Yesterday was Kevin Fiala’s second game in three days against his former team, but his first back in Nashville. He didn’t waste the opportunity to show the Predators what they are missing with one of his best games of the year. Fiala scored a pair of goals, including one to tie the game late in the third period and send it to overtime. The Wild ultimately lost, but Fiala’s brilliant night has to make GM Paul Fenton pretty happy about the return he got for Mikael Granlund.
Fiala was the game’s most dangerous offensive threat all around. Puck handling, passing, shooting, transition, you name it, he did it. His two goals were his first points in a Wild uniform and his 18 controlled exits were a season-high, meaning he was able to exit his own zone with control of the puck almost once per minute of time on ice. In fact, only seven players have managed more than 18 in a game all season and the list reads like a true who’s who of some of the league’s best players.
Fiala’s been an inconsistent player so far in his young career, but those kinds of flashes are the reason why he was picked 11th overall in 2014. At just 22 years old, he still has plenty of room to grow and figures to be a part of the Wild’s core for years to come.