A week and a half into the season, the Wild has blown leads and overcome deficits, staged thrilling overtime rallies and hung on until the final second has fallen off the scoreboard.
But no matter the outcome and how the Wild arrived at it, what's been as constant as a heartbeat is the team's goaltending, a steadiness chaired by starter Cam Talbot and No. 2 Kaapo Kahkonen that's emerging as the backbone of the Wild after helping the team to a 4-1 start.
"Any team needs their back end to be very stable, and certainly that's the goaltenders," coach Dean Evason said. "We have been doing a good job in front of them and then when they've had opportunities, they've come up with a big save to keep the game in check or preserve the lead. They have both done that at different times. [I'm] very happy with the goaltenders so far."
Through five games, Talbot and Kahkonen have combined to give the Wild one of the cleanest nets in the NHL. Their .932 save percentage ranks sixth and their 1.94 goals-against average fourth, and the Wild has relied on both netminders to reach that efficiency.
After making his first start of the season Wednesday in Anaheim, a 22-save victory over the Ducks, Kahkonen was back between the pipes Friday during the team's home opener against San Jose in a relief appearance.
Talbot started the game but was evaluated on-ice after a save late in the first period. He did finish the period, staying in the game after testing himself by sliding post to post in his butterfly, but he was replaced by Kahkonen for the second. Kahkonen went on to stop all 17 shots he faced, and the Wild upended the Sharks 4-1.
"We don't know as a player what's it like to not be starting and then just all of a sudden halfway through have to hop in and get yourself mentally ready," winger Zach Parise said. "He came in and made big saves and looked great."
Evason said Saturday after practice he wasn't sure if Talbot would be available Sunday when the Wild hosts San Jose for a second time; Talbot was getting looked at while the team practiced and wasn't on the ice.
If Kahkonen remains in charge, though, the team has confidence he can handle the challenge, and so does Kahkonen.
"I'm ready to go if they decide to play me," he said.
The Wild set itself up for a different look in goal this season after trading former No. 1 Devan Dubnyk to the Sharks, and they signed the 33-year-old Talbot to a three-year, $11 million contract. But a potential Kahkonen-Andrew Hammond tandem (if Talbot can't dress) probably wasn't what the team envisioned when it pursued a shake-up.
At one point, Kahkonen seemed destined for another season of seasoning in the minors because veteran Alex Stalock was in line to back up Talbot.
But the entire depth chart changed once the Wild announced before training camp Stalock would be out indefinitely with an upper-body injury; not only did Kahkonen become Talbot's understudy, but the team signed Hammond to provide more reinforcements and he's been on the taxi squad.
This turnover, however, has not led to chaos in the crease.
In his first three games, Talbot was as-advertised, a poised professional who was tagged with fluky bounces during a pair of wins in Los Angeles before being uber-sharp in a 1-0 loss at Anaheim last Monday.
And after his latest outings, Kahkonen has continued an impressive beginning to his NHL career, sitting 5-1-1. The 24-year-old is also the reigning goalie of the year in the American Hockey League.
The season is still young, but what Talbot and Kahkonen have teamed up to do is give the Wild a solid foundation that was lacking at times last season when the team carried the third-worst save percentage in the league at .897.
Both goalies have made saves, and that highlights the contributions from other units like the defense. Compared to their colleagues, Talbot and Kahkonen have encountered among the fewest high-danger shots in the NHL.
"It's unbelievable the way the guys play," said Kahkonen, who was drafted by the Wild in the fourth round in 2014. "It just makes it so easy. The goalie can trust the defensemen, and the defensemen can trust the goalie. I think it's going really well, and we really want to keep that going and communicate a lot."
With a stingy setup like that in front of it, the Wild's goaltending should be able to succeed as long as Talbot and Kahkonen take care of their responsibilities.
So far, that's exactly what's happening.
"When the guys look to the goalie [and] they see he's calm, doesn't do too much, just does his job, they know they can trust him to do his job so they can focus on doing their own job," Kahkonen said. "I think that's what teamwork is about. Everybody does their own job."