Minnesota Wild: Hat Trick Secures Wild’s First Win of Preseason

ST. PAUL, MN - MARCH 13: Nino Niederreiter #22 of the Minnesota Wild checks a member of the Colorado Avalanche during the game at the Xcel Energy Center on March 13, 2018 in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)
ST. PAUL, MN - MARCH 13: Nino Niederreiter #22 of the Minnesota Wild checks a member of the Colorado Avalanche during the game at the Xcel Energy Center on March 13, 2018 in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Wild Charlie Coyle
ST. PAUL, MN – MARCH 13: Charlie Coyle #3 of the Minnesota Wild shoots the puck against the Colorado Avalanche during the game at the Xcel Energy Center on March 13, 2018 in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Charlie Coyle

I think I said everything I could about Charlie Coyle in Thursday’s Top 3, but there was no way I could leave him out of the Top 3 for this game after the performance he put out there.

Playing with Jordan Greenway back at center on his line, Coyle just continued to build on what is turning into a fantastic preseason. The Hat trick is just icing on the cake for a guy who has been expected to break out for years.

His first goal was a wonderful individual effort. Coyle took the puck along the end boards, made a quick stick move to leave Tyson Jost looking silly, and snapped a shot from the top of the circle that looked like something you would expect more from a sniper than from Coyle.

The second was a pretty little give-and-go play with Joel Eriksson Ek. Coyle did most of the work, flying down the side boards he made a strong move to evade Anton Lindholm while flipping the puck up to Eriksson Ek.

Ek passed it right back to Coyle, and again in sniper fashion Coyle managed to find a hole in Grubauer that ought not have even existed. Grubauer left a little too much 5-hole showing, and somehow Coyle managed to slip it right through.

The Hat Trick goal was not even a question, it was all about positioning. Brodin made it happen, with a hard faked wrist shot on a breakout rush.

Grubauer and the defenseman, Vladislav Kamenev, both bit hard on the fake from Brodin which left Coyle all alone to take the pass and deposit it in a wide open net.

Obviously there’s going to be a bit of question to this one still, as even Charlie himself wasn’t overly celebrating it on the bench afterwards. This is an AHL Colorado roster who were clearly outmatched. It’s hard to get too excited about it.

light. Trending. Does The Wild Goal Song Need A Change?

As I mentioned about Thursday’s game, the more Charlie plays the better he is looking. We have seen Nino Niederreiter breakout 2 years ago, Zucker breakout last year, and Coyle steadily getting better each year. Perhaps this is finally his year to rise to the level of his peers.