Jared Spurgeon


Wild lose key defenseman Spurgeon for playoff push


If defenseman Jared Spurgeon plays for the Minnesota Wild again before next season, it probably won’t happen until the playoffs.

The team announced that the important player is expected to miss “a minimum” of four weeks after suffering a partial tear to his right hamstring. The Wild close out their regular season schedule at San Jose on April 7, so if he returns, it would be thanks to an accelerated recovery.

(Pauses for everyone to remember that hockey players beat their recovery windows with regularity.)

Spurgeon, 28, has quickly become one of the team’s most important defensemen. He saw a significant boost in ice time since Bruce Boudreau took over as head coach, as he went from averaging about 22-and-a-half minutes per night to more than 24 minutes per game under Boudreau. This season saw a slight boost to 24:33 per contest, in fact.

(Ryan Suter is the only Wild skater averaging more ice time per game at 26:46.)

Spurgeon looked like he was primed to smash career-bests of 11 goals in 2015-16 and 38 points from 2016-17, as he had nine goals and 37 points in 61 games. Sadly, it’s difficult to imagine him getting a shot at upping those totals now.

Less than a week ago, Boudreau glowed about Spurgeon, stating that he’s liked “absolutely everything” he’s seen from him in 2017-18, as Kayleigh Jackson of the Wild website reported.

“He’s another one of those national treasures that nobody hears about, but you wonder why your team does good and he’s one of the big reasons why,” Boudreau said.

Unfortunately, the team’s already experienced a stretch without Spurgeon:

Luckily, the Wild have a buffer as far as protecting a playoff spot goes, as they’re currently ranked third in the Central Division with 85 points in 70 games. It’s not an enormous margin of error – the Stars and Avalanche are both at 82 points in the Central alone, and Colorado holds a game in hand – so Spurgeon’s injury ups the degree of difficulty considerably.

If Spurgeon heals up by playoff time and the Wild maintain their hold on a West spot, one must also wonder how close he’ll be at full-strength, as hamstring issues can serve as nagging injuries. Even a hampered Spurgeon would probably be worth suiting up, though.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

WATCH LIVE: Colorado Avalanche vs. Minnesota Wild

Associated Press

[WATCH LIVE – 8:30 p.m. ET]



Jason ZuckerEric StaalMikael Granlund

Zach PariseMikko KoivuCharlie Coyle

Nino NiederreiterJoel Eriksson EkTyler Ennis

Daniel WinnikMatt CullenMarcus Foligno

Ryan SuterJared Spurgeon

Jonas BrodinMatt Dumba

Nick SeelerNate Prosser

Starting goalie: Devan Dubnyk

[NHL on NBCSN: Avalanche, Wild meet with important points on the line]


Gabriel LandeskogNathan MacKinnonMikko Rantanen

Sven AndrighettoTyson JostJ.T. Compher

Matt NietoCarl SoderbergBlake Comeau

Alexander KerfootDominic ToninatoGabriel Bourque

Nikita ZadorovTyson Barrie

Patrik NemethSamuel Girard

Duncan SiemensDavid Warsofsky

Starting goalie: Semyon Varlamov

WATCH LIVE: St. Louis Blues at Minnesota Wild




St. Louis Blues

Alexander SteenIvan BarbashevVladimir Tarasenko

Jaden SchwartzBrayden SchennNikita Soshnikov

Patrik BerglundVladimir SobotkaTage Thompson

Scottie UpshallKyle BrodziakDmitrij Jaskin

Jay BouwmeesterAlex Pietrangelo

Vince DunnColton Parayko

Carl GunnarssonJordan Schmaltz

Starting goalie: Jake Allen

[Preview for Blues – Wild]

Minnesota Wild

Jason ZuckerEric StaalMikael Granlund

Zach PariseMikko KoivuNino Niederreiter

Charlie CoyleJoel Eriksson EkTyler Ennis

Daniel WinnikMatt CullenMarcus Foligno

Ryan SuterJared Spurgeon

Jonas BrodinMatt Dumba

Nick SeelerNate Prosser

Starting goalie: Devan Dubnyk

The Buzzer: Edmonton’s epic collapse; Nash’s Bruins debut


Players of the Night:

Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators: Rinne turned aside all 27 shots he faced in Nashville’s shutout win over the St. Louis Blues (check out the highlights by clicking the video at the top of the page). The Preds goalie has just one regulation loss in his last 15 decisions (13-1-1).

