Game 18: Wild – Kings Report Cards

Photo: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Dumba

1 G 1 A • 2 SOG 27:40 TOI
5/5 Stars

Dumba was sensational from the moment the puck dropped. He was dialed in on both sides of the puck, leading the team into the zone several times and coming up clutch on the penalty kill. All of that and then he ripped the game winner past Cal Petersen on a ridiculous feed from Mats Zuccarello. Here’s to hoping we get more Dialed In Dumba going forward.

Kirill Kaprizov

1 G 4 SOG 19:37 TOI
5/5 Stars

Another goal for Thrill. Another game of great feeds to teammates and showcasing his burst and pure speed. Kaprizov could have ended the game in regulation on a breakaway, but Petersen made a nifty save to rob him. He just continues to produce and create absurd opportunities for his linemates, game after game after game.

Mats Zuccarello

1 A • 3 SOG • 18:17 TOI
5/5 Stars

The assist by Zuccarello to set up Dumba for the game winning goal is worth 5 stars alone. Zuccarello continues to rack up points and is a vital member of the top 2 lines. Zuccarello had a great chance to add a goal too on a filthy dish by Kaprizov but just couldn’t pull the trigger. Eventually the points and scoring will level off….or will it?

Jonas Brodin

1 SOG • 24:27 TOI
5/5 Stars

Simply put, Brodin was sensational, especially in overtime. The Kings had a ton of momentum after they tied the game in the third, but Brodin would not allow them to gain the upper hand. He may be one of the best defenseman in the NHL at poke checking the puck away from would be attackers alone. Also factor in that he is one of the best defenseman in the NHL period. Every cent of his extension has been money well spent.

Nick Bjugstad

1 A • 2 SOG • 2 PIM • 9:00 TOI
4/5 Stars

I was really impressed with Bjugstad’s play tonight. He was aggressive in the offensive zone, including a take charge moment to set up Nico Sturm for his goal. We’ve dogged Bjugstad a lot for his lack of production this year, but over the last few games he has really started to contribute more. Is he finally getting settled in as a member of the bottom six? Is he trying to show that he’s good enough to keep in the mix when Marcus Johansson returns? My guess is it’s a little bit of both. Hopefully it continues. I’d also like to point out that he has played exactly 9 minutes the last two games which is an interesting oddity.

Jared Spurgeon

2 SOG • 22:27 TOI
4/5 Stars

Spurgeon nearly scored his first goal of the season, and was initially credited with a goal. But it was challenged by the Kings and overturned due to goalie interference. Regardless it was another strong night for the Wild captain. 2 of the goals the Kings scored were directly attributed to Kahkonen, but the defense just continues to play physically every minute of every game.

Nico Sturm

1 G • 1 SOG • 10:54 TOI
4/5 Stars

Another really solid game for Sturm. We have had a great opportunity to see just how important he is to the bottom of the Wild lineup. Sturm was flying all over the ice, got a nifty goal on a beautiful assist from Nick Bjugstad. Sturm has helped really balance out the Wild’s lines with his solid play from the bottom. He just continues to get better every single game.

Ryan Suter

1 A • 3 SOG • 18:58 TOI
4/5 Stars

The one blemish from Suter was his inability to fire home a 2 on 1. Other than that, New Suter has become a force on defense. Suter tallied an assist on Kirill Kaprizov’s goal to start the scoring in the second. Must be nice to be able to push the puck up to Kirill and know he’s gonna handle the rest. Suter knows what he is, and what he can/can’t do when he’s out on the ice. I wonder what the Miller Lite count is on this winning streak?

Kevin Fiala

1 A • 7 SOG • 18:52 TOI
4/5 Stars

Fiala again had a great night despite not being able to ram home a goal. The top line is heating up again, and Fiala just makes so many plays every night. He is getting a lot better defensively too. All around Fiala just keeps peppering the net, and another goal streak is probably not far away.

