The Minnesota Wild lost their final two games in March to the San Jose Sharks, knowing they couldn’t afford to slow down in the month in April. They had put themselves in a great position entering the final month of the season. April was either going to see them cement a playoff spot or see themselves quickly lose their place among the West Division’s best.
Thankfully for the Wild and their fans, the team had a great month of April, going 10-3-2 in 15 games. Many players really stepped up in April, but there were three who really stood out. So, let’s take a look at the three stars for the month of April for the Minnesota Wild.
Third Star: Kirill Kaprizov
Kirill Kaprizov had the lucky touch in the month of April, scoring 11 goals and adding 3 assists in 15 games. On the season, he only has three more goals (23) than assists (20), but just looking at April, you would think he is much more of a shooter than a playmaker.
He has showcased his great shot numerous times this season, but maybe he is starting to be more effective at finding open space for shots in high-danger scoring areas. Or, he just has the ability to blow past defenders and score highlight-reel goals as he did against the Kings (Kirill Kaprizov scores twice in Wild’s 4-2 victory over Los Angeles, StarTribune, April 24, 2021).
Either way, the Wild’s superstar rookie found the back of the net an insane number of times in April. He currently sits tied for 11th in the NHL for goals and could rise into the top 10 if he continues his scoring ways through the final couple weeks of the season.
Second Star: Cam Talbot
He was in-between the pipes for 12 of the Wild’s 15 games in April and won eight of them. He only allowed 32 goals the entire month and had a .914 save percentage. However, those numbers don’t tell the whole story, as anyone who watches the Wild can agree that Talbot played incredibly throughout the entire month.
Three different times this month, Talbot won a game where he had more than 35 saves. He has been a top 10 goalie in the NHL this season and was one of the best in April. On April 26, he was named the NHL’s second star of the week, going 3-0 with a .953 save percentage the week prior (from ‘Wild goalie Cam Talbot named NHL’s second star of the week,’ Star Tribune, April 16, 2021).
First Star: Kevin Fiala
Kevin Fiala seems to be a player that gets better as the season progresses. He was incredible down the stretch of the regular season last year, and this season looks to be no different. He was consistently the driving force of the Wild’s offence throughout the whole month in April.
In 14 games in April, Fiala had eight goals and nine assists for 17 points. There were only four games in all of April where he didn’t register a point. He had four multi-point games, including a massive game against the Avalanche on April 7, where he scored a hat-trick and added an assist for a four-point night.
Honestly, there is a case to be made for any of these three players to be the first star of April. That’s the best part, as all three of these players are crucial to this team’s success. Seeing them all catch fire just as the playoffs are around the corner is great news for the Wild and their fans. We all hope that Kaprizov, Talbot, Fiala, and company continue to play at their best heading into the postseason.
Sports writer covering the Minnesota Wild. Currently studying for a degree in sport media.