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Friday is the five-year anniversary of the last time the Wolves had a better record than the Wild

Posted by: Michael Rand under Wild coaching, Wolves news Updated: January 19, 2012 - 3:23 PM

Reader Jamie P. wrote in with this:

The Wild are getting dangerously close to having a worse winning percentage than the T-Wolves. I wonder when was the last time that was the case?

Good question! Wait, that's DeRusha's bit.

How about, "We're curious, too."

So we went on a mission to find the last time that was true in a meaningful sense. We threw out records from VERY early in seasons; for instance, the Wolves won their first game in 2009-10, so they were technically 1-0 on Oct. 29 -- the same night the Wild fell to 3-9 after a very slow start. But the Wolves proceeded to lose their next 15 games. Therefore, we do not consider this to be a real advantage for the Wolves.

In any event, the last time we can find a date more than a couple of games into the mostly overlapping seasons that the Wolves had a legitimately better record than the Wild was Jan. 20, 2007. The Wolves were 20-18. The Wild was 25-20-4 (which we consider to be 25-24 ... if the shootout/OT wins count as wins, the shootout/OT losses count as losses). on Jan. 21, 2007, the Wolves lost to bring the teams to a virtual tie -- both one game above .500. They lost again the next night, falling below the idle Wild.

The Timberwolves, 20-20, fired head coach Dwane Casey. From that point through the end of last season, they went 90-280. The Wild, meanwhile, ended up winning 48 games in 2006-07 and has not won fewer than 38 games since then. And at no meaningful point in that span could we find a time when the Wolves had a better record than the Wild.

So: five years ago Friday is the unofficial anniversary. Why is it meaningful now? Well, aside from the nice symmetry, the Wild is now 22-17-7 (22-24 in our book, good for a .478 winning percentage). The Wolves are now 6-8 and creeping closer with a .429 winning percentage. A Wild loss tonight at Toronto and a Wolves win tomorrow at the Clippers -- would put the Wild at .468 and the Wolves at .467. Long story short: We might not be too far away from a time when the Wolves' record is legitimately better than the Wild's record.


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