‘He’s everything for us’: wild center Joel Eriksson Ek impossible to replace


If you thought the Minnesota Wild losing four straight games after winning eight straight was bad news, well, I have something to tell you.

Last night against the Dallas Stars – for their last game before the extended vacation – they had the misfortune of losing 7-4 to their division rivals, but also losing one of the best two-way crosses of the game in this regard. moment, as Joel Eriksson Ek was transported to the ice by defender Jani Hakanpaa. He had to quit the game and didn’t come back.

Plus, just to put the icing on the cake of the growing sundae of woe, head coach Dean Evason described Eriksson Ek’s injury as something that doesn’t look right.

Now comes the hard part of trying to replace the irreplaceable; to try and get back on track after the holidays without the backbone of your system.

And the Wild players realize how much of a loss it is.

“He does everything for us,” said goaltender Cam Talbot. “He brings it every night. You can put him there anytime during a match and he’ll give you all he has. There is no substitute a guy like him just like there is no substitute [Spurgeon]. It will be a committee-based sort of thing. The next guy. We have the depth to do it. But obviously, these are hard wounds. You never want to see this.

Minnesota certainly replaced someone before the committee. They continued their eight-game winning streak without Spurgeon for the majority of wins, but it’s certainly different with both missing and both being essentially the MVPs for the way this team plays hockey.

“He is one of our greatest hearts and souls. He is everything for us, ”said Marcus Foligno.

It wasn’t just the fact that he ended up going down the tunnel, but the play that made it happen. The coach is clearly frustrated.

“[Eriksson Ek] gets a hold and [Klingberg] is holding his stick, ”Evason said. “[On the Hakanpaa play], there is no way Ek will end up in this position to hurt himself if he is not restrained. He’s too big, he’s too strong, he’s going to get through this. And he gets caught. They told us he was pushed. It just doesn’t make sense. It’s frustrating that a guy gets hurt on a game that is obviously illegal.

And like Michael Russo stressed the next morning, Eriksson Ek was giving it to officials after getting his “detention penalty” against Klingberg – like, really let it be known that he does not agree with the appeal. Either we can dig deeper into the conspiracy theory that they took advantage and didn’t call the game causing injury later, or just the fact that he could have been out of the ice had he been given a penalty from misconduct for having reprimanded the referees, and therefore not injured at that time.

Either way, what happened is what happened.

Where does nature go from here? They can either appeal to everyone reading this blog and remind Marco Rossi for his NHL debut, but it certainly comes with more risk than just going Hartman-Gaudreau-Sturm-Rask in the middle (for example) or getting the one of the most experienced. the young guys at the Connor Dewar or Mason Shaw center to complete; to at least provide a little more offense than this projected quartet of center players.

At least they have time to understand and talk to some people. The next game scheduled for the Wild is up north to face the Winnipeg Jets on their ice, but that depends on whether the cross-border postponement is extended until then, or even whether the NHL fully returns when they plan to do so. to do after the holidays. Afterwards, it’s the Winter Classic … so yes.


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