesota Wild. That’s been the case in every of the final two seasons, each of which the Wild have over-performed in, and that’s not altering this yr both. Oddsmakers tab the Wild as a 100-point group, and the mannequin continues to be as bullish as all the time. There are some that joke that this mannequin is a Leafs homer — a byproduct of the one that developed it. But that’s false — this mannequin, for the final two years anyway, bleeds forest inexperienced.

And so which means essentially the most optimistic projection but for the Wild: 106 factors and a one-in-10 shot at profitable all of it. It’s an enormous bounce from final yr’s 97.

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