Wild goalie Kaapo Kahkonen shines in NHL debut

Kaapo Kahkonen, Wild goalie (↑ UP)

Kahkonen looked sharp in his NHL debut, making 32 saves to help the Wild to a 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils. The NHL confirmed following the game that one of those goals should have been negated by a high stick, but the 23-year-old didn’t seem particularly bothered by it. Kahkonen is one of just two goaltenders (Matt Hackett, 2011) in Wild history to win his debut with 30-plus saves. A fourth-round pick of the Wild in 2014, Kahkonen posted a .908 SV% and a 2.78 GAA in 39 appearances for the AHL’s Iowa Wild, leading the league with six shutouts as a rookie. He has a .907 SV% and a 2.47 GAA with two shutouts in 10 appearances this year.

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Mikko Koivu, Wild center (↑ UP)

The longtime Wild captain is approaching a pair of major milestones. Koivu is on track to play in his 1,000th career game on Saturday, when the Wild host the Dallas Stars, while his next point will be No. 700. The Wild’s all-time leading scorer, the 36-year-old center remains an intimidating presence in the defensive zone and an effective faceoff man.

These Minnesota Twins uniforms (↑ UP)

The Twins are bringing their baby blue jerseys back. Originally worn as a road uniform from 1973-86, the look is back as an alternate for the 2020 season, available for both home and road games.

Karl-Anthony Towns, Wolves center (↑ UP)

Towns will not tolerate your “KAT has added a 3-point shot” takes. He’s been doing this for a while now. Towns is averaging four made 3s per game and shooting 44.4% from deep after going 3-for-8 against the Hawks on Monday, scoring 28 points with 13 rebounds and eight assists. Apropos of absolutely nothing at all, Joel Embiid was held scoreless on 11 field-goal attempts with four turnovers Monday against Toronto.

Josh Doctson, former Vikings receiver (↓ DOWN)

The Vikings’ interest in Doctson was a curious story, anyway. Minnesota signed the fourth-year receiver a few days after cutting Laquon Treadwell, drafted by the Vikings one pick after the Redskins selected Doctson in 2016. Was general manager Rick Spielman seeking a do-over? Maybe not. The Vikings re-signed Treadwell on Sept. 24 and cut Doctson on Tuesday. His Vikings career ultimately consisted of just seven snaps.

Keita Bates-Diop, Wolves forward (↑ UP)

There was a time, not all that long ago, when Bates-Diop was considered an option for the Wolves in the first round. The Wolves ultimately took Josh Okogie with the 20th pick in 2018, grabbing KBD in the second round. A month into Year 2, both players are looking like smart picks. Bates-Diop scored a career-high 22 points in the Wolves’ loss to the Suns on Saturday, then scored 13 in 23 minutes with five rebounds and no turnovers against Atlanta.