When a team is battling hard to climb the standings and still believes they can make the playoffs while almost every number and probability equation says they cannot, they need their stars to perform. For the Minnesota Wild, that came up big on Monday night as Matt Boldy shone above the rest in a 5-3 win over the reigning Stanley Cup champions.
While others certainly performed extremely well -- Joel Eriksson Ek scored two goals, and Ryan Hartman, Brock Faber, and Kirill Kaprizov all earned two assists -- it was Boldy who really put on a dominant performance.
He finished the game with a goal and two assists and his lone goal was certainly pretty.
That innate reaction speed to pluck the loose puck from the chaos of moving limbs in front of the goal, and then just bank it for the goal, just looks so damn cool.
Not only did Boldy produce, but he was simply better than any defense the Golden Knights could put in front of him. He finished the game with seven shots on goal and 16(!) total shot attempts, six of which were in the high-danger area on the ice. He was the best player on the ice, no doubt.
The Wild continue their playoff pursuit on Wednesday night in Arizona. With the two points over Vegas, they are just five points back of the Wild Card while teams like the Coyotes and the Seattle Kraken are starting to fall behind them.
- This is the big question in Minnesota right now: Are the members of the Wild team, like general manager Bill Guerin, just simply holding onto false hope of a playoff run? [Hockey Wilderness]
- A recap of Monday night's 5-3 win over the reigning champs. [The Hockey News]
- Marcus Foligno was placed on the Injured Reserve list before Monday's game, and Connor Dewar was activated off of it. Just a rotating carousel of hurt guys.
Off the trail...
- The IIHF came together last week to make a decision on the ban of Russia and Belarus on their international championship events. Well, they decided to continue the ban through the 2024-25 season. So we aren't getting to see Danila Yurov, Marat Khusnutdinov, or Kirill Kaprizov play at any cool international tournaments. [CBC]
- There might be nothing more annoying than discourse about a player's potential suspension and how long he should get kicked out of the game by the NHL's Department of Player Safety. Well, now it's with Toronto's Morgan Rielly as he made a bone-headed decision to go after a player for hitting a slapshot into an empty net. He might get the book thrown at him. [Sportsnet]
- Who are the NHL's top 10 defensemen? Players and executives from around the league ranked them. [ESPN]
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