A curious development is sweeping across Minnesota this fall: the State of Hockey has not been cursed by mediocre on-ice products from its two biggest and most-recognized teams -- the NHL's Wild and the college Gophers.
After 18 games and a successful five game-road swing, your Wild sit in first place in the Northwest Division with 23 points, a sum that puts them just two off the overall NHL lead. That pace would give them about 105 at season's end if this keeps up.
Your Gophers, meanwhile, are the No. 1 team in the nation in both major polls and seem to possess the proper mix of skill, size, moxie, youthful exuberance, veteran leadership and goaltending to be a serious force as the season goes along.
As such, we have a few questions for those who love the puck:
1) Which of these teams do you think has the best chance to reach the playoffs in good position and make a deep postseason run? For our money, we'll take the Gophers.
2) Which coaching staff deserves more credit for the respective fast starts -- Don Lucia and his crew, which have turned things around so far after three rough seasons or Mike Yeo and co., who were starting fresh?
3) What would be a bigger deal to more Minnesotans: the Gophers winning an NCAA title or the Wild winning a Stanley Cup?
Your thoughts, as always, in the comments.