Toup’s Takes (3-1-21)

By Seth Toupal
Photo: David Berding/USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to another week of Toup’s Takes. We have a lot to cover so let’s get started.

Kirill Kaprizov Appreciation Corner

We have seen some amazing things from rookie phenom Kirill Kaprizov since the season began. I want to highlight some of the best from this past weekend:

Let’s start with this insane, ludicrous wraparound goal against the Kings on Friday night.

Not satisfied? Check out this laser pass to Zuccarello, who was clearly so surprised at it’s accuracy he wasn’t able to ram it home.

He does things like this on a nightly basis. The sky is honestly the limit for Kaprizov, who seems poised to rewrite every record in Wild history before he’s all done. Keep them coming I say. He isn’t the only rookie impressing for the Wild either.

I mean Kaprizov has been good enough that the team has made shirts for “Dolla Dolla Bill Kirill”. Honestly how can you not believe that Kirill will end up being our best player ever? I can’t stop thinking that every time I see him play.

The Stalock Situation

We did get some good news, and some bad news on Alex Stalock this weekend.

So the good news is definitely that he was able to get back to skating with the taxi squad after missing all of the season so far due to an upper body injury. But then came the bad news.

The reality of the situation is that Alex Stalock is a luxury, especially in a season like this, that the Wild are lucky to have. But he has not been as essential with the emergence of Kaapo Kahkonen. I don’t know if you can justify putting Stalock on the roster over Kaapo with how he has played so far this year. So the goalie depth chart is probably set with Talbot and Kahkonen as it is. If you can sneak Stalock onto the taxi squad or Iowa’s roster, great. But it’s likely that another team is gonna claim him before 11am today.

Six in A Row

One more look at the Dumba OT winner please.

Dean Deserves Credit

We need to give Dean Evason a ton of credit for this recent winning streak. He took the COVID pause as an opportunity to try to revive a struggling offense. And boy did he deliver. He found two line combinations that paid immediate dividends, and the bottom two lines have started to settle in too. He has put a lot of trust in both of his goalies, and his team as well. And he isn’t afraid to lay into the team to prevent them from getting comfortable.

Goldmember

The Wild will be seeing a lot of the Vegas Golden Knights in the next two weeks. Four of their next seven games will be against Vegas. This will be their toughest test of the season so far, but the Wild are certainly ready for it. And for whatever these are….

The Wild’s biggest challenge will be to try to solve Marc-Andre Fleury, who comes in 9-3-0 with a 1.59 GAA on the season. Those are some video game numbers for the Flower. But I’m confident the Wild will put a dent in the Golden Knights’ armor.

That’s all for this week!