Game 17: Wild – Kings Report Cards

Photo: Andy Clayton-King/Associated Press

Kirill Kaprizov

1 G 1 SOG 18:15 TOI
6/5 Stars

I’ve run out of things to say about Kaprizov’s start to the season. He can do EVERYTHING. Even on nights where he doesn’t score he still creates opportunities for everyone else. Drew Doughty is going to have nightmares for months when the season is over. I mean who scores on this kind of a goal? McDavid? MacKinnon? Maybe? Unreal.

Cam Talbot

27/28 SV • 59:48 TOI
5/5 stars

Talbot was sensational in his return to the ice. The Kings had plenty of chances in the second and third period and Talbot was angling for a shutout until the Kings finally scored late in the third. We are seeing how good the Wild can be when they get even average goaltending. But Talbot and Kahkonen have been far from average so far this year.

Dean Evason

Not Happy with Practice Before Game • 5/5 Stars

It is really hard to argue with anything Dean has done this year. He has found line combinations that work. And, more importantly, he refuses to let his team get comfortable with what they have accomplished so far this year. As evident by the chewing he gave the team at practice before the game.

Jonas Brodin

1 A • 2 SOG • 22:39 TOI
5/5 Stars

Every. Single. Night. Brodin does things other NHL defenseman simply don’t do. He played some very long shifts to close out the game with the Kings increasing their shot volume. He assisted on Kaprizov’s wrap around goal. He just clamps down on anyone out on the ice. It is criminal at this point that he doesn’t get more national attention for his play. Brodin has been flat out sensational this year.

Jordan Greenway

1 A • 2 SOG • 16:04 TOI
4/5 Stars

Despite the 3 early goals, Jonathan Quick was mostly bonkers the rest of the game. This included a couple of crazy saves to rob Greenway of two scoring opportunities. He was finally rewarded for his efforts with an assist when Joel Eriksson Ek scored the third of the Wild’s rapid fire goals in the first. We’re seeing signs that the top line is finding their form again and that was highlighted by Greenway’s stellar play.

Kevin Fiala

1 A • 2 SOG 15:43 TOI
4/5 Stars

Fiala played extremely angrily against the Kings. He was robbed by Quick but made a great play to set up Joel Eriksson Ek for the Wild’s third goal of the game. Fiala was clearly frustrated by not being able to score, but he funneled that rage out onto the ice and was just flying around making winning plays. Even on nights he doesn’t score himself, Fiala makes life difficult for the opposition.

Ryan Suter

1 A • 2 SOG • 22:20 TOI
4/5 Stars

Can we keep this current version of Ryan Suter forever? He has settled in perfectly to his role in this Wild defense and has been absolutely thriving. Aggressively pushing the puck, helping out on Nick Bjugstad’s goal, and just chirping nonstop. Suter is all of us

Matt Dumba

1 SOG 21:28 TOI
4/5 Stars

What more can be said about this Wild defense? Dumba was integral to another stifling penalty kill, and it took until into the second period for the Kings to even get any sort of sustained presence in the offensive zone. As one goes they all go, and everybody is feeding off of each other and making life miserable for opposing offenses.

Jared Spurgeon

1 A • 3 SOG • 21:05 TOI
4/5 Stars

More of the same for Spurgeon in this game. He just checks so many boxes every single night, and knows what needs to be done to win. Just like Brodin, Spurgeon flies well under the radar outside of Minnesota. It would be nice for him to start receiving some recognition elsewhere.

Joel Eriksson Ek

1 G • 1 SOG • 16:28 TOI
4/5 Stars

Another goal for the Yule Log. And one I’m sure he was glad to score. It had been a while for JEEK, but he now has 2 goals in the last 5 games. The top line got some of their moxie back against the Kings. Eriksson Ek has a great knack for camping out in the right spot to fire away at the net. With how fast this Wild team is playing he should have plenty of chances the rest of the way.

Nick Bjugstad

1 G 2 SOG 9:00 TOI
3.5/5 Stars

It was great to see Bjugstad score on a really nice play to lift one over Quick and find the top shelf. The Bjugstad line had a couple of other good opportunities as well throughout the night. Hopefully this will give Bjugstad some confidence and a boost in the next few games.

Nico Sturm

2 PIM • 10:20 TOI
3/5 Stars

Sturm was again just flying up and down the ice making nice plays. He didn’t show any signs of slowing down after his 2 goal performance against the Avalanche, even though it didn’t necessarily translate to scoring chances in this game. He is making it abundantly clear that he belongs among these line combinations, and continues to get rewarded with ice time.

Mats Zuccarello

1 A • 4 SOG • 11:07 TOI
3/5 Stars

Another assist for Zuccarello, who just continues to grab all of the points this season. I feel like we’re playing a game of musical chairs and waiting for the music to stop to see when the scoring finally settles down, and yet the music keeps going. Kaprizov is doing crazy things to give his linemates opportunities, and to their credit Zuccarello and Rask have been more than up to the challenge of keeping up with him.

Ryan Hartman

2 SOG • 13:43 TOI
3/5 Stars

Hartman just continues to churn out quality minutes. He has stepped in admirably at center with the team shorthanded. He wins faceoffs, he chips in on the penalty kill. All in a days work for Hartman, who is very much a glue guy for this Wild squad.

Victor Rask

17:24 TOI
3/5 Stars

A quiet night for Rask, but hard to argue considering Kaprizov continues to just fly around the ice on this line. His production is still well above what was expected of him coming into the year, so as long as he continues to keep this line intact, we can handle these types of games every now and again.

Ian Cole

16:17 TOI
3/5 Stars

Another job well done by the Wild defense. Cole and Soucy had some nice plays together as the top two lines of defense harassed the Kings all night long. Just a workmanlike effort from Cole, doing the gritty things to help the Wild come away victorious.

Carson Soucy

1 SOG • 16:11 TOI
3/5 Stars

I paid close attention to Soucy’s game and thought he did some nice things. He was aggressive with the puck pushing it up the ice and him and Ian Cole did a great job holding their own against the Kings. I’d still rather see Addison giving these minutes, but it’s also important to give credit where credit is due.

Nick Bonino

4 SOG • 12:20 TOI
3/5 Stars

Bonino had some quality scoring chances, but Jonathan Quick had a very strong game outside of that weird 3 minute scoring surge. Bonino just solidly goes about his business now that he has settled in on the bottom two lines. Not as much pressure for him to provide scoring, just a guy who helps make a few plays to lead to wins.

Zach Parise

1 SOG • 12:42 TOI
2.5/5 Stars

Well so much for that goal leading to a hot stretch for Parise. Another quiet night and more just kind of blending in for him and his contract. It hasn’t particularly hurt the team because the top two lines have been flat out electric over the last week, but it would be nice to see some more consistent production from 11.

Marcus Foligno

4 PIM • 2 SOG • 12:19 TOI
2/5 Stars

I’m dinging Marcus Foligno for the penalties he took. The first one didn’t really do anything to affect the outcome. But Foligno took what could have been a costly penalty in the third after the Wild had just finished killing another. Thankfully the Wild didn’t get burned by it. I’d like to see Foligno lay the lumber in Game 2, because the Kings keep taking shots at Kirill Kaprizov and I will not stand for such a thing.