Minnesota Wild: A Win Over Winnipeg in Suter’s Return

ST. PAUL, MN - APRIL 17: Devan Dubnyk #40 of the Minnesota Wild defends his goal against Brandon Tanev #13 of the Winnipeg Jets in Game Four of the Western Conference First Round during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Xcel Energy Center on April 17, 2018 in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)
ST. PAUL, MN - APRIL 17: Devan Dubnyk #40 of the Minnesota Wild defends his goal against Brandon Tanev #13 of the Winnipeg Jets in Game Four of the Western Conference First Round during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Xcel Energy Center on April 17, 2018 in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Wild Jared Spurgeon
ST. PAUL, MN – APRIL 17: Jared Spurgeon #46 of the Minnesota Wild shoots the puck against the Winnipeg Jets in Game Four of the Western Conference First Round during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Xcel Energy Center on April 17, 2018 in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Jared Spurgeon

Jared Spurgeon is an anomaly, he defies all laws of the NHL when it comes to the capability of what a player his size as a defenseman should be able to do. He appears to be getting better with age, and is showing no signs of slowing down.

Wednesday was another solid performance for number 46, complete with a highlight reel goal that stood up as the game winner. He paired with both Jonas Brodin and Ryan Suter at different points in the game, and looked solid no matter where they put him on the ice.

Spurgeon was not on the ice for any goals against, he finished as a +1 in 20 minutes of ice time and looked ready for the preseason to be over already.

His goal was almost classic Spurgeon, pinched down below the goal line and confusing Winnipeg’s defense better than most forwards in the league can do on most nights.

Hendricks released a shot from the side boards that ricocheted through traffic and ended up on Spurgeon’s stick. Jared went to go back up the side boards, but instead turned it around behind the net. He walked out front, out of the reach of the stick of Laurent Brossoit, and sniped the wraparound over the goalie’s shoulder.

It was a true thing of beauty, and looked like a play we should be expecting to come from Granlund or Eriksson Ek, or even Zach Parise. When you have a player as skilled defensively as Spurgeon, who can do something like that in the offensive zone, it’s a real gift for the entire team.
It looked like Bruce Boudreau may seriously be considering Spurgeon with Brodin for opening night, but I don’t think it matters for Jared at this point. He is proving he can produce as a shutdown guy just as well as an offensive guy. And even provide offense as a shutdown guy.