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Category: Minnesota-Wild

Not The Minnesota Wild Of The Past

from Michael Russo of The Athletic,

The playoffs are obviously a different animal than the regular season, and the path to where the Wild want to ultimately get to this postseason will have to go through Vegas or Colorado, and, quite frankly, probably both.

But doesn’t it feel like there’s something different about this team and that something possibly special could be brewing with the Wild?

They’ve got threats on every line, including two bonafide game breakers in Kevin Fiala and Kirill Kaprizov. They’ve got a goalie in Cam Talbot that makes the clutch stops when it most matters. They’ve got one of the best shutdown centers in the league in Joel Eriksson Ek who also happens to be on a near 30-goal pace over an 82-game season. They’ve got guys with Stanley Cup pedigree such as super-handy Nick Bonino, who’s consistently scoring, winning big draws and sacrificing his body to block shots. They’ve got defensive stalwarts such as Jonas Brodin, who in his ninth season is finally becoming an offensive threat.

Heck, even Victor Rask (yes, that Victor Rask) is making big plays of late.

Every time one counts this deep Wild team out, every time one questions their goaltending or the number of turnovers they commit or their thinness up the middle or confusing line combinations, the Wild find a new way to make the naysayers feel foolish.

continued

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A Statement Game For The Minnesota Wild

from Michael Russo of The Athletic,

If you get Wild score notifications sent to your cellphone, your battery probably went belly-up Wednesday night just like the Colorado Avalanche’s 15-game point streak.

Three weeks after having their spirit, psyche and overall game ripped to shreds during consecutive one-sided losses in Denver, two nights after responding poorly in the first of a two-game set against their biggest nemesis, the Wild responded the right way and pulled off a statement win by blowing out the Avs 8-3 at Xcel Energy Center.

One regulation loss in a 16-game span probably won’t spook or damage the Avalanche, but the victory could be a real confidence booster for the Wild. Finishing the eight-game season series with an emphatic third win at least reminded the 20 players inside their locker room that they can beat that team just in case they run into them when it matters in the postseason.

The path to the Stanley Cup very possibly could go through Colorado, and the Wild are well aware of that.

“The whole game, we really wanted to win,” said Kevin Fiala, who notched his first career hat trick and had a career-high four points. “We did everything to win, and I feel we deserved it. It was a huge game for us. We really came at this game, and we wanted to just win the game and maybe give a little statement and show them that, ‘We can play against you guys’ if we’re gonna meet them in the playoffs.”

continued (paid subscription)

Highlights of the Wil 8-3 win can be viewed below.

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Carson Soucy Has A Hearing Today- Update- Suspended One Game

Watch below.

added 3:11pm

NEW YORK (March 17, 2021) -- Minnesota Wild defenseman Carson Soucy has been suspended for one game, without pay, for charging Arizona Coyotes forward Conor Garland during NHL Game No. 186 in Minnesota on Tuesday, March 16, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 10:45 of the first period. Soucy was assessed a major penalty for elbowing.

 

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Minnesota Wild Goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen With A Shutout Over The Vegas Golden Knights

from Sarah McLellan of the StarTribune,

The poise Kaapo Kahkonen has brought to the Wild's crease isn't an act.

That's who he is.

"Yeah, he's a pretty mellow guy," captain Jared Spurgeon said.

But Kahkonen's even disposition doesn't stop at his style.

His results have been just as steady.

Kahkonen blocked all 26 shots directed at him Monday, registering his first career shutout. He also ended the Golden Knights' six-game win streak while extending his own run to seven in a 2-0 win at Xcel Energy Center that kicked off a five-game Wild homestand.

"You want to look calm," Kahkonen said. "Then your teammates see you're doing your job, and they can focus on their job. I think that's what it's all about, and good to hear it looks like that. That's what I'm trying to do here."

During his streak Kahkonen has stopped 178 of 188 shots (.947 save percentage), with a 1.47 goals-against average. His winning streak is the longest by a Wild rookie goalie, and his 10 victories are already the third-most in a season for a Wild rookie.

continued

Check out the game highlights below.

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Afternoon Line- Dean Evason On Zach Parise Being A Healthy Scratch Tonight

added 4:13pm,

 

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The Minnesota Wild Continue To Win

from Michael Russo of The Athletic,

Mats Zuccarello is pretty exceptional in the shootout, but the veteran wasn’t playing for a stinkin’ shootout Saturday night.