Ryan Hartman

13:09 TOI
4/5 Stars

I think my favorite thing about Hartman during this winning streak is how seamless his transition to center has been. His “glue guy” reputation is further strengthened by that and his continued aggressive play on the forecheck, and on the penalty kill. If you have yet to, spend a game watching Hartman play. I guarantee you’ll enjoy it.

Joel Eriksson Ek

1 G • 3 SOG • 16:51 TOI
4/5 Stars

Great work by Eriksson Ek on his goal to open the scoring. JEEK just camped out in front of the net and gobbled up a rebound and was able to influence it enough over Cal Petersen (potential interference aside). Eriksson Ek has goals in back to back games and leads the team with 8 on the season. To say he has been a revelation so far this year is an understatement, but then again so has the entire top line.

Jordan Greenway

2 A • 5 SOG • 18:00 TOI
4/5 Stars

Another rock solid game for Greenway. He just has such a knack for being where he needs to be. You could argue he should have scored at least one goal if not for Petersen making more than a few nifty saves. All in all (and goalie interference on Spurgeon’s goal aside) Greenway chipped in a couple of assists, and is perfectly fine throwing his weight around and mixing it up with the opposition. I feel like another Greenway goal is coming soon.

Victor Rask

1 A • 3 SOG • 19:28 TOI
4/5 Stars

Rask meant to blow up his stick for an assist on the Kaprizov goal right? Either way he continues to look cool, calm and collected between his linemates. And with both of them producing at such a high level right now, all Rask really has to do is set them up and wait for them do to the same for him. Pretty nice gig if you can get it.

Zach Parise

5 SOG • 18:12 TOI
4/5 Stars

A nice night for Parise, who played super aggressively from start to finish. He didn’t ultimately light the lamp, but his goal against the Avs seems to have woken him up a bit. Maybe he’s starting to settle into his spot on the third line?

Marcus Foligno

2 PIM • 14:02 TOI
3/5 Stars

Kind of a quiet night for Foligno again. He certainly plays big and physical, which is critical against the scrappy Kings. He can certainly expect a letter from the league office after his boarding penalty resulted in a Kings player going face first into the boards. This is how it has been for Foligno, a few quiet games and then he breaks out for a couple goals. Perfect timing with the Golden Knights on the way.

Nick Bonino

1 SOG • 11:58 TOI
3/5 Stars

Solid minutes from Bonino again tonight. The Wild penalty kill was a little leaky tonight, but Bonino won some key draws down the stretch. He has settled in nicely as part of the bottom 6, but those two lines have played some really good minutes to take a little pressure off of the top two lines. While being asked to play a top 2 center role early, it’s nice to see Bonino slot in where he is more of a natural fit.

Ian Cole

15:11 TOI
3/5 Stars

Cole gritted out his usual minutes after taking a slapshot to the ankle bone. I don’t have experience dealing with that, but I’d imagine it’s not pleasant. He continues to churn out nice minutes with his linemate Carson Soucy, and the two of them have really helped the Wild defense fill out it’s depth. It’s 3 absolutely solid lines the Wild can trot out at any given time. Aren’t we glad Bill Guerin made this move early in the season?

Carson Soucy

2 PIM • 15:47 TOI
3/5 Stars

Soucy had another relatively solid night. Both him and Ian Cole have been really gelling as of late and both Soucy and Cole had some good opportunities when they pushed the puck into the offensive zone. Soucy has not been asked to do as much on the bottom defensive pairing, but it’s still nice to see his play pick up.

Kaapo Kahkonen

25/28 SV • 64:34 TOI
3/5 stars

This was Kahkonen’s worst game since this winning streak started, and yet he was still pretty good. Drew Doughty got him after Kaapo extended out for a save and the rebound went right to the wrong place. The third goal for the Kings did some super weird things. Other than that Kaapo did well to prevent the Kings from scoring on any of their other many chances. We’ve become so accustomed to good goaltending that it’s rare for Talbot or Kaapo to have nights like this. Still got the win though so we’ll take it.