It was a short break, one that saw a budding superstar from Russia emulate his idol, while his teammate proved why he was there with a stellar performance in net.
With the short celebration behind us, we can get back to the pressing matter of resuming the Minnesota Wild's rampage through the NHL. 9-0-1 in their last games and on a six-game winning streak, the Wild will take on a flailing Winnipeg Jets squad that has been 2-6-2 in their previous ten games. Primarily because of their lacklustre offense.
Ranked 20th overall in the league, with a 2.83 GF/GP, the Jets have seen their ordinarily reliable cornerstones fail in that regard. Mark Scheifele is on pace for his lowest point total since his sophomore season. Most teams would be alright with a two-way center that can produce at a 66-point output. But when that's the cornerstone of your offence, along with an aging Blake Wheeler who has an abysmal two goals in 28 games, it's going to have a tough go of it. Maybe they could use a Finnish sniper?
It's not all doom and gloom, as the key return in the Patrik Laine trade, Pierre-Luc Dubois, has been performing well with 18 goals and 15 assists in 42 games. Between him, underrated winger Kyle Connor and Connor Hellebuyck, they have all the makings of a bubble playoff team. If Connor Hellebuyck was performing up to his usual standard, which at a .910/2.90 split, he isn't.
The Wild have themselves healthy and are rolling. Mats Zuccarello’s point streak ended, but Kevin Fiala is still on his 12 game point streaks, Kirill Kaprizov is scoring like a madman and Matt Boldy — with ten points in ten games — is starting to look like he could become a Calder candidate. If there is one question, Cam Talbot can build on his strong performance at the All-Star game and bring that play into the regular season.
Puck drops at 7. LET'S GO.
It's been a so-so season for Cam Talbot so far. Can he build on his showing at the ASG?
It may sound stupid to say that All-Star goaltender, Cam Talbot, hasn't been that good this season. But it's the truth. With a .913 Sv% and a 2.81 GAA, Talbot has been good enough to get the win on most nights and has been out-performed by Kaapo Kähkönen at times. Having two starting calibre goalies isn't the worst thing, but we'd like to avoid a controversy heading towards the postseason.
Can the streaks keep going?
Kevin Fiala has a chance to set the franchise record with a 13-game scoring streak. We could also see a seventh-straight win. Let’s see both (please and thank you).
Will Matt Boldy keep improving?
He's starting to get Calder attention, and it's well deserved. Since his arrival, his line-mate, Kevin Fiala, has entered the stratosphere and is scoring at will. Boldy is too. Will tonight be the "Matt Boldy Game"?