Efficient Galchenyuk emerges as Wild continue to chase playoff spot

Alex Galchenyuk, Wild center (⬆️ UP)

Acquired in the trade with Pittsburgh for Jason Zucker, Galchenyuk had been relatively quiet in his first few weeks with Minnesota. From Feb. 23-March 3, he had only one point – an assist – and in his first 11 games with the Wild had tallied just one goal. The former first-round pick (No. 3 overall) of Montreal in 2012 didn’t shoot the puck much in Minnesota’s three games in the last week but when he did, he made the most of it. Galchenyuk, who had a career-high 30 goals in 2015-16, took two shots – and two goals. He scored in Thursday’s overtime win at San Jose then notched a goal and assist in Sunday’s victory at Anaheim (he also won 60% of his faceoffs in the three games). Both wins were, obviously, big as Minnesota remains in the fight for a wild-card spot.

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Marcus Foligno, Wild left wing (⬆️ UP)

In a 13-game span from Feb. 9-March 5, Foligno had just one point – a goal on Feb. 23. In Minnesota’s last two games, he had a goal and two assists and was a plus-4. The three points gave Foligno 25 on the season, which is a career high, besting the 23 he had twice previously (2016-17 with Buffalo and 2017-18 in his first year with Minnesota). His 11 goals are just two shy of his career best (13 with the Sabres in 2016-17) and his plus-minus of +8 would also be a personal high.

 

Ryan Donato, Wild center (⬇️ DOWN)

Donato played around 22 minutes combined against Los Angeles and Anaheim and managed to be a minus-4. After tallying three goals and two assists in a four-game stretch, Donato is pointless in his last four contests.

 

D’Angelo Russell, Wolves guard (↔️ EVEN)

Russell didn’t exactly have his best week since being traded to Minnesota, shooting 36.1% from the field (27.3% from 3) and averaging “only” 17.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists (and 4.0 turnovers) in four games. Yet, he finished the week with a box score plus-minus of +5.3 The Timberwolves are just better with him on the court.

 

Jarrett Culver, Wolves guard (⬆️ UP)

The rookie has had a good March. In four games this past week he averaged 10.5 points while shooting 51.5% from the field, including making 5 of 12 3-point attempts. He also finished with a box score plus-minus of +2.5 on the week. In six games overall this month, Culver is averaging 10.8 points and shooting 52.9% (42.1% from 3).

 

Kenta Maeda, Twins starting pitcher (⬆️ UP)

Minnesota’s big offseason pitching acquisition tossed four scoreless innings against Boston on Sunday. He had six strikeouts and of his 46 pitches, 36 were strikes. In 8 2/3 spring innings, Maeda has allowed nine baserunners (six hits, three walks) and two earned runs while striking out 10.