Ryan Strome, Edmonton Oilers: Strome hasn’t had the best season, but he’s really upped his production of late. After scoring two goals in Sunday’s game against Anaheim, he’s now accumulated five goals in his last five games. Maybe the former fifth overall pick has finally figured it out.

Rickard Rakell, Anaheim Ducks: Rakell found the back of the net three times in Sunday’s shootout loss to Edmonton, including two in the final 21 seconds to force overtime. Anaheim ended up losing the game in a shootout. Rakell has 25 goals and 51 points in 59 games this season.

Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers: As you can imagine, the Oilers-Ducks game was pretty wild. Not only did McDavid register three assists, he also netted the shootout winner for the Oilers on Sunday night. The 21-year-old is up 74 points in 62 games, which puts him on pace to score 98 points in 2017-18.

Jared Spurgeon, Minnesota Wild: Spurgeon picked up two points in Sunday’s win over the Sharks, including the game-winning goal in the overtime period. The overtime tally proved to be the 200th point of his NHL career.

Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks: Sedin scored Vancouver’s first two goals. The veteran has been hot of late, as he has nine points in his last seven games. He’s also put together three multi-point efforts in his last four outings.

Highlights of the Night: 

There was some late drama between Anaheim and Edmonton:

Martin Jones made sure his team went into the intermission with a lead:

Jimmy Howard flashes the leather:

Check out this spin-o-rama pass from Henrik Sedin:

Nash’s Debut:

Rick Nash made his Bruins debut on Sunday, but it didn’t go according to plan. Not only did Boston lose, Nash also failed to pick up a point. He finished the night with a minus-1 rating and five shots on goal in 17:27 of ice time.

Here’s a picture of Nash in his new colors:

Spooner’s Rangers debut:

Ryan Spooner, who was part of the package that went from Boston to New York for Nash, picked up a pair of assists in his first game with his new team. He helped set up goals by J.T. Miller and Jesper Fast.

Factoids of the Night: 

There were some pretty quick goals scored this weekend:

Preds GM David Poile has done quite a bit of winning during his career:

Ratelle’s special night:

The New York Rangers retired Jean Ratelle’s no. 19 on Sunday night:


Predators 4, Blues 0
Sabres 4, Bruins 1
Red Wings 3, Rangers 2 (OT)
Oilers 6, Ducks 5 (SO)
Wild 3, Sharks 2 (OT)
Canucks 3, Coyotes 1

MORE: Pro Hockey Talk 2018 NHL Trade Deadline Tracker

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.

WATCH LIVE: Minnesota Wild at St. Louis Blues


[Click here for the Live Stream]

Projected Lineups and starting goalies

Minnesota Wild


Jason ZuckerMikko KoivuMikael Granlund
Nino NiederreiterEric StaalTyler Ennis
Zach PariseMatt CullenCharlie Coyle
Marcus FolignoJoel Eriksson EkDaniel Winnik


Ryan SuterJared Spurgeon
Jonas BrodinMatt Dumba
Gustav OlofssonNate Prosser

Starting Goalie: Devan Dubnyk

[NHL On NBCSN: Wild Look To Put Road Struggles Behind Them In St. Louis]

St. Louis Blues


Jaden SchwartzBrayden SchennVladimir Tarasenko
Vladimir SobotkaPaul StastnyAlexander Steen
Ivan BarbashevPatrik BerglundDmitrij Jaskin
Scottie UpshallKyle Brodziak


Carl GunnarssonAlex Pietrangelo
Jay BouwmeesterColton Parayko
Joel EdmundsonVince Dunn
Robert Bortuzzo

Starting Goalie: Carter Hutton


Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.