This last week of Minnesota Wild hockey was an exciting one as they played four games and had four consecutive wins. The unique part about three of their wins was they were all in overtime, the first against the Vancouver Canucks, the second against the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the final and probably most encouraging, the Colorado Avalanche. Their only non-overtime game was a win over the Vegas Golden Knights.
They had four new players join the team in the last week as well and they’ve already made their names known, however, they didn’t make this list just yet. Their leading scorers were at the top of the scoresheet once again while a few players swapped spots at the bottom.
Wild’s Talbot Most Successful
It can easily be said that the most recently named NHL first star of the week, Cam Talbot, has had the most success in the last seven days. He was in net for three out of their four wins with the other going to Marc-André Fleury. Talbot’s save percentage (SV%) was .959 and his goals-against average (GAA) was 1.33. He also recorded his second shutout of the season, all good reasons for him to have earned that first-star recognition.
The next player that had a lot of success was Kirill Kaprizov. In four games he had five points, four goals, and one assist. Two of those points were scored on the power play. He’s up to 81 points for the season, which leaves him two points short of Marián Gáborík’s record of 83 points in a single season. His linemate Mats Zuccarello also had five points but they were all assists, no goals.
Ryan Hartman and Kevin Fiala are the final names on this list. They both had four points with two goals and two assists each. Hartman was at the top of the stats last week while Fiala made a bounce back. He struggled last week with just one point but this week, he quadrupled that number which included the game-winner in overtime against the Avalanche.
Wild’s Boldy Still at the Bottom
Unfortunately, Matt Boldy is still struggling to tally any points and he has for the last couple of weeks. The last point he recorded was a goal on Mar. 13 against the Nashville Predators. That was the final loss before the Wild started their current win streak. He did have two blocked shots on the defensive end last week so it wasn’t all bad.
Jordan Greenway joined Boldy at the bottom of the list. This last week he ended up with more hits than points, but he had some really good scoring opportunities that wouldn’t go in. He recorded 12 shots on goal, the same as linemate Joel Eriksson Ek, but he couldn’t find the back of the net. He was at the top of one list, however and that was penalty minutes, as he had 10.
The last name on this list isn’t necessarily struggling, but he did drop off in points. That player was Jon Merrill, he had two points last week but in the last four games, he didn’t accumulate any. He’s not a high-scoring defenseman, but it’s a bonus when he does score a point, and they’ll need that secondary production going into this final stretch.
Wild’s Week Ahead
The Wild will have a four-game week ahead of them with another back-to-back. In their latter two games, they’ll head on the road for the first time in three weeks. They’ll take on the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins at home and then will hit the road to face the Carolina Hurricanes and Washington Capitals. Kaprizov will finally have his long-awaited meeting with Alex Ovechkin that he missed last time due to an injury.
The Wild can’t underestimate the Flyers, despite them being a weaker team and they’ll have their hands full with the Penguins, Hurricanes, and Capitals, with each team poised for a long playoff run. They’ll need to keep their eyes on the top scorers of Cam Atkinson, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov, Alex Ovechkin, and Evgeny Kuznetsov.
This upcoming week will likely be when fans will get to see more of Fleury in net as well. This will be a chance for him and Talbot to continue to prove their talents as they face some tough teams. The last couple of months have tested the Wild and they’ve come through, but now they’ll face the hardest part of the schedule as every game seems to matter more with the playoffs looming over their heads. Thankfully, the Wild will be riding the high of a six-game win streak and should have momentum on their side to continue it. Hopefully, Boldy can find his way back to the scoring side of things as the Wild will need him these next few weeks.
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.