Your daily dose of Wild news, along with other interesting stories from around the NHL.
Our nightmare might be over as soon as Saturday.
Kirill Kaprizov was able to participate in Minnesota Wild practice on Wednesday morning for the first time since suffering an injury in a game on March 8. Almost a month later, he was back doing drills while wearing a yellow non-contact jersey. It is so good to see his face again.
In addition to Kaprizov's return, winger Gustav Nyquist (remember him?) has been participating in team practice since March 24 and has steadily returned to full health.
And it is not just them returning to practice for the time being, but they might be returning to action in the coming days, according to head coach Dean Evason. After practice, Evason indicated that one of Nyquist or Kaprizov could play as soon as Saturday at home against the St. Louis Blues.
Even if they did return at that time, Evason made it also clear that neither of them will play in both games of next week's back-to-back on Monday and Tuesday.
With just five remaining games of the regular season, the runway for both players to get back up to speed before the playoffs is getting shorter and shorter. We are ultimately more concerned about Nyquist making an impact, since he hasn't even played in a Wild sweater yet and if he returns on Saturday, that's only four games before the postseason begins. Kaprizov is a machine that might not even need to warm-up, so the one or two games he will get to close out the season could be all he needs.
We do at least know that neither player is being rushed back and the Wild are being cautious.
It hasn't been exactly a hardship without Kaprizov. The Wild have gone 7-2-3 since his injury and that is largely thanks to Matt Boldy going absolutely wild. Still, it will be nice to have the best player on the ice back.
- The Wild should learn from their past handling of top prospects to maximize how effective this next crop of young talent could be. [10K Rinks]
- In Minnesota in general, the Wild's playoff failures have been largely overlooked because of how brutal the Minnesota Timberwolves have been at staying consistent. [StarTribune]
- How an injury turned Brandon Duhaime into a Lego master. [Pioneer Press]
Off the trail...
- The Arizona Coyotes filed the weirdest-looking $2.3-billion claim against the city of Phoenix. [NBC Sports]
- The race to get the final Wild Card spot in the West has gotten a little bit spicier. Last night, the Calgary Flames earned the win over the Winnipeg Jets and now both teams are tied in points, with the Jets having played just one less game. [NHL dot com]
- The New York Rangers and the Tampa Bay Lightning combined for 70 penalty minutes in chaotic, fight-filled game. [Yahoo Sports]