It was all about Kevin Fiala against the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday. Highlighted by an insane goal where he was able to show off his hand-eye coordination, the Minnesota Wild winger was able to really make his mark in what is hopefully a start of a little hot streak.
Not to get ahead of ourselves or anything, but Fiala was just seemingly able to easily get his chances against the Coyotes (maybe it’s the fact that they’re playing a very, very bad team) but it was obvious that he wasn’t trying too hard, as we were all painfully aware of earlier. His coach certainly noticed it.
“He can score in a lot of different ways,” Evason told the media after the 5-2 win over the Coyotes, “if he brings that energy level, if he’s engaged as he was tonight, if he’s moving his feet and he’s not trying to go through people. You score a pretty goal like that, you don’t have to be that creative, you just have to be a little more simple and let that come to you. I think that’s what he did tonight, not just on that goal but for the entire evening.”
Of course Fiala can shine with his skill protruding off his stick almost every night, but like Evason said, he was able to keep it really simple and was rewarded with three points. There was no attempts at cutting in against a tough defender, or trying to lead the offense with the puck solely on his stick, but it was a thorough and thoughtful offense instead.
That can certainly be the result of trusting in his linemates more. Fiala has always been the victim of having to play with guys that you would first think of as depth players, but now with Joel Eriksson Ek and Marcus Foligno on his line, there is so much more space out there for him. And even if Fiala doesn’t have the puck, it’s two of the best possession players in the entire damn league with him on the ice. He doesn’t need to do absolutely everything in the offensive zone, and that clears him up to rack up those points.
With that space and mentality, he can do some good.
“His energy level is really good. When he’s moving his feet, he’s separating,” Evason said. “He was separating from people constantly here tonight, and obviously he’s got great hands, but when his legs are doing what they’re doing tonight, it’s pretty tough to defend him.”
Yeah, it is pretty damn tough.