Wild Check-In: Boldy & Fiala at the Top, Sturm & Dewar Struggle

The Minnesota Wild had an up and down week once again as they played four games and went .500 with two wins and two losses. They faced the New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Nashville Predators. They started the week on a good note with wins over the Rangers and Red Wings and then the downward slide started with losses to both the Blue Jackets and Predators.

The hardest loss for them to take was against the Preds, on the night they retired Mikko Koivu’s jersey. They had several players who had a good week once again and others who were at the bottom of the list.

Wild’s Boldy On Fire

Matt Boldy has been on fire lately and it doesn’t look like he’ll let up anytime soon, which is great for Wild fans and his team. His goals have a way of getting the team motivated and finding additional scoring opportunities. In the last four games, he has recorded four points, three goals, and an assist. He has a knack for scoring against the Red Wings, the first time around he tallied a hat trick, and this time he scored two goals.

As good as he played, there was one player ahead of him and that was Kevin Fiala. He scored two goals and three assists for five points. He had a point in each game and also registered his 15th multi-point game of the season. Overall, he sits third on the team in points with 54, 19 behind the leader Kirill Kaprizov.

Matt Boldy Minnesota Wild
Matt Boldy, Minnesota Wild (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

There were two more names that rounded out the top four this week and those players were Marcus Foligno and Mats Zuccarello. Both had four points through four games, Zuccarello had points in three out of the four games with the exception of their match-up against the Preds where he had zero. He also added another multi-point game to his season to bring his total up to 19 games.

That left Foligno, who despite having a rough week physically, did well in the points department. His scoring wasn’t as spread out as the rest of his teammates, though, as he had three points against the Rangers and one against the Predators. Hopefully the success these guys had can transfer to their teammates and they can get some wins in the coming week.

Wild’s Sturm Continues Rough Time

Nico Sturm has played well but continues to struggle in the points department. He played in two of the Wild’s four games and he didn’t record any points. The same could be said for Connor Dewar, he and Sturm rotated places in the lineup but neither one snatched any points. They weren’t the only ones who had a hard time, Nick Bjugstad played in all four games and didn’t record any points either.

Related: Wild’s Night Honoring Koivu Tarnished by Loss to Predators

Bjugstad did have plenty of chances and five shots on net but nothing went in. The most surprising name on this list had to be Brandon Duhaime. He did well at the beginning of the season but has hit somewhat of a roadblock lately as he can’t seem to find the back of the net. The last time he recorded a point was Mar. 6 but the last time he scored a goal was Feb. 20. These players need to find their game quickly to help the Wild get back on track.

Wild’s Goaltending is Iffy

Unfortunately, the Wild’s goaltending is still struggling. Both Cam Talbot and Kaapo Kahkonen have had trouble stopping the puck. Talbot did have the upper hand this week, he came out with both wins while Kahkonen was stuck with both losses. They each let in at least two goals per game and it’s been that way for nearly a month, apart from one game where Talbot went in for relief and stopped all three shots he faced.

Cam Talbot Minnesota Wild
Cam Talbot, Minnesota Wild (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Both of their save percentages for the week were under .900. It’s great that Talbot had two wins but both his and Kahkonen’s stats need to improve especially the number of goals they allowed. These numbers can’t continue to be two or more or it’ll be extremely hard to secure wins down the stretch.

Wild’s Week Ahead

The Wild will have a small break for the first time in almost a month as they’ll play only two games in the next week. They have a couple of two-day breaks in between for them to get a little extra rest before the final stretch to the end of the season. They’ll face the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks at home. The Bruins have had a decently strong season while the Blackhawks have struggled for most of it.

The Wild will need Fiala, Boldy, Zuccarello, and Foligno to shed some of their scoring power on Sturm, Bjugstad, Duhaime, and Dewar so they can get past both the Bruins and Blackhawks. Hopefully, their goaltending improves as well and they can get a winning streak started.

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