Wild rookie Kirill Kaprizov almost broke the Internet on Friday night during a game against the San Jose Sharks.
After a rather boring game by his already high standards, Kaprizov nearly pulled off the best goal the franchise has ever seen. No hyperbole.
He corralled a puck in the neutral zone with a little less than 10 minutes and raced the other way with Sharks winger Marcus Sorensen trying to chase him down.
In the blink of an eye, Kaprizov put his stick in his right hand, and without breaking stride, used his left arm to fend off Sorensen. He then dragged the puck between his legs and fired a shot on goaltender Devan Dubnyk.
It narrowly missed finding the back of the net, and Dubnyk was thanking his lucky stars postgame.
“I can’t believe he made that move,” Dubnyk said. “It’s a nightmare when somebody makes a move that’s that slick and puts it in the back of the net and then I’ve got 365 days to watch it over and over again on the highlights. Just an impressive move, and I really fortunate I was able to stop that. You just don’t want to be on the receiving end of those.”
Asked about the move on Friday night, winger Zach Parise lamented the fact that he couldn’t put in the rebound. He was right on the doorstep as the puck sailed wide of the crease.
“That was a nice play by him,” Parise said in what might be the understatement of the century. “I felt like I should’ve had the rebound out of the air. That should’ve been easy for me.”
If Kirill Kaprizov pulled this off.. pic.twitter.com/IN4dUKbcVr— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) January 23, 2021
In the end, Kaprizov’s miraculous move resulted in nothing more than a few GIFs on social media.
Asked about the move after practice on Saturday afternoon, winger Marcus Foligno joked that it wasn’t anything special because it didn’t go in. He immediately cracked a smile and admitted the truth.
“Nah it was good,” Foligno said. “That’s Kirill. He’s going to do some flashy stuff. It’s impressive. He’s fending a guy off his back, which sometimes guys get slowed down and tangled up, and he’s got the idea and the creativity to go between his legs and try a different angle on their goal. If that would’ve went in it would’ve been a highlight-reel goal for sure.”
Maybe the fact it didn’t find the back of the net explains why Kaprizov was on the ice more than 20 minutes after practice wrapped up on Saturday afternoon.
“Either that or he has nothing to do for the rest of the day,” Foligno said. “He loves the game. You can just tell. He’s always trying to work on things. He loves shooting pucks. He’s addicted to the game, and it’s great to see. He loves being out there.”
After suffering an apparent lower-body injury on Friday night, goaltender Cam Talbot missed practice on Saturday afternoon. There was no immediate update on his status moving forward. In addition, winger Nico Sturm and defenseman Jonas Brodin were absent from practice. According to coach Dean Evason, it was simply a maintenance day for Brodin, and he won’t miss any time.