Kirill Kaprizov, Matt Boldy, Minnesota Wild

Wild’s Kaprizov & Boldy Continue to Lead in Win Over Kraken

The Minnesota Wild didn’t let the fatigue from the second half of a back-to-back on the road stop them. They took down the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night, Feb. 23; the next night, Saturday, Feb. 24, they took on the Seattle Kraken. It looked like it may be a long night as the Kraken got a goal within the first 40 seconds. However, the Wild didn’t back down as they scored a few minutes later to tie things at one. 

They added a second goal later in the first, taking the 2-1 lead into the second period. In the second, the Wild found their scoring power as they added not one but three more goals to take a 5-1 lead. They carried that lead into the third period, where things settled slightly, but the Kraken did find a way to pull themselves within three. 

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There was a scary moment in the third when Joel Eriksson Ek went awkwardly into the boards, but in their postgame press conference, head coach John Hynes said he’d be okay. The Wild had to work hard to keep their lead, but they did it and came away with the 5-2 win and another two points for their playoff hopes. Their top scorers led the way again, and that’s where we’ll start. 

Wild’s Boldy & Kaprizov Lead by Example

Sometimes, players happen to find their stride, and that is an understatement when it comes to Matt Boldy. He started the season with points but had a scoring drought before Hynes came on board. However, in his last eight games, he’s accumulated 14 points, which includes seven goals. He’s found his confidence, and it’s turned into points. 

Kirill Kaprizov Minnesota Wild
Kirill Kaprizov, Minnesota Wild (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Almost the same can be said for Kirill Kaprizov, who’s been on his own scoring streak lately. He, like Boldy, struggled with injuries at the beginning of the season, and it took some time for them to get going. Kaprizov was dealt another blow as he was injured partway through the season, and that set him back in the scoring department again. 

In the past eight games, Kaprizov has turned his scoring up, as he has 18 points, including seven goals, just like Boldy. The Wild have been winning their games lately because of Kaprizov and Boldy’s success. Hopefully, they’ll keep up the scoring because the team needs them. 

Wild’s Offense All Over

Apart from Boldy and Kaprizov, the Wild also had help from two other players: Marcus Johansson, and the second was another defenseman stepping up to help out in Dakota Mermis. It had been a while since Johansson had seen the scoreboard, over a month. His last goal was on Jan. 23 against the Washington Capitals, but he has been recording assists here and there. 

As for Mermis, he’s played 39 games with the Wild, mostly due to injuries to their defensemen, and he’s been impressive with his defensive skills. What’s been surprising is his ability to score as well. He’s registered three goals and five assists for eight points in his first NHL season, where he’s played more than 10 games. 

Dakota Mermis Iowa Wild
Dakota Mermis, former Iowa Wild, current Minnesota Wild (Jenae Anderson / The Hockey Writers)

While the Wild’s leading scorers must keep up their production, they can’t get wins without help from the rest of the lineup, just like Johansson and Mermis plus Jonas Brodin’s contribution against the Oilers. They need all the scoring they can get as they head down this crucial part of the season. 

Wild’s Special Teams Bounce Back

It was like a new power play compared to the night before when they had four chances but couldn’t convert. This time, they had six opportunities and scored on two. It could have been all six with the shots they were taking, but both Kraken goaltenders were able to make some big stops to give their team a little bit of hope. 

Related: Joel Eriksson Ek Is the Minnesota Wild’s Prized Possession

On the other side, their penalty kill stepped up both times they were tested. Everyone did their part defensively, blocked shots when they could, and got their sticks in passing lanes. It was a great group effort defensively on both the special teams aspect and even strength, which is how they won the game. This entire effort must continue as it takes a team, not one player, to win games. 

Wild Earned Days Off

The Wild will have the next couple of nights off before returning home to face the Carolina Hurricanes, and they earned their time off. However, they can’t relax much as they need every point to make the postseason. They’ll have to find ways to score on either Pyotr Kochetkov or Spencer Martin, who’ve done well for the Hurricanes this season. 

Regarding the defensive side, the Wild will have to stand their ground against Sebastian Aho, Seth Jarvis, Martin Necas, Teuvo Teräväinen, and Michael Bunting, the Hurricane’s top scorers. The games are ticking down and the postseason is drawing closer, hopefully the Wild can keep picking up wins.

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