Over the course of the Minnesota Wild’s 4-3 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Jared Spurgeon was at the center of a lot of action.
The oft unheralded defenseman was the victim of Toronto’s Mitch Marner after just seven seconds, but the Minnesota Wild comeback victory was most definitely spurred on by Jared Spurgeon‘s performance.
He finished the game with two assists and a goal for a three-point afternoon; not bad for a player that gave the puck away meekly just a couple of seconds in, leading to a goal against.
Perhaps it was the fact that he was victim of Marner not once but twice early on that sparked his offensive performance. His want to make up for his mistakes would’ve driven him on and on this occasion, he and his teammates had the luck in front of net that saw it rewarded.
Looking at the first goal by the Leafs, I don’t think anyone in the Minnesota Wild line-up was ready to be on the defensive back foot so immediately:
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) January 3, 2019
Either way, it happened. The second goal didn’t look fantastic on Jared Spurgeon either, with the combo of John Tavares and Marner making him look a little foolish.
He no doubt won’t be the last player; Minnesota Wild or otherwise, to be looking silly as a result of that pairing.
With his Minnesota Wild team down by two goals, it’s fair to say that Jared Spurgeon took it upon himself to right the mistakes he’d made.
An assist on each of the team’s first two goals certainly helped things along and saw a -2 plus/minus quickly turned around, putting him back at even before he scored.
It’s clear though that he was brimming with confidence by the time he netted his goal, drifting into ice that the Maple Leafs really shouldn’t be leaving open, especially with their AHL goalie in net.
The drift in towards the net, the pull, drag and shot all blend together for quite the neat goal:
Pull, drag, shoot, score. pic.twitter.com/ZQqY2I6ItE
To end a game where he was a -2 within the first six minutes with a +1 plus/minus rating sums it up really.
So often we talk about Ryan Suter and Matt Dumba as the core pieces in the Minnesota Wild defensive, both offensively and defensively. This is likely due to the way that Jared Spurgeon just gets on with the job; unheralded, under-appreciated and with the unmistakable poise of a top-tier player.
In this game, he faced up to the fact he was the villain for the Minnesota Wild and was able to turn things around. A three-point night makes him the hero of a win that very few Minnesota Wild fans would have expected going by recent form.
Hopefully, Spurgeon can continue to step up in the absence of Matt Dumba and the rest of the team can continue to deliver the same level of play that saw them take the game 4-3 today.