Kirill Kaprizov scored his third hat-trick in a month and a half

Kirill Kaprizov scored his third hat-trick in a month and a half

Russian Minnesota Wild forward Kirill Kaprizov remains in great shape, which he gained in the winter. With his third hat trick of the season, Minnesota earned an important 4-3 home win over the San Jose Sharks to stay in playoff contention. And Kaprizov himself in this match reached the milestone of 300 points scored in the NHL regular championships.

The value of this match for Minnesota was enormous. She is still fighting tooth and nail for the right to make the playoffs, which at one time seemed out of reach for her, and then suddenly became much closer. Before this meeting, Minnesota's prospects, however, suddenly became clouded due to three consecutive defeats - from the Carolina Hurricanes, as well as from their Central Division rivals, the Nashville Predators and St. Louis. Blues". It was absolutely impossible to allow another misfire, despite personnel difficulties that did not allow, for example, to declare the full four links of the attack. And Minnesota did not allow it in the match with the league outsider, although the outsider caused a lot of problems, leading with a score of 2:0.

The main lifesaver of the hosts was the hockey player, who becomes it in most games. Kirill Kaprizov scored the first goal in the second period, scoring a clean one-on-one with goalkeeper Kaapo Kähkönen. The other two came in the final period, after the stubborn opponents had taken the lead again. Both are amazingly executed, just for educational purposes, mid-range shots. David Quinn, San Jose coach, summed up the outcome of the match simply and briefly: “They have Kaprizov, we don’t.”

A hat-trick is, in principle, a remarkable achievement. But context is important here. This was Kirill Kaprizov's third in just a month and a half.

At the end of January, he scored three times in a match with Carolina, and two weeks ago - with the Vancouver Canucks. In fact, this fact perfectly speaks about the form that the Russian striker has gained. If in the fall it was quite mediocre by his high personal standards, then in the winter Kaprizov looks like a real monster. The threat from him emanates constantly, and his effectiveness is admirable. He currently has 29 goals and 66 points in 55 regular season games. But if Kaprizov maintains his tone and productivity, then by the end of the day he can at least get close to the beautiful mark of one hundred points.

However, Kirill Kaprizov reached one beautiful mark just in the match with San Jose. After him, the forward has exactly 300 points scored in the NHL regular championships, in which he made his debut in 2021. In this case, you should also be aware of the context.

To reach the 300-point mark, Kaprizov needed to play in 258 matches.

Of the current hockey players, only four conquered it faster, and all are superstars of an exclusive caliber: Sidney Crosby (219 games), Alexander Ovechkin (237), and Connor McDavid with Evgeni Malkin (240 each). Overall, the graph is impressive.

And Minnesota probably dreams of keeping Kirill Kaprizov at least until mid-spring, because the race for a spot in the playoffs is entering a decisive phase. Kaprizov’s team, which has 20 more matches in the regular season calendar, ranks sixth in the Central Division, and is unlikely to reach third position, which guarantees entry into the cup stage. The third club in the division, the Colorado Avalanche, is 15 points ahead of Minnesota. However, there are two more wild cards for those representatives of the Western Conference who failed to get into the top three. And Minnesota is definitely ready to fight for one of them. The distance to those who still conditionally own these wild cards is less than ten points.

Alexey Dospehov

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