Welcome to the 2022-23 edition of the Wild Weekly Spotlight. Each Friday, we’ll track the progress of the players who are trying to help Minnesota make a playoff run down the stretch of the NHL regular season and give updates on other players from the previous week.
This is the 4th edition of the 2023-23 Wild Weekly Spotlight.
SPOTLIGHT ON ...
Right wing Ryan Hartman
The Minnesota Wild will carry a point streak of 14 consecutive games into Saturday's contest against Boston.
When superstar Kirill Kaprizov went down March 9 with a leg injury, that streak, which at the time was at 10 games, seemed to be in jeopardy.
Someone needed to step up in the absence of Kaprizov and in the last week, it's been Hartman.
In the month of January, Hartman scored one goal in 11 games while averaging 14 minutes on the ice a night. That month was one filled with frustrating penalties and even a couple of healthy scratches from the lineup.
February was a tad better with Hartman scoring four goals in the month along with four assists while seeing his average minutes per game increase to 17 minutes.
In the last week, the beast has awoken from inside.
Hartman scored twice on Wednesday in an 8-5 win over St. Louis and after his first goal, fireworks ensued.
Blues goalie Jordan Binnington took exception to Hartman incidentally clipping him following the goal and went at Hartman. It has since led to a two-game suspension for the St. Louis netminder.
Hartman also scooped up an assist in the goal-scoring frenzy in St. Louis and on March 11, Minnesota's right winger had two assists in a 5-2 win in San Jose.
It's been a roller coaster ride of a season so far for Hartman but in the last week, he's stepped up and delivered during the playoff push.
Minnesota will hope there is much more of this to come.
-- Ryan Reaves is in the midst of a rare goal-scoring explosion. Reaves had one goal on the season entering this week and now has goals in back-to-back games. The Wild's right wing also tallied an assist in both those games against St. Louis and Arizona. When asked about the goals, Reaves told TNT, "You lose Kirill and that's our top scorer and naturally it's gotta fall on me to pick up the slack." Well played, Reaves.
-- Goals had been at a premium for weeks for Minnesota yet in its last four, the Wild have scored at least four goals in each. Add Matt Boldy to the list of names that has stepped up. Boldy has two goals and three assists in the last week. To put that in perspective, Boldy didn't score a single goal in February and already has three in March.
-- Jared Spurgeon continues to be the rock for Minnesota. Spurgeon averaged a team-high 22 minutes on the ice in the past week and chipped in a goal with two assists. He doesn't always get the spotlight but this team knows how critical to the operation Spurgeon is.
-- The goals have come in pairs or even bunches for numerous Wild players and that includes Mats Zuccarello. After scoring one goal in 13 games played in February, Zuccarello scored twice last week against Arizona and San Jose. Let's not forget the three assists Zuccarello racked up during that time as well.
-- While it wasn't the best performance for goalie Marc-Andre Fleury against the Blues, we have to mention the veteran. After the scrum broke out against the Blues with Binnington, Fleury raced to the other end of the ice and was ready to drop gloves. Unfortunately, the officials interceded and didn't allow the goalie fight to take place. Thankfully, microphones picked up just how ready Fleury was to go in a battle against Binnington.