The Wild had played 52 regular-season games entering Wednesday's showdown with Chicago. There's a lot of season left, and it's good to keep that in mind when making evaluations and declarations.
That said: the Wild at this stage is in the midst of what could be considered the best Minnesota men's pro sports regular season since the Vikings went 15-1 in 1998. That's how good the Wild has been.
Sure, there hasn't been a ton of competition on the men's side considering none of the NFL/NHL/NBA/MLB teams here have won a championship since the 1991 Twins.
And yes, whenever writing about success in the Twin Cities it must be noted emphatically that the Lynx are in a class of their own. They had the best record in the WNBA in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2016 — winning three league titles during that span. There is not even a comparison to be made between the Lynx and any other major pro team in town. They are in their own class.
The four major men's pro teams in town (with United joining the list this season, but with no Major League Soccer history) have been on more similar footing in recent seasons. And this year the Wild is having is downright special.
The Wild entered Wednesday with the second-best points percentage in the NHL (.721) behind just Washington (.741). The next-best team in the West was San Jose at .648. So at this point, the Wild has quite a cushion when it comes to securing at least the best record in its conference.
No major local team has done that since the 2003-04 Timberwolves, who finished 58-24 to edge out the Spurs (57-25) and Lakers (56-26) for the best record in the Western Conference. Only Indiana (61-21) had a better record in the NBA that year. The Wolves winning percentage that season was a robust .707 — but not as good as the Wild's current points percentage.
The best Twins season in the past 20 years came in 2006, when Minnesota went 96-66. The Twins that season were just one game behind the Yankees for the best record in the American League, and their winning percentage was close to .600 — a huge feat in baseball, which has so many more games than any other sport. Still, I'd say the Wild as it stands now is a notch above that or any other Twins team of recent vintage.
The Wild vs. the Wild? The best full-season points percentage in franchise history came in 2006-07 with a .634 mark. This year's team is blowing that team out of the water.
The 2009 Vikings finished 12-4, and yes that is a better winning percentage (.750) than this year's Wild. But in such a small sample size of 16 games, it's much easier to post that kind of mark. The Wild's record this season is more impressive to me than the Vikings' 12-4 record.
In terms of sheer dominance in the regular season, we have to go back to the 1998 Vikings to find a better major Minnesota men's pro sports team. The Vikings' records in the three preceding season: 9-7, 9-7, 8-8.
Great years can come out of nowhere. The Wild is proving that again this season.