When: 8:00 Eastern
Where: Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, MN
TV: BSD, BSN
Radio: 97.1 FM The Ticket // 1270 AM
Wild Blog: Hockey Wilderness
Last night, former Detroit Lion Matthew Stafford won the Super Bowl with the LA Rams. For quite a few years he had a strong claim to being the best pro athlete in Detroit. Even if he was still here in Michigan, I don’t think he’d quite own that moniker anymore. Dylan Larkin has been absolutely tearing things up lately. He’s ahead of point-per-game pace and is leading Detroit in nearly every way on and off the ice and was a big part of last weeks pair of victories over the Philadelphia Flyers. He’s got 11 points in his last five games! It’s been sort of vindicating and uplifting to see it start really coming together for him this season. There are guys who put up more points than him, but he really is one of the best fifteen or so players in the league once you factor in his two-way play and his intangibles (can we use that term with any sincerity in 2022? I’m not sure, but here I am trying it anyway.)
On the other side of the ice, the Minnesota Wild are led by Russian superstar Kirill Kaprizov. He’s so good he’s stolen the “___________ the Thrill” nickname from Phil Kessel. This kid is an electrifying player who makes things happen for his line mates. He’s the type of guy who demands attention, which makes space for other members of the Wild. He’s got 54 points in 42 games and is a big reason why Minnesota is in the thick of the playoff hunt; they’ve got the second best point percentage in the West behind Colorado. It will be really interesting to see how Blashill plays covering Kaprizov’s line. Blash won’t get last change on account of being the away team, but if the game gets into a free flow, will he send Larkin’s unit over the boards in the matchup, or will he rely on Suter or Rasmussen and friends to get it done? Either way, Kirill the Thrill is going to meet Mo Seider on the NHL for the first time; I’m guessing they’ll know each other’s life story by the end of game with how much they’ll be seeing each other.