Jan 4, 2018; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild forward Nino Niederreiter (22) celebrates his goal with forward Mikko Koivu (9)during the second period against the Buffalo Sabres at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

In his first NHL action since December 22nd, Nino Niederreiter made his presence known in a big way. During Minnesota’s 6-2 victory over Buffalo, the 25-year-old recorded the second hat trick of his young career.

And people say former Chicago Bear, Devin Hester, is the greatest returner of all time. After Niederreiter’s performance on Thursday night, I beg to differ.

Somewhat of a selfish move by him, to dwarf Zach Parise’s welcome back performance. Number 11 played well in his first game of the year on Tuesday. However, it was nothing compared to what Nino accomplished in his first contest in almost two weeks. He was out due to a lower-body injury.

Speaking of Parise, how’d game 2 go?

  • 19 shifts over 17:30 of ice time.
  • 1 assist for his first point of the season.
  • Most importantly, the 33 year-old looked healthy as a horse.

Now that we’re up to speed on the local boy, back to Nino.

With his parents in town from Switzerland, they were fortunate enough to see their son score three goals in the game’s first 24:02. The final one must have just been for good measure. He only needed two to get into the record books:

Take a backseat, Mark.

Baseball managers going full psycho on home-plate umpires is one of the greatest traditions in sports. However, it may be topped by fans throwing hats on the ice after a hockey player secures a hatty. The manager meltdowns don’t really go towards any sort of cause. And in Minnesota, most hats during the winter are STOCKING hats so Nino is keeping people warm during this long cold spell. What a guy.

The Minnesota wild are now 11-1-1 over their last 13 home games. They will travel to Colorado next for a Saturday night contest vs. the Avalanche, before returning home to face the Flames on January 9th.

P.S. Nino’s mom and dad handed out chocolate during the game! Between the hat-trick and chocolate, the Wild management needs to figure out how to get them to relocate to MN.

Johnny Minnesota @TheJohnnyMN
Minnesota Sports Fan MinnesotaSportsFan.com

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