Game 15: Wild – Sharks Report Cards

Photo: Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Foligno

1 G • 1 A • 5 PIM • 1 SOG • 15:01 TOI
5/5 Stars

A Gordie Howe Hat-trick from Moose had the boys buzzing in this one. Foligno gave Nikolai Knyzhov the biggest beatdown I’ve seen since Dustin Poirer knocked out Conor McGregor a couple weekends ago. Adding a goal and assist to that performance just completed an incredible game for the man they call Moose.

Kirill Kaprizov

1 G • 1 A • 2 SOG • 14:49 TOI
5/5 Stars

The entire line of Kaprizov, Mats Zuccarello, and Victor Rask was on fire tonight. Kaprizov is the heartbeat of the Minnesota offense, and he showed that tonight, adding another 2 points to his season total on a goal off of a pretty passing play and an assist to Zucc. Kaprizov now has 13 points on the season, the best among all NHL rookies.

Kaapo Kahkonen

31/33 SV • 59:52 TOI
5/5 stars

Kaapo stopped 32 of 34 shots from Logan Couture and company to earn his 6th W of the season. What was really impressive about Kahkonen’s game tonight was his ability to survive an onslaught of shots from the Sharks early in the first period. Sure the Burns goal got by him on the first shot of the game, but this game could’ve gotten out of hand for the Wild real quick had Kahkonen not been sharp.

Mats Zuccarello

1 G • 3 A • 1 SOG • 14:56 TOI
5/5 Stars

Zuccarello has been en fuego since returning to the Minnesota lineup. Zucc had an incredible 4 point night which brings him to 7 points in just 4 games played. His line has just been dominant since being constructed by Dean Evason, which apparently has been due to Zucc’s ability to speak both Swedish for Victor Rask and Russian for Kirill Kaprizov.

A gentleman and a scholar. That just goes to show how much chemistry can really affect lines in the NHL.

Victor Rask

1 G • 2 A • 1 SOG • 14:09 TOI
4/5 Stars

Rask may have finally found a home in the Wild lineup between Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello. He’s been playing his best hockey since being traded here, adding 3 points tonight on an empty net goal and two apples. He’s also been a stud in the faceoff dot the past couple of games. I’d love to see this continue for Rask, the Wild desperately need playmakers at the center position, and Rask can fit that mold if he can keep playing like this.

Ryan Hartman

2 A • 16:47 TOI
4/5 Stars

Another really solid performance from Ryan Hartman tonight. His motor on the forecheck never stops and he’s really stepped up whenever Dean Evason has asked him to. Hartman supplied two apples tonight on goals by Ian Cole and Marcus Foligno. The assist to Ian Cole was just absurd as Hartman found him from basically no angle. You just really gotta like how he plays the game. 

Jonas Brodin

1 G • 3 SOG • 22:00 TOI
4/5 Stars

Brodin got uncharacteristically beat on the first goal of the game by Brent Burns, but locked it down after that, and even added some insurance late in the game off a shot that just snuck by the glove of Devan Dubnyk. Brodin already has 3 goals from the blueline this season, surpassing his total from the entire 2019-2020 campaign. He is inarguably the best defenseman on this team.

Ian Cole

1 G • 2 PIM 3 SOG 15:32 TOI
4/5 Stars

Cole put up probably his best game as a member of the Minnesota Wild tonight. He’s added some invaluable experience on the back-end and plays solid defense. Cole found his first goal since being traded to Minnesota tonight on a crafty no angle pass from Ryan Hartman that he tucked into a yawning cage. Depth goal scoring baby.

Nico Sturm

2 SOG • 12:15 TOI
4/5 Stars

Nico seems to have been bitten by the same snake that bit Kevin Fiala earlier this season. He’s been playing incredibly well in the bottom six so far, and he’s had a multitude of chances in each game. Unfortunately, the puck just isn’t finding the back of the net for him just yet. Nevertheless, Sturm continues to be a beast on the forecheck and creates havoc in all 3 zones for the opposing team.

Carson Soucy

2 A • 15:38 TOI
3/5 Stars

Did Soucy have 2 assists tonight? Yup. Would I still rather see Calen Addison get Soucy’s minutes? Yup.

Matt Dumba

1 SOG 20:07 TOI
3/5 Stars

Dumba didn’t have to do all that much tonight, but played solid nonetheless. It’s encouraging to see him continue to be responsible in the defensive zone while still being a threat offensively. 

Jared Spurgeon

1 SOG • 22:31 TOI
3/5 Stars

A relatively quiet night from the captain who, much like Matt Dumba, really didn’t have to do all that much to get his team the W. Spurgeon hasn’t been a huge offensive powerhouse so far like we’ve seen in past years, but you gotta figure that there’ll be some positive regression in that department soon.

Ryan Suter

23:12 TOI
3/5 Stars

Games like this are more of what Ryan Suter is capable of handling at this point in his career. He didn’t have to log huge minutes tonight and was comfortable riding backseat while some of the other members of the blueline were able to play more. Crack a couple Miller Lites after this one Suter, job well done.

Zach Parise

1 A • 3 SOG • 15:36 TOI
3/5 Stars

A bit of a bounceback game tonight for Zach. He was taking shots all game and was trying to find a garbage goal in the paint, but he couldn’t light the lamp. Parise did pick up an assist on Marcus Foligno’s goal and he’ll look to continue to build on that Wednesday in Colorado, a team Parise has historically played very well against.

Nick Bonino

2 SOG • 13:42 TOI
3/5 Stars

Not much to report from Bonino again, but he played a key role tonight, anchoring the Minnesota 4th line and winning some big draws. 

Joel Eriksson Ek

2 SOG • 15:13 TOI
3/5 Stars

Joel hasn’t been playing bad at all the last few games, I think the COVID break just really cooled off all the momentum he had before. Hopefully he can bounceback to that form soon.

Jordan Greenway

4 PIM • 3 SOG • 15:49 TOI
3/5 Stars

Just like Eriksson Ek, Greenway seems to have cooled down a bit since the COVID break. He hasn’t done much the last couple of games. The Wild could use the pre-COVID Greenway in Colorado on Wednesday. Hopefully he brings it that game.

Kevin Fiala

5 SOG • 16:16 TOI
3/5 Stars

Kevin didn’t play bad at all, he just didn’t find the scoresheet tonight for the first time in a while. Historically a bit of a streaky player, hopefully Fiala can get back on the box score soon.

Nick Bjugstad

4 SOG 10:35 TOI
3/5 Stars

Nick tried his best in this game and we aren’t gonna fault him for it. I’m still waiting to see more from him though.

BONUS: Gord Dwyer and the officiating crew – 0/5 stars

Good lord that was brutal. I’m not usually one to whine about refs, especially after a win, but my god I have never seen that many blatant calls just ignored by a group of NHL officials. The Kaprizov one was just mind boggling as he was tripped up right in front of a zebra who did nothing. Hope we don’t see this crew the rest of the season.