Wild Check-In: Kaprizov, Fiala, Middleton & More

With the Minnesota Wild’s season officially over after they lost Game 6 to the St. Louis Blues, this will be the final edition of the Wild Check-In for the 2021-22 season. They had a lot of ups and downs, but through it all, they persevered and had their best record to date with the exception of their postseason result. They basically reset the record books and entertained their fans nearly every night.

Morning Skate newsletter Click To Subscribe

Unfortunately for them, their last week of games was not one they want to remember. They played Games 5 and 6 and everyone’s aware that they lost them both. The one thing people may not know if they didn’t watch the games is the action was much closer than the score revealed. The games looked like blowouts on paper, when in the end they really weren’t, as some quick back-to-back goals and empty netters inflated the scores.

Wild’s Top Players at the Top

Kirill Kaprizov was a top point producer once again, as he had two points in their final two games. Both of his points were goals and they came in their Game 5 loss. He wasn’t able to accumulate any points in Game 6 despite his valiant efforts. However, he did block three shots throughout that final week as well. Surprisingly, right alongside him was Kevin Fiala, who up until last week tallied just one point.

Kirill Kaprizov Minnesota Wild
Kirill Kaprizov of the Minnesota Wild after scoring the first playoff hat trick in franchise history (Photo by Bailey Hillesheim/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Both of Fiala’s points came as assists on Kaprizov’s goals in Game 5 and they were both on the power play. It was the second moment of the entire playoff series that Fiala was able to get on the scoresheet and looked like he might start scoring goals. However, he wasn’t able to figure out how to do so and stayed at three points for the entire series.

The final player who deserves a mention is Jacob Middleton. He didn’t score any points but he did something just as important, he got his body in the way of as many shots as he could. He blocked four shots in the two games and he also had three hits. He did everything he could to help out his goaltender but in the end, it wasn’t enough. Throughout the whole series, he had 11 blocks in six games and was one of the few defensemen who had a decent performance.

Wild’s GREEF Line Silent

Not only did the Wild’s second line have trouble scoring throughout the postseason, but so did their third line, also known as the GREEF line. Jordan Greenway, Joel Eriksson Ek, and Marcus Foligno had a rough couple of games, as not a single player on the line secured any points. Eriksson Ek was successful the week before but lost his luck when it came to the final week.

Related: Wild’s 3 Most Disappointing Players of the 2022 Playoffs

Greenway had struggled with injuries on and off all season. He did score a goal and an assist in the week prior but like Eriksson Ek, he couldn’t find that talent in those last couple of games. Of course, Foligno didn’t go pointless in the series either, as he had two assists but hit a brick wall when it came to their final games. This line was known more for its physicality throughout the season and came up big in pressure situations, but couldn’t do it when it really needed to.

Wild’s Injury List

When the postseason ends for teams that made it that far, it usually comes out that at least one of their players was playing through injury. The same can be said about the Wild, as news recently broke that defenseman Matt Dumba suffered some rather serious injuries before the playoffs started and that he forced himself to be ready for the postseason.

Thankfully for the Wild that seemed to be the worst of the injuries and despite it being extremely disheartening, they lost out so early, it’ll be good for Dumba to get some rest and get back to 100 percent. As of Monday evening, no one else had come out with injury news, but many had battle wounds on their faces as a result of the series.

Wild’s Future

The team will now be off for the summer and chances are they will come back a changed team with their cap issues and the various contracts ending. Fortunately, the Wild have a lot to look forward to as they have a strong core that is still under contract and will be back next season. They have a lot to figure out when it comes to goaltending and such but it should work itself out in the end.

Sign up for our regular 'Wild Newsletter' for all the latest.

It’ll also be really exciting to see if Kaprizov can outdo his 108 points from this season and possibly hit the 50-goal mark which would set another record for the Wild. He clearly has a lot of potential yet and fans will be anxious to see what he can do next. Thanks for reading these weekly updates and they will be back when the 2022-23 season begins in October.