Eriksson Ek Not a Superstar, Just a Superhero

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The Minnesota Wild took home a massive GM2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night, to tie the series 1-1. Eight goals were scored at Xcel Energy Center last night and six of them were potted by the Wild. Kirill Kaprizov played like the superstar he is. And with some help from an empty net, scored the first hat trick in franchise playoff history.

While it’s Kaprizov’s name you now see in the Wild record books, it had to be etched over an erased Joel Eriksson Ek. Because — just moments before Kirill’s empty netter made his hat trick a reality — Ek had his own (natural) third goal taken away, following a Blues challenge that ruled his linemate, Marcus Foligno, offside.

All About Winning

Had it been the regular season, Marcus Foligno might owe Joel Eriksson Ek a steak dinner or a set of golf clubs for his lack of spatial awareness. But this isn’t the regular season. This is The Cup. Ek was asked about his third goal falling off the board, after the game. His response was all business. Well, maybe not “all business”.

There’s no time to cry, or laugh, over spilt milk when the playoffs come around. “This is about winning”, said Eriksson Ek. Though, he did sneak in one quick dig on Foligno. That ‘Moose’ may owe Minnesota Wild fans some hats. He’s not wrong.

REPORTER: “Joel, are you bummed that Kaprizov now is the owner of those hats or how do you feel about that situation?”

EK: “No… umm, I don’t care. I mean, it’s about winning. That’s what we want to do. But, I think Moose should offer himself to buy some new hats for the people, maybe?”

Not Superstar, but Superhero

Joel Erikkson Ek isn’t paid like a star player and his role doesn’t require him to score goals. Ek plays on the third line. He’s best known for irritating opponents and killing penalties. Not the other way around because you won’t see him fight very often. But when the light comes on and the Wild need someone to step up, Ek isn’t afraid to be that guy.

Last night, it was Eriksson Ek who (finally) scored the ice-breaker goal of this postseason. It was their first in over 65 minutes of 2022 playoff competition and it put the Wild up 1-0. Most importantly, the goal allowed Joel Eriksson Ek’s teammates to loosen the jaws of life that were gripping their sticks for the first five minutes of GM2.

It was also pointed out in last night’s presser, that Eriksson Ek scored an overtime goal in last year’s first round GM1 playoff matchup vs the Las Vegas Golden Knights. A game the Wild won 1-0. He scored it against his new teammate, Marc-Andre Fleury. Ek now has three points in two games this postseason and the GREEF line was, by far, the best the Minnesota Wild had to offer in GM1 on Monday.

If there’s anyone I believe will show up again in GM3, on Friday, it’s Joel Eriksson Ek. Also, This toe drag from on his 2nd goal is almost as great as the tweet from the Wild’s social media team. Absolute magic.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan