It was the teams first shutout loss of the season and also ended the scoring streaks of Kirill Kaprizov (eight games) and Kevin Fiala (career high 12 games). While Marcus Foligno returned to the lineup, we may be saying goodbye to him for a little bit after a not so moose-like incident in the final third period.
Right out of the gate, Minnesota (28-11-3) couldn’t find its edge as frustration quickly mounted throughout the first period, which ultimately led to an unnecessary hit on Foligno that led the team to lose their focus. An old-fashioned two-on-two fight occurred at center ice between Moose and Adam Lowry, and Jordan Greenway throwing punches with Brenden Dillon.
Another thing to note is the fact that we lost 35 of 49 faceoffs last night. Yes, you read that correctly. Maybe it’s time Wild general manager Bill Guerin makes a statement and starts looking at centermen in the upcoming trade deadline.
On a more positive note Kaapo Kahkonen played between the pipes and was able to stop 27 of 28 shots with a .964 saves percentage. Because of his solid goalie play, the Wild didn’t get blown out of the water.
Kirill Kaprizov, despite not scoring, notched seven shots on goal and glided throughout the rink with a few great looks, Matt Boldy continued to be the playmaker he’s shaping out to be, and the Joel Eriksson Ek – Greenway – Foligno line played physical (as we all know) to keep the puck off the sticks of the Jets.
With a few days off before the Wild host the threatening Carolina Hurricanes (31-10-3) on Saturday night, this will give our team a chance to regroup and come out strong. While it’s a frustating loss right after the All-Star break, there’s absolutely nothing to freak out about.
The Wild are still one of the top teams in the league. Again I know it’s frustrating, but it’s only one game. There is so much depth on this team that hasn’t been seen in who knows how long, and the atmosphere in the locker room is that of a contender.
The Wild will be OK.