With six seconds left in overtime, Zuccarello was skating with the puck at center ice. He would have been well in his right to chip the puck in and extend 65 minutes of hockey into a one-on-one skills contest with the Los Angeles Kings.

Instead, Zuccarello proved that six seconds was enough time to execute one more perfect play to give the franchise’s all-time leader in overtime goals one final stab at a dramatic game winner.

Buzzer beaters are usually reserved for hoops, but Matt Dumba pulled off hockey’s equivalent by scoring with three-tenths of a second left in overtime to lift the Wild to a thrilling 4-3 victory.

Head-to-head with Cal Petersen after receiving Zuccarello’s backhander from the half-wall in between the hashmarks, Dumba nearly deked the goalie out of his skates to give himself a completely wide-open net to shoot into. Dumba’s latest overtime winner — his team-record sixth — extended Minnesota’s win streak to six games, its longest run of victories since winning 12 games in December 2016. In the six games, the Wild have trailed for a grand total of 7 minutes, 4 seconds.

continued (paid subscription)

Game highlights are below.

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Playing Kirill Kaprizov’s Game

from Jim Souhan of the StarTribune,

The Wild has scored 20 goals in their past four games. Rookie Kirill Kaprizov has five assists and one goal in that stretch.

At 23, while adapting to a new country and dealing with pandemic restrictions, Kaprizov leads an NHL team in scoring by four points. Entering Thursday, he led all NHL rookie scorers by three points.

He's not just good. He may be transformative. He may be changing the way the Wild looks and plays.

This would be a bad time to accuse anyone of being "contagious," but Kaprizov's passing seems to be catching. He has displayed the ability to make the subtle touch pass, to find an open teammate on the other side of the rink, to pass to teammates who may not even realize they're open.

Now instead of simply making the simple play, his teammates look like they're playing team pinball. Unselfishness begets unselfishness. Puck movement begets puck movement.

more

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Mikko Koivu Announces His Retirement

from the Columbus Blue Jackets,

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Mikko Koivu has decided to retire following a 16-year playing career in the National Hockey League, club General Manager and Alternate Governor Jarmo Kekalainen announced today.

Koivu, 37 has recorded 206 goals and 505 assists for 711 points with 594 penalty minutes and a cumulative +68 plus/minus rating in 1,035 career games with the Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild since making his NHL debut in 2005-06. He scored 10 or more goals 12 times, scored 40 or more points on 11 occasions and hit the 50-point mark seven times during his NHL career. He added 11-17-28 and 38 penalty minutes in 59 career outings during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Turku, Finland native signed a one-year contract with Columbus on Oct. 9, 2020 and posted 1-1-2 and two penalty minutes in seven games with the club in 2020-21. Minnesota's first pick, sixth overall, at the 2001 NHL Draft, Koivu spent the first 15 years of his NHL career with the Wild and is the franchise's all-time leader in games played, assists and points and ranks second in goals with 205-504-709 with 592 penalty minutes in 1,028 games. He served as Minnesota's captain from 2009-20.

"This was not an easy decision for me as I have loved every minute of my short time in Columbus and really hoped to be able to help this team accomplish its goals this season, but the bottom line is I haven't been able to get to the level of play that I need to be true to myself and fair to my teammates, so the time is right for me to retire from hockey," said Koivu. "I have been extremely blessed and I am eternally grateful to the Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets organizations for the opportunities they have given me to live out my dreams of playing in the National Hockey League for the past 16 years."

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Minnesota Wild Games Postponed At Least Through February 9th

NEW YORK (Feb. 3, 2021) -- The National Hockey League announced that as a result of five additional Minnesota Wild Players being added today to the NHL’s COVID Protocol Related Absence List, the team’s games will be postponed at least through Tuesday, Feb. 9.

The team’s training facilities have been closed, effective immediately, and will remain so until further notice. The League is in the process of reviewing and revising the Wild’s regular season schedule.

The Wild organization has, and will continue to follow, all recommended guidelines aimed at protecting the health and safety of its Players, staff and community at large as set by the NHL, local, state and national agencies.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- Kevin Fiala Suspended Three Games

Boarding.

 

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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