The Minnesota Wild won last night, with the winner going to Matt Boldy on his first career goal and Kaapo Kahkonen stopping 36 of 38 shots. The future looks bright in Minnesota, but the present, not so much.
Kirill Kaprizov was helped to the locker room after being hit by Boston Bruins forward Trent Frederic, a play which head coach Dean Evason called “predatory.” Michael Russo of The Athletic reports that Kaprizov is still being evaluated but the reporter has been told it is “not good.”
But the injury concerns from last night don’t end there. Marcus Foligno was given a maintenance day after blocking a shot at the end of the game, but Jonas Brodin was also missing from practice as he is evaluated for a similar block. Once again, Russo tweets that it “doesn’t sound good” for Brodin, who only just returned from a stint on the COVID-19 protocol.
The Wild are already missing Joel Eriksson Ek, Jared Spurgeon, Cam Talbot, Jordan Greenway, Nick Bjugstad, and Brandon Duhaime, meaning any new injuries would take their toll. But Kaprizov and Brodin are arguably the two most important players on the roster even when it’s at full strength, and would be a devastating loss for the Wild if they are out for any significant amount of time.
With the win last night, the Wild are currently tied with the Colorado Avalanche for third place in the Central Division by standings points. They would actually be ahead of the St. Louis Blues and almost even with the Nashville Predators (but behind Colorado) if sorted by points percentage, given their 20-10-2 record.
Luckily, if this situation can be called that at all, the Wild have only one game (tomorrow) between now and January 14. Only three between now and January 21. That would, in theory, give them an opportunity to heal some wounds, though it isn’t clear how long Kaprizov and Brodin will be out at this point. Every team goes through injuries, but this is certainly going to be a difficult stretch for the Wild.