Kirill Kaprizov Goes Full Superstar
Going into Wednesday’s late-night GM2 matchup between the Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues, Kirill Kaprizov had collected a total of 3 points during his first 8 playoff appearances. But with his team down in the series 1-0 and on the ropes already, Kirill answered the call in a way all superstars must do at some point in their careers. And when the dust settled, Minnesota had won the game 6-2, tied the series 1-1 and Kaprizov scored the first playoff hat trick in franchise history.
On Tuesday, I wrote about the disappearance of Kirill Kaprizov and Kevin Fiala in yet another playoff matchup in GM1. On Wednesday, Kaprizov wasn’t going to allow those types of hit pieces to continue. To win playoff series, and to have any chance at the Stanley Cup, your best players need to show up. Last night, Minnesota’s star power shined bright and it led to a blowout victory.
We’re still waiting on Fiala to put some points in the box score, but in game 2, the Wild’s best players had most of the production. We already mentioned Kirill’s 3 goals. But Zuccarello and Hartman both had two points of their own. Eriksson Ek had three points too, and what we thought was the the first hat trick in franchise history. Unfortunately for him, Marcus Foligno lost track of the blue line and Ek’s 3rd goal of the night was negated due to offsides entering the zone.
ALL THOSE HATS ARE WASTED FOR NOTHING. ERIKSSON EK'S HAT TRICK GOAL IS CALLED BACK pic.twitter.com/oNauVGyqsU— Spoked Z (@SpokedZ) May 5, 2022
The Minnesota Wild will go as far in this tournament as Kirill Kaprizov takes them. Hopefully, Kevin Fiala can join the party. But Kaprizov is the superstar that this franchise has lacked since its inception. All of those years that we watched mediocre teams struggle to create high-percentage scoring opportunities, should be over.
Kaprizov is blossoming into a top-5 player in the NHL. “Kirill The Thrill” can create for himself, he can create for others and he can pot any pass from every angle. He is one of the most talented players in the league and he has a great roster surrounding him. If Kaprizov shows up for the rest of this series, like he did on Wednesday, then the Minnesota Wild will beat the St. Louis Blues and move onto the 2nd round.
And if the Wild can get past the Blues, anything is possible the rest of this postseason. But first, we have to go steal one back in St. Louis. First chance will come on Friday at 8:30 PM on TNT and/or BSN.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan