I've spoken before about the importance of Fenwick Close and Corsi Close, as in, how a player performs in terms of possession metrics when the score is within one goal or tied. The Kings normally dominate in these metrics and players like Justin Williams, Anze Kopitar and Alec Martinez tend to rank with the best in the league.
Last night Nino Niederreiter was noticeably one of the Wild's best players on the ice. He played 8 minutes with the score Close at even-strength and posted an on-ice Corsi Close % of 85.7% (Corsi Events For: 12, Corsi Events Against: 2) and an on-ice FenClose % of 81.8% (Fenwick Events For: 9, Fenwick Events Against: 2). The Wild performed better in Fenwick rather than Corsi last night, due to the team blocking a lot of shots (which are factored into Corsi and not Fenwick) but Niederreiter was an exception, being equally dominant in both metrics.
This is only one game and a tiny sample size, but Nino did everything that could be expected of him in his first game, and against an extremely tough possession team to boot. He drove the play and got shots on goal, not to mention assisting on a powerplay goal.
I've written a lot about Niederreiter never getting a fair chance to play in the NHL with quality teammates and about the high hopes I have for him. If he can continue to put-up Corsi and Fenwick numbers of over 50% in Close situations and get shots on goal, then he's gonna have a fantastic season and that trade will look incredibly lopsided.
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