Wild superstar Kirill Kaprizov still hasn’t started skating
The hope from the Wild remains that he will be ready for the start of the playoffs
ST. PAUL — Kirill Kaprizov still has a few weeks to get healthy before the playoffs begin. As of Friday afternoon, though, he still hasn’t started skating.
Asked if he has anything new to report regarding Kaprizov’s recovery process, coach Dean Evason responded, “Nope.”
It’s been a couple of weeks since Kaprizov suffered the lower-body injury in a March 8 win over the rival Winnipeg Jets. It occurred when Jets defenseman Logan Stanley, and his 6-foot-7, 240-pound frame, landed directly on top of Kaprizov, turning his legs into a pretzel on the ice in the process.
The following day the Minnesota Wild announced that Kaprizov would miss three to four weeks, which, likely by design, coincided with the end of the regular season.
As much as the Wild have managed to get by without Kaprizov as of late — largely because Matt Boldy is blossoming into a star — they certainly could have used him in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night at Wells Fargo Center.
There was a noticeable presence on the ice Friday afternoon at TRIA Rink in downtown St. Paul as Gustav Nyquist practiced with the team for the first time since the Wild acquired him from the Columbus Blue Jackets at the trade deadline.
Nyquist has been slowly working his way back from a shoulder injury and appears to be trending in the right direction. Still, it doesn’t necessarily mean Nyquist is going to be playing in the immediate future.
Usually, the Wild treat every recovery process the same, regardless of who is going through it. It starts with getting cleared to touch ice with skating coach Andy Ness, followed by getting cleared to practice with the team. The next step is getting cleared for contact, and finally, getting cleared to play in an actual game.
“There’s still no contact for him or battle drills or anything like that,” Evason said. “We’re getting him involved in practice, and that’s a good sign.”
After missing the game against the Flyers on Thursday night, John Klingberg won’t play against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday afternoon at Xcel Energy Center. He is dealing with an upper-body injury that doesn’t seem to be too significant.
In the absence of Klingberg, the Wild will turn back to Calen Addison on the blue line, hoping his skill set can help get the power play going.
“Our special teams in general as of late haven’t been good,” Evason said. “You think back a couple of weeks ago they were great, and now they aren’t good. We’ve changed the groupings a little bit. We know Addy has been a big part of the power play all year, so hopefully he will step right in and give us a boost.”
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