Kirill Kaprizov was everything we could have hoped for and more. The Minnesota Wild star, in just two short seasons, has worked his way up to becoming one of the best players on the planet and among the elite in the NHL.
Almost every minute he spends on the ice presents a stark contrast to the team’s crushing gameplay. His style of skateboarding and his unique way of hacking through defenses may be through massive control of his acceleration, but it’s becoming abundantly clear how these moves can lead to goals for his team. He showed exactly that in Game Five against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night.
It all started with Kaprizov stripping the puck from Parayko to maintain possession on the powerplay. Then record. pic.twitter.com/EFMLdiXkJk
– hockeywildernes May 11, 2022
We can go on and on about how dominant he is before our very eyes. Even in this first-round streak only, he’s managed to break franchise records, scoring seven goals so far, the most a Wild player has achieved in every single round. These seven goals represent more 40 percent Of Minnesota’s total production of 17 goals in the six games played against St. Louis. Kaprizov is the ninth player since 2005 to score so many goals in one playoff series. It’s great that he was able to do and how little the strikers contribute.
When one player does a lot and seems to be one of the only players who can actually put the disc over the opposing goal line, you have to ask a lot of questions.
Apparently, Kaprizov himself put the responsibility on the team only to win matches, not to make it all about the individual.
“The goal is not for the player to play well. The goal is for the team to play well, and we didn’t win,” Kaprizov said through an interpreter after the sixth match.
In a selfless manner, Kirill simply managed to pick up the slack from the rest of the team for the entire series. Of course, the crime goes through the Russian, but when no one really seems to be able to do it Any thing In the attacking zone, then it is placed on the shoulders of Kaprizov and any playoff team should not rely too heavily on one player. Even Conor MacDavid has a boyfriend and they are barely able to stay afloat.
Now, of course, Wild already has Mats Zuccarello, Kevin Fiala (for now), Matt Poldy, and another pile of two-way attackers trying to deliver an offense in defense first form. It was enough during the regular season that we set historical records and score literally the fifth most goals out of all 32 teams in those 82 games, but the attack stopped against an opponent stronger than the average of what they had to play against. . It’s the next step for being able to create an offense against any defense that Wild is missing out on, and it’s become increasingly clear over the last six games that this team is still in its transitional phase.
The next step is tricky. It’s a balance between understanding that this team will be in Cap Hell for the next four years due to the necessary acquisitions of Ryan Sutter and Zach Barris, but also being excited that they currently have one of the best prospects groups in the NHL. This is some cheap talent they can pull off and that could still mean an upward path. Yes, Wild is likely to trade Kevin Fiala this summer – but it could be a cheaper alternative that could flourish somewhat under Dean Evason and give them a new look for longer than Fiala would have been here. The options are endless and there will be a lot of conversation to have, so that’s a different topic to focus on when we’re actually off season.
Simply put, Wild was able to find diamonds under free agency with Ryan Hartman and Frederick Gaudreau, to play in a perfect setting with the perfect players to spend their career years. But, in the end, you can only go away when you play with underdogs and outcasts. The next step is to become truly good players Not only does he have one season of greatness, but he has proven himself to be among the best. They have one of those, at least.
There are so many possibilities this summer and GM Bill Guerin has another set of months to answer a lot of questions and learn more about this list. Obviously, unless another dynamic player is added to the squad, or more emphasis is placed on getting to know players rather than selecting cheap and annoying strikers who could outperform the Evason system.
It will be a difficult few months, but the wilderness cannot look at Kaprizov and hope that he will do everything.
Perhaps this will be expanded further this summer, but at the moment there is only one game away from excluding the addon, there is little hope of getting it, unless other players can boost Kaprezov’s existing production.