The Minnesota Wild were looking to continue their lucky streak against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night (April 12), and they got it in the form of a 5-1 win to sweep the season series. They started early in the first period and held the 1-0 lead until the second. They added another goal early to start the second, and they went on a scoring spree before the end as they added three more goals for a 4-0 lead. The Oilers made it onto the scoreboard in the third but not before the Wild tallied another goal to make it 5-0.
The Oilers took advantage of a power play and snuck one by Cam Talbot, but that was the only goal they’d snatch. The Wild were also done scoring but they managed to keep the Oilers to one goal despite some close calls as the third period went on. They took the win, but unfortunately for the Wild, their injuries are starting to pile back up. They were still without Jon Merrill, Matt Dumba, Nicolas Deslauriers, and partway through the game they lost Jordan Greenway to an upper-body injury.
Wild’s Second Line Steps Up
The Wild’s second line of Kevin Fiala, Frederick Gaudreau, and Matt Boldy made an impact as soon as the game started. After having several good performances without big results, Gaudreau scored the first goal of the game and his 11th of the season. It was his first goal since Mar. 31 and it gave the Wild added energy and motivated the rest of his line.
Fiala wasn’t about to be left out of the scoring circle as he added not one, but two goals that elevated the Wild’s game even more. His first goal ended up being the game-winner and he contributed a blocked shot as well. That leaves the third and final member of their line, Boldy. He, like Gaudreau, recorded a single point but instead of a goal, his was an assist. He now has 30 points in 37 games played and he’s ninth in points on the Wild roster.
Hartman’s Goal Scoring is Back
After having a quiet week in the scoring department, Ryan Hartman stormed back with two strong goals, one in the second and the other in the third. He’s had a very successful season thus far as he’s set career-highs in goals, assists, and points. However, even with the great numbers, his season has been very up and down in terms of accumulating points. It’s been an endless cycle all season long as he’ll go a few games without any, and then have a streak of games where he’ll put them up in bunches.
Related: Wild Check-In: Boldy, Middleton, Fleury, Benn & Hartman
Regardless of how he’s recorded points, Hartman has been a very important part of the lineup, especially in his spot on the first line. When the season started, it was unclear who would fill that center spot but once they tried Hartman, he fit right in. The Wild’s first line has chemistry like no other but fits right in with the rest of the team. Each line has its own identity that’s been extremely important to the team’s success this season.
Wild’s Jost Deserves a Nod
The Wild have been dealing with a number of injuries lately that have caused a shuffling of lines and the same thing happened against the Oilers when they lost Greenway. Some players have a difficult time adjusting to new line combinations, but there’s one Wild player in particular who has taken all the shifting like a champ and has benefitted as well. That player is still relatively new to the lineup but blends right in, Tyson Jost.
Jost is normally on the fourth line but when Boldy was absent from the roster, he was bumped up to take his spot where he had a number of scoring opportunities. Sadly, none of them went in, but it was good for him to get the experience in the top six rather than the bottom six. Then, when Boldy returned, he was bumped back to his normal spot for about a game before Greenway was injured against the Oilers. He again had a good performance with a number of scoring chances, but none went in. It looks like he’ll have another chance to make an impression in the next game, as Greenway will not be heading out on the upcoming road trip.
Wild Travel Down South
The Wild’s small homestand ended on a high note with their win over the Oilers but now they’ll head on the road to face two teams that have had it out for them in every meeting. Their first matchup will be against the Dallas Stars and later on the St. Louis Blues. The Wild dominated their first game against the Stars back in November but the second and third time around they were on the losing side of things.
While Joe Pavelski, Jason Robertson, Roope Hintz, and Tyler Seguin are the Stars’ leading scorers and the Wild will have to keep them off the scoreboard, there’s one name they’ll have to add to that list and that is Jordie Benn’s younger brother Jamie. He’s been one of the top scorers against the Wild and they’ll have to keep an eye on him as a result.
Marc-André Fleury should be in net to face these threats while the Wild will have to find a way past either Jake Oettinger or Scott Wedgewood, since Braden Holtby has been on injured reserve since March 8. Thankfully, it sounds like the Wild will be getting Deslauriers back for their trip despite Greenway staying behind in Minnesota.
Jordan Greenway (upper) won’t travel. Nic Deslauriers will travel and they hope he can return, but Dean Evason said the #mnwild will need to “get a guy” for the road trip. I assume he meant callup, but could also mean “sign a guy.”— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) April 13, 2022
Wild would love Ben Meyers on that plane.
Hopefully, this in and out loop of injuries finds an end soon so the Wild can get back to a full roster in the next few weeks, and be healthy going into the playoffs. The postseason is coming faster than most think and with just 10 games left, they will need everyone present to stack up the wins.