MN Wild Update: Star of the Week and Injuries

Marc-Andre Fleury in 78s uniform
AP Photo/Bailey Hillesheim

The Minnesota Wild are currently on a road trip with two games back-to-back on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday, the Wild will play the Anaheim Ducks, and the next day, they will face the Los Angeles Kings. Five points out of a wild card spot, every point matters for the Wild. Two points of interest could affect them as they battle their way through the rest of the season.

Good News: Fleury is Third Star of the Week

The NHL announced this morning that Marc-Andre Fleury was named the third star of the week. Last week, he went 2-0-1 in the three games the Wild played. One of those wins was a shutout, which was Fleury’s 75th career shutout. He had a 0.97 goals-against average and a .961 save percentage. Fleury’s amazing play in the net helped the Wild draw closer to a very close Western Conference playoff spot.

Bad News: Ek Still Out With Injury

While there had previously been some hope for Joel Eriksson Ek to join the Wild on the California leg of their road trip, he will be staying in Minnesota. Out with a lower-body injury, Head Coach John Hynes has assured the media that it is not a major injury.

Ek was injured during the home game against the Arizona Coyotes. An odd check by Minnesota native Nick Bjugstad sent him limping down the tunnel. The memory of the giant hole that Ek’s injury last season caused in the lineup is enough to make any Wild fan panic, but the Wild have managed three points in the standings without Ek.

Bright Spot: Khusnutdinov Fitting in Nicely

While he hasn’t contributed a point yet, Marat Khusnutdinov seems to be fitting in nicely with the Wild. While it can be hard to add a player mid-year, it’s especially hard when he had to fly halfway around the world and is still working on English.

With all of the excitement surrounding his arrival, Khusnutdinov has made a good impression. He’s averaged 10:36 time on ice and so far, his faceoff percentage is 53.3%. Khusnutdinov has only taken a limited number of faceoffs, but seeing him with a percentage above 50% is exciting for a club that’s been severely lacking in depth at center.

His proficiency on the faceoff dot could earn him a spot on the penalty kill soon. After practicing with the Wild PK today, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Khusnutdinov killing penalties later this week. Having both Khusnutdinov and Ek (once he’s back) as the centers on the penalty kill units could help the Wild’s penalty kill, which is currently 74.3% (28th in the league).

Potential Line Change?

During practice today (their off day), the Wild skated in mostly the same lines. It seems that the only change was in the fourth line. While Mason Shaw and Jake Lucchini were still on the fourth, Adam Beckman was swapping in and out with Vinni Lettieri. Could this signal a possible change in the lineup tomorrow night? We’ll have to wait and see.

For more Minnesota Wild news and vibe checks, check out Her Wild Side Hockey Podcast.

Bold Statement: I Would NOT Trade Brock Faber for Connor Bedard Her Wild Side Hockey Podcast

In this episode, Mikki explains why she would NOT trade Brock Faber for Connor Bedard, which made people big mad on social media. She also touches on a few fun things to keep it light at the end. Links:Her Wild Side Merch Shop!Ticketmaster Affiliate LinkSocial Media:TwitterInstagramFacebookFor more from us, visit Inside The RinkHow to support us and our sponsors:Columbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR 
  1. Bold Statement: I Would NOT Trade Brock Faber for Connor Bedard
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  3. The Wild Can Still Make the Playoffs if We Send Good Vibes!
  4. If Matt Boldy Was an Article of Clothing, He'd Be a Polo Shirt
  5. Faber Vs. Bedard and Marat's First Game

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