The Minnesota Wild had another interesting week of hockey, but luckily won all three of their games despite some close calls that required extra time. They faced the Edmonton Oilers and Anaheim Ducks at home and their last game of the week against the Dallas Stars was on the road to start the first of a four-game road trip. Their win over the Oilers went pretty smoothly, but they had their hands full with the Ducks and Stars as both games went to overtime or a shootout.
In the last week, a lot of players took a step forward and a few took a step back. The names that were at the top of the scoresheet remained the same with the top three being Kirill Kaprizov, Joel Eriksson Ek, and Mats Zuccarello, but the names right behind them may be a surprise.
Wild’s Defense Bounce Back
While Kaprizov continued his point streak, two of his defensemen started small streaks of their own. The Wild’s captain Jared Spurgeon didn’t score any goals in the past three games, but he did set up three others to end the week with three assists. He’s currently on a two-game point streak and it’s the first time this season he has points in back-to-back games as well as his second multi-point game of the season.
The other defenseman on this list is Calen Addison who has really made an impression so far this season. He’s scored two goals and 12 assists for 14 points in 24 games and is on his second multi-game point streak of the season. One of his goals came in the past week while his other two points were assists and he finished the week tied with Spurgeon at three points.
Spurgeon and Addison may have stolen the spotlight behind the top names, but there was one final name that deserves a mention and that was newcomer Ryan Reaves. He was brought on to bring some muscle which he definitely did this last week with eight hits in three games, just six behind Marcus Foligno. There was an added bonus to his play as well as he also assisted on three goals for three points. Hopefully, he can keep those points coming in this next week of hockey and help his team win more games.
Wild’s Gaudreau & Dumba Struggle
Frédérick Gaudreau found himself on the struggling list again, a place he’s been for most of the season. He remains on a line with Matt Boldy, and while Boldy has done well, Gaudreau hasn’t found that same scoring stride. He played in all three games and only tallied one point but it was a crucial goal in their victory over the Oilers. So while it was a down week for him in the number of points he recorded, the one point he did get was very important in securing a win.
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The other player who made the list has also been on it more than once this season and that player was Matt Dumba. He’s really had trouble putting together any points and this last week wasn’t any different. He recorded one point in the last three games and that point was an assist in their win over the Oilers. He didn’t only struggle in the points department, he also struggled on defense with just two blocked shots. The Wild will need him to improve on his defense in their next game if they hope to stay successful.
Wild’s Next Week
The Wild’s upcoming week of games looks a lot like last week, one game early in the week followed by a back-to-back over the weekend. This time however all three games are on the road with their first game against the Calgary Flames. Following their meeting with the Flames, they’ll take on the Oilers again and finish with the Vancouver Canucks.
For the second week in a row, the Wild will have to try to contain Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl and keep them off the scoreboard. That task will be hard enough but they’ll also have to stop Jonathan Huberdeau, Nazem Kadri, Elias Lindholm, Elias Pettersson, Bo Horvat, and J.T. Miller.
On the offensive side of things, the Wild’s scoring power will have to find ways past the Flames’ goaltenders Jacob Markström or Dan Vladar, the Oilers’ Jack Campbell or Stuart Skinner and finally the Canucks Spencer Martin or Collin Delia who are playing in place of the injured Thatcher Demko.
While a win is a win, the Wild gave up four or more goals twice in the last week and they’ll need to avoid that again or eventually, their luck will run out and they’ll lose. They are currently on a four-game winning streak and hopefully, they can extend that streak as the week continues.
Mariah Stark (Holland) is a contributing Minnesota Wild writer for THW. She’s been covering the Wild at THW since October of 2020 and specializes in game takeaways and weekly check-ins. She is always looking for different angles to cover the Wild and dig deeper into the stories surrounding the team to help fans connect on a more personal level and to keep an eye on the latest follow her on Twitter @MariahEStark.