Cam Talbot is active on social media, so even though he might not admit it, he has to be privy to the fact that some fans are clamoring for rookie Kaapo Kahkonen to be the No. 1 goaltender.
That’s what happens when a guy wins eight straight games like Kahkonen has done over the past few weeks.
Meanwhile, the Wild have preached how it’s going take both goaltenders down the stretch down the stretch. Which might explain why coach Dean Evason turned to Talbot for Friday’s game against the Arizona Coyotes.
How did Talbot respond? Tremendously. He posted a 25-save shutout to lead the Wild to a 4-0 win and got completely over shadowed by superstar rookie Kirill Kaprizov in the process.
That’s because Dolla Bill Kirill recorded the first hat trick of his career.
It was a solid first period for Talbot despite the fact his teammates were a little shaky in front of him. He looked poised in the crease from the onset and notably stopped Phil Kessel on the breakaway twice a span of 30 seconds.
It wasn’t all good for the Wild, though, as Marcus Foligno went down with an obvious lower-body injury late in the first period after taking a shot from Jonas Brodin off his right leg. He collapsed to the ice, struggled to the bench in a ton of pain, and left the game for good.
That put the Wild down a man heading into the second period where Talbot continued to shine between the pipes. Unfortunately for him, the Wild couldn’t solve goaltender Adin Hill on the other end.
Until the third period. That’s when Kaprizov decided enough was enough. He broke the scoreless tie with a goal at the end of a dominant shift to make it 1-0 and he was only getting started.
A few minutes later, Kaprizov increased the lead to 2-0 with an incredible individual effort. He hop over the boards for a line change, collected the puck in the offensive zone, circled the net with speed, and sniped a shot into the back of the net.
— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) March 13, 2021
While the Wild have come to expect those type of plays out of Kaprizov, it’s still jaw dropping to see it play out real time. Especially considering the Wild haven’t had a player that can absolutely take over a game since the days of Marian Gaborik.
With the game already well in hand, Jonas Brodin netted an empty-net goal to make it 3-0 in the waning seconds, and Kaprizov fittingly completed his hat trick to finalize the score at 4-0.