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POSTED ON Thursday, 05.12.2016 / 9:45 AM CT
By Evan Sporer - Digital Content Coordinator / View From the Lighthouse

Forward Nino Niederreiter scored twice on the power play, and Switzerland won its second straight at the 2016 IIHF Championship. Defeating Latvia 5-4 on Wednesday.

Niederreiter, now on a three-game point streak at the tournament, broke open the scoring with a pair of goals in the second period.

His first came at the 3:33 mark, giving Switzerland a 1-0 lead.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 05.10.2016 / 2:55 PM CT
By Evan Sporer - Digital Content Coordinator / View From the Lighthouse

When it comes to the Minnesota Wild's 2015-16 season, General Manager Chuck Fletcher said there was a buy-in amiss, not a character issue, or a chemistry problem.

In Bruce Boudreau, Fletcher said he feels he has the right salesman for the job.

On Tuesday, Boudreau was formally introduced to the media by Fletcher for the first time since Boudreau accepted the Wild's head coaching job on Saturday, becoming the fifth man to hold the position in the franchise's history.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 05.10.2016 / 11:12 AM CT
By Evan Sporer - Digital Content Coordinator / View From the Lighthouse

Forward Nino Niederreiter had a goal, an assist, and a game-high six shots, and helped lead Switzerland to a comeback victory against Denmark on Tuesday at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.

After losing its first two games of the tournament in overtime, Switzerland fell behind 2-0 to Denmark in the first period after Winnipeg Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers scored on the power play with 1:06 remaining in the opening period.

But Switzerland began to mount its comeback midway through the third period, when Vancouver Canucks defenseman Yannick Weber scored with 10:18 remaining in regulation. Niederreiter picked up the secondary assist, his second of the tournament. 

Niederreiter would score his first goal, and draw Switzerland even, when he tied the game with 2:02 remaining in regulation.

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POSTED ON Monday, 05.9.2016 / 5:59 PM CT
By Evan Sporer - Digital Content Coordinator / View From the Lighthouse

For the third consecutive game, forwards Mikael Granlund and Mikko Koivu each recorded at least a point, and for the third time in as many tries, Finland won at the 2016 IIHF World Championship, on Monday, when it defeated the United States 3-2.

Koivu and Granlund, who finished their Minnesota Wild seasons skating on a line together, have been reunited for Finland in this tournament. They teamed up in the first period when Granlund sent a backhand pass from the facecoff circle to Koivu in the slot. The Wild's captain wasted little time, snapping a shot under the crossbar and past Montreal Canadiens goalie Mike Condon to make it 1-0 Finland midway through the first period.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 05.8.2016 / 3:50 PM CT
By Evan Sporer - Digital Content Coordinator / View From the Lighthouse

Forward Mikko Koivu had an assist, Mikael Granlund had two, and Finland remained undefeated at the 2016 IIHF World Championship with a 5-1 win against Germany on Sunday.

After both recorded multi-point games in Finland's tournament-opening win on Friday, Granlund assisted on Finland's third goal against Germany, and he and Koivu each picked up assists on a Patrik Laine power-play goal with three seconds remaining in regulation to cap off the victory.

Finland next plays against the United States on Monday at 12 p.m. CT (NBCSN).

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POSTED ON Saturday, 05.7.2016 / 10:00 AM CT
By Evan Sporer - Digital Content Coordinator / View From the Lighthouse

Over the next few months, Wild.com will take a closer look at some of the areas of the Minnesota Wild's 2015-16 season, from players, to systems, and everything between.

Of the Minnesota Wild's 38 victories this season, in 23 of those games, the Wild scored on the power play.

Conversely, 30 of Minnesota's 44 losses did not feature a power play goal.

When it clicks, a power play can provide a major boost, but when it flounders, a power play can become a sore subject and a momentum killer.

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POSTED ON Friday, 05.6.2016 / 3:02 PM CT
By Evan Sporer - Digital Content Coordinator / View From the Lighthouse

Mikael Granlund had a three-point game, Mikko Koivu had a goal and an assist, and Finland defeated Belarus 6-2 in its opening game at the 2016 IIHF World Championship on Friday.

Koivu scored midway through the second period to push Finland's lead to 2-0. Granlund picked up the primary assist on the goal. After finishing their NHL seasons on the same line, the two countrymen skated together again to open the tournament.

After Belarus scored 5:27 after Koivu's goal to cut its deficit back to one, Koivu assisted on a power-play goal to get Finland's lead back to two at 3-1.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 05.5.2016 / 10:00 AM CT
By Evan Sporer - Digital Content Coordinator / View From the Lighthouse

Over the next few months, Wild.com will take a closer look at some of the areas of the Minnesota Wild's 2015-16 season, from players, to systems, and everything between.

Two seasons ago, the Wild boasted the top-ranked penalty kill in the NHL, erasing power plays at an 86.3 percent effectiveness-rate. It was an area of its game that, entering the 2015-16 season, Minnesota felt was a commodity it had in its back pocket, a strength it could expect to remain a strength.

And at times, the Wild looked the part of a team with the league's best penalty kill. But in other stretches, the penalty kill became leaky, and overall, the Wild dropped nearly 10 percentage-points, down to 77.9 from season-to-season.

Like other areas of the Wild's play, the penalty kill could be characterized by streaks.

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POSTED ON Friday, 04.29.2016 / 2:30 PM CT
By Evan Sporer - Digital Content Coordinator / View From the Lighthouse

General Manager Chuck Fletcher said the Minnesota Wild had good players, but did not consistently play like a good team in 2015-16, one of its major flaws.

"Our goal was to make the playoffs, which we did, but our goal was not to have 87 points," he said on Thursday, addressing the media for the final time for the 2015-16 season.

How that happened, in Fletcher's eyes, was two stretches that made up nearly a quarter of the Wild's season that were not consistent with the success Minnesota sustained throughout other portions of the calendar.

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POSTED ON Friday, 04.29.2016 / 10:36 AM CT
By Evan Sporer - Digital Content Coordinator / View From the Lighthouse

General Manager Chuck Fletcher said he doesn’t like to rush the development curve when it comes to the Minnesota Wild's prospects, but that doesn't have him less excited about the influx of talent in the organization.

"Our forward depth next year is going to be substantially better," Fletcher said. "How quickly these kids can make an impact, we'll see, but we'll certainly have a lot more talent in Iowa to start the season."

In addressing the personnel moves he needs to make this offseason, Fletcher was quick to cite some of the prospects in the Wild's system, like the newly signed Alex Tuch, who was Minnesota's 2014 first round pick.

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