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Wild Begin Life Without Kirill Tonight in San Jose

March 11, 2023, 9:44 PM ET [6 Comments]
Dan Wallace
Minnesota Wild Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Tonight begins the Wild's stretch run without Kirill Kaprizov. Sam Steel will jump back onto the top trio taking #97's place with Ryan Hartman and Mats Zuccarello.

Steel had been the pivot on the top line for a long stretch before he steadily moved his way down the depth chart and ultimately to the press box. He did get into the lineup right after the trade deadline in Calgary. Steel played a strong game with an assist two shots on goal and three hits. He was noticeable every shift and for that he is getting the first crack tonight in San Jose.

Sammy Walker is ready for his opportunity and that will most certainly come, but Dean Evason wants to keep as much continuity to his lines to continue the roll his team is on. Either way you look at it the players absolutely must step up, as the offensive leader of this stagnant Wild attack is on the shelf.

Evason is hoping that the Kaprizov injury is a blessing in disguise for his club as they make their playoff charge. Scoring is magnified as the temperature of the contests elevates. This Wild team has been anemi when one looks at the goal production, while they somehow continue to rack up standings points.

That lack of offense has been the source of concern for Bill Guerin as he approached the trade deadline. He added Marcus Johansson and Oscar Sundqvist along with John Klingberg who will be called upon to bring more life to the Wild attack. Gustav Nyquist was also acquired but is still a bit off with his recovery.

Both Nyquist and Jonas Brodin are skating and getting closer to seeing game action. In Brodin's case his absence had usually spelled doom for the Wild in past seasons. This season the Wild have continued to win even with #25 out of the lineup. Love Kaprizov, Brodin is integral to the Wild's success long tern, so hopefully their absence here provides a fresher Brodin and Kaprizov when the playoffs begin.

Today is a sad day in Minnesota as legendary Vikings head coach, Bud Grant, passed away at age 95. He was truly a treasure here in Minnesota and touched so many. RIP Bud

It's always Hockey Day in The State of Hockey!
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