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Wild fans threw dozens of hats onto the ice, then Joel Eriksson Ek’s goal got waved off

Luckily for Wild fans, Kirill Kaprizov netted a hat trick of his own a few minutes later.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-St. Louis Blues at Minnesota Wild
Minnesota Wild left wing Kirill Kaprizov (97) celebrates his hat trick against the St. Louis Blues in the third period in Game 2 of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Wednesday at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul
Brad Rempel/USA Today Sports

The first hat hit the ice pretty much the moment Joel Eriksson Ek’s shot crossed the goal line on Wednesday night at Xcel Energy Center.

He had just completed his hat trick, and within a few seconds, dozens of fans removed the hat from atop their head and threw it as far as they possibly could.

It was a perfect way for the Wild to cap off what would eventually go down as a 6-2 win over the St. Louis Blues to even the playoff series at 1-1. Until it wasn’t.

Upon further review, the officials deemed that Marcus Foligno was offside on the play, and, honestly, it wasn’t particularly close.

The goal got waved off, meaning Eriksson Ek’s hat trick was no more. Never mind the thousands of dollars worth of hats that had just been launched onto the ice.


Talk about a buzzkill.

“I don’t care,” Eriksson Ek said with a smile postgame. “It’s about winning. That’s what we want to do. But I think Moose should offer to buy some new hats for all those people.”

Made aware of Eriksson Ek’s comments on Thursday afternoon, Foligno quipped, “Oh. Is that what we’re doing?”

“I’ll see what I can do,” Foligno said. “I think (Jordan Greenway) should chip in then, too, and Ekker for sure should chip in.”

Asked if he felt bad for taking away Eriksson Ek’s hat trick, Foligno joked, “He took away one of my assists.” He then proceeded to throw Greenway under the bus.

“He’s got to dump the puck in quicker,” Foligno said with a laugh. “That’s on Greener. I thought the puck was already in the corner.”

All jokes aside, Foligno praised Eriksson Ek for giving the Wild a major boost.

“He had a great game,” Foligno said. “No matter what, hat trick or not, he was definitely the star of the game for us.”


Luckily for the fans who threw their hats only to have Eriksson Ek’s goal waved off, Kirill Kaprizov completed his hat trick a few minutes later to make sure the celebration wasn’t in vain.

There were even some fans who still had a hat in their possession at that point. They launched them onto the ice shortly after Kaprizov scored.

May Flowers

Many criticized coach Dean Evason’s decision to go back to Marc-Andre Fleury after a Game 1 loss. Those critics thought Cam Talbot might be a better choice for Game 2.

Not that Evason would know. He doesn’t pay attention to that stuff.

“I’m glad I don’t because it’s like, ‘What does it matter?’ ” Evason said. “You know he’s going to respond properly. It’s what he does. It’s how he does it. That’s why we got him here. He clearly is a world-class goaltender that’s won Stanley Cups.”

McLean served as an assistant coach with the Iowa Wild of AHL from 2017-20.
After making it back to the playoffs, the Wild bowed out in underwhelming fashion.
Johansson posted 18 points (6 goals, 12 assists) in 20 games with the Wild in the regular season and added a pair of goals in the playoffs.
Talking to reporters Monday afternoon, Dumba confronted the reality that his time in Minnesota might be over
The new guy on the Minnesota Wild's blue line went from the devastation of a NCAA title game loss to the thrill of pro hockey to a quick exit from the NHL playoffs in less than 21 days.
Roope Hintz's fifth goal of the series, backed by goaltender Jake Oettinger, provided just enough to end Minnesota's season.
As is painfully normal at this time of year in the State of Hockey, the focus now switches to fishing and flowers and anything but this game that is so much a part of the local fabric.
The play in question featured the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Foligno colliding with the Stars’ 6-foot-3, 225-pound Radek Faksa at full speed.
The NHL club will make its second Scandinavian trip in November, facing Ottawa and Toronto in Stockholm as part of the NHL's Global Series.
Playing a hockey brand from the frigid rinks of Minnesota's northern neighbor, the Wild have shown they can hang with a bigger Dallas team through four games, even as they head south tied 2-2.

The response from Fleury was very impressive. He finished with 32 saves as the Wild secured the 6-2 win.

“I think everything went a little better for us as a team,” Fleury said. “That makes me look better.”

After being acquired by the Wild in a blockbuster move at the trade deadline, Fleury is thrilled to be in the playoffs. That wasn’t going to be an option with the Chicago Blackhawks.


“I feel lucky that I can keep playing (and) my season is not over yet,” Fleury said. “I knew this was a very good team, and obviously we’re facing a good team, too. It’s a hard battle. That’s why the wins feel even better.”

Injury update

While the Wild are healthy for the most part, the Blues are dealing with some injuries, especially on their blue line.

After playing Game 1 without Marco Scandella, Nick Leddy was held out of Game 2, and Robert Bortuzzo left early after being hit in the head by a puck. Will any of those defensemen be ready for Game 3?

“I haven’t seen everybody,” Blues coach Craig Berube said on Thursday afternoon. “I really don’t have an answer.”

In a move that suggests the Blues might be shorthanded moving forward, they recalled defenseman Steven Santini from the Springfield Thunderbirds of the American Hockey League.


With the playoff series tied at 1-1, there will be a Game 5 on Tuesday night at the Xcel Energy Center. The league announced on Thursday that puck drop for Game 5 will be at 8:30 p.m.

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