Welcome to this week’s installment of Minnesota Wild Weekly, which will take a look at the past week of Wild hockey. It will include notes, the biggest takeaways, and, of course, the review of the week.
Week in Review
The Minnesota Wild were able to get back in the win column over the last week and continue their famous home winning streak. After two horrendous losses at the Colorado Avalanche, the Wild came home looking to make up those lost points.
The Wild had a new name added to their scoresheet in their first home meeting of the week against the Anaheim Ducks. Defenseman Ryan Suter notched his first goal of the year and tied the game up for the Wild after the Ducks got the game’s first goal early in the second period. His goal motivated the rest of the team to push harder and that led to Nick Bjugstad getting the game-winning goal early in the third and the Wild went on to win 2-1.
That first win continued to be energizing as the Wild faced the Ducks once again two nights later. It was another one-goal game but a different defenseman jumped on the scoreboard this time for the Wild with two back-to-back goals. Captain Jared Spurgeon tallied his second and third goal of the season in the Wild’s 3-2 win and a two-game sweep of the Ducks.
Their luck continued past the Ducks as they welcomed in the St. Louis Blues for their first meeting of the season. The Wild were able to get on the board first, just a few minutes into the second period, and were able to keep the lead with a second goal added 10 minutes later. They tallied their third win in a row, their 11th straight home win, and goaltender Cam Talbot’s second shutout of the season.
Takeaways, Notes, and Concerns
It was a big week for two of the Wild’s defensemen with Suter being the first. He got his first goal of the season and the very next game he racked up his 600th career point. He’s not a player that is known for scoring a lot of goals but no one would be surprised that he is at 11 assists already this season.
He really stepped up this week by getting three points in the last three games. A goal and two assists helped the Wild push their winning streak even longer. Suter has been rather quiet this season but that looks like it may change if he can keep his streak going.
Another defenseman who doesn’t receive a lot of attention based on his scoring is Spurgeon. He’s most noted for his defensive and leadership abilities but that doesn’t mean he can’t score here and there. Many may be shocked by how much he does score when they look at his numbers.
He currently sits at nine points for the Wild over the course of 31 games he’s played in. The more important note however is that three of those points came in the last three games just like Suter and he also managed a multi-point night. Their multi-point night was actually in the same game. Spurgeon’s back-to-back goals were both assisted by Suter.
Switching from defensemen to forwards, everyone needs an update on Kaprizov. He was able to notch his 16th assist of the season against the Ducks and the very next night he got his 11th goal against the Blues, giving him a total of 27 points so far.
Updating his scoring totals means also taking a look at the race for the Calder Trophy. Despite the Wild being off for a few days, Kaprizov still has a six-point lead in the rookie standings as of Sunday evening. With these few days of rest, he’ll hopefully come out hungry for more points and help the Wild continue in their winning ways.
Standings Tracker and Injury Update
As of Sunday evening, the Wild sit in third place in the Honda West division with 43 points. They sit three points behind the second-place Avalanche and four points behind the first-place Golden Knights.
Unfortunately, the Wild did add a player to the Covid-19 protocol list. Forward Zach Parise was placed on the list following their first game against the Ducks. It is unclear when he will be able to return to the line-up.
Defenseman Matt Dumba made his return against the Blues after missing the last three games with a lower-body injury. However, forward Marcus Foligno is still out of the line-up continuing to battle a lower-body injury and there is no date listed for his return.
The Wild were on fire and playing really well this last week despite being without Dumba, Foligno, and Parise at different times throughout those games. They also have had a phenomenal time playing at home but now to start this next week they’ll be playing on the road.
They’ll head to San Jose for a quick two-game trip against the Sharks and make a stop in Vegas for two more games against the Golden Knights before they come back home to Minnesota. The Wild have done well against the Sharks but the Knights have been difficult to handle on the road. They’ll need to find that magic they use at home and take it on the road with them to hopefully come back with four more wins under their belt.
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.