Overall, the month of March seemed to go better for the Minnesota Wild. They played eight more games than they did in February, because thankfully they didn’t have a two-week pause due to COVID-19. With more games, however, their point percentage dropped slightly from .750 to .625. They went 9-5-2 through 16 games for 20 points. Compare that to the month of February, when they played eight games going 6-2-0 for 12 points.
The scoring got a little tighter as well. They outscored opponents just 42-41 this month compared to 28-16 in February. The top three Wild point-getters in March were the exact same as it was in February apart from the order. Kirill Kaprizov jumped to the top of the stat chart with Mats Zuccarello tied with him and then Kevin Fiala sat in third just two points behind. These three players managed to stand out in the month of March.
Third Star: Marcus Foligno
While not being one of the top three scorers for the Wild, Marcus Foligno didn’t struggle by any means. He managed to land in fourth in scoring for the team with eight points for the month of March. He was a plus-6 and averaged over a point per game before an injury sidelined him about halfway through the month and he still has been unable to come back.
He only tallied three goals but assisted on eight others. Two of his goals came in the overtime loss to the Vegas Golden Knights at the beginning of the month while his other goal came the very next game, also against the Golden Knights, in a loss. Prior to being sidelined with the injury, he fared really well with fellow hitter Jordan Greenway. In between them was Joel Eriksson Ek, who also fit nicely.
With scoring being his biggest impact, the next thing you’ll no doubt notice about Foligno is his on-ice presence – in March he was on track to have nearly 30 hits if he had been able to keep up his pace. Hopefully, he’ll return from his injury soon and get some more points for the Wild as well as hits.
Second Star: Kirill Kaprizov/Mats Zuccarello
It wouldn’t be a Wild stars list without the name Kaprizov listed. He continues to improve on his game and add points. He tallied 11 points for the month of March with six goals and five assists. It wouldn’t be fair to mention Kaprizov without Zuccarello.
Ever since those two were put together, they’ve managed to increase their scoring and make everyone else around them better. Zuccarello also scored 11 points in the month of March with three goals and eight assists. The two of them have managed to create quite a few pretty plays.
The really impressive part about Kaprizov’s stats would be his 53 shots on goal in just 16 games throughout the month. Zuccarello’s would have to be his time on ice during the power play. He spends the most time on ice when the Wild are a man up, totaling nearly 50 minutes throughout the month.
First Star: Jonas Brodin
The first star had to go to someone who is likely one of the Wild’s most underrated players. Brodin is consistent night in and night out and doesn’t draw a lot of attention. He really flourished in the month of March, not so much in goal totals but in points among Wild defensemen.
He went from just two points in the month of February to seven points through March. He tripled his point total and tied with Carson Soucy for the lead among Wild defensemen. His most outstanding stat however would have to be his blocked shots. He blocked 36 shots compared to just 11 in the month of February, another stat he basically tripled.
Clearly, Brodin isn’t a defenseman known for scoring goals, but he is known for his defensive abilities yet he still manages to go mostly unnoticed to those who don’t follow the Wild. His talents haven’t gone unrecognized by the coaching staff though – he signed a seven-year contract back in September 2020 to make sure he doesn’t take his talents elsewhere.
The entire Wild team did a great job in the month of March. They got ousted a few times but came back even harder to prove they’re a team to pay attention to. One player that just missed the cut would have to be Victor Rask. He’s a player that does great when he’s put in between Zuccarello and Kaprizov and has proved he can be a top-line center.
He hasn’t scored as much as he did in the month of February but he’s done things to help the team without getting on the scoreboard. If he continues to play with Kaprizov and Zuccarello, he’ll be scoring goals more and more with how much his teammates like to pass the puck. Hopefully, all the players mentioned continue to do well and help the team improve as time goes on and the end of the regular season draws near.
Mariah 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.