Fiala’s recent emergence fueling Wild’s power play
So, this is what Kevin Fiala can do.
Over his last five games, the Minnesota Wild’s young forward is the hottest player in the NHL. Fiala has posted five goals and five assists since Feb. 4, adding up to 10 points to lead the league in that span.
Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov is second with nine.
This is the type of production the Wild had in mind when they traded Mikael Granlund to Nashville for Fiala at last year’s trade deadline.
Side note: Granlund has just 13 goals and nine assists (22 points) in 49 games for the Predators this season. He’s on pace for 36 points in 2019-20, which would be his lowest total over a full NHL season.
Anyway, six of those 10 goals that Fiala has either scored or assisted on since Feb. 4 have been cashed in on the power play. That includes two of the Wild’s season-best three power-play goals Tuesday night in their 4-0 shutout of Vegas.
Fiala has emerged as a big contributor to the Wild’s much-improved power play.
In its last four home games, Minnesota is 8 for 15 (53.5%) on the man advantage. And on the season, the Wild have lit the lamp in 29% of their power-play opportunities at home, which ranks third in the NHL.
— FOX Sports North (@fsnorth) February 7, 2020
Zach Parise leads the Wild with 11 power-play goals while Fiala, Eric Staal and Jason Zucker (who is now with Pittsburgh, of course) rank second with five.
Fiala’s 38 points through 51 games, which has him 11 points away from setting a new career best and the NHL’s second-leading Swiss-born scorer this season, have contributed to the Wild posting one of the highest-scoring seasons in franchise history.
The 2019-20 campaign has featured the most combined goals (351) through 56 games in Wild franchise history. The Wild are averaging 3.07 goals per game, which is second only to their 3.29 mark in 2016-17. Unfortunately, Minnesota is yielding a franchise-worst 3.20 goals per game through 56 contests, which also is dead last in the NHL this year.
Just four points out of a playoff spot, the Wild will drop the puck against the New York Rangers on Thursday night. Tune in for Wild Live at 6:30 p.m. on FOX Sports North.
Statistics courtesy Sportradar, hockey-reference.com