The Minnesota Wild have certainly lived up to their name recently, that's for sure. The team followed up their four-game winning streak with a couple of tough losses against Nashville and Colorado before recovering to shut out the league's best team, the Vancouver Canucks, on Sunday night. Right now, the Wild sit in a tie for ninth in the Western Conference with 49 points on the strength of a 22-18-5 record. . .unfortunately, since there are only eight playoff teams in each NHL conference, ninth isn't a great place to be. However, the team has an opportunity to make up some ground this week, as they'll take the ice three times, and all three of the teams they'll be playing are either behind them or tied with them in the Western Conference standings.
The festivities will start on Tuesday night when the Wild head to Edmonton to take on the Oilers. Edmonton currently sits in dead last in the Western Conference with only 35 points, which also ties them for the second-lowest point total in the entire NHL, with a 14-23-7 record. Minnesota and Edmonton have gotten together twice this season already, with the Wild coming away with 4-2 victories on both occasions. . .the first one came at the XCel Energy Center back on October 14, and the second one came in Edmonton just seven days later. The puck drops on this one at 8:30 PM Central time, and you can watch it in glorious high definition on Fox Sports North.
From there, the Wild continue their road trip the next night by moving on to play the Western Conference's second-worst team, the Calgary Flames. The Flames have 45 points on the year. . .putting them just behind Minnesota, technically, to show you just how tight the Western Conference is. . .with a 20-20-5 record. This will actually be the final meeting of the season between Minnesota and Calgary, as the teams have met five times already this year, with the Wild holding a 3-2 edge. Here are the results of those match-ups:
November 5 at Minnesota - Wild 2, Flames 1
November 29 at Calgary - Flames 3, Wild 0
December 3 at Minnesota - Flames 3, Wild 2 (shootout)
December 18 at Calgary - Wild 3, Flames 1
December 20 at Minnesota - Wild 4, Flames 1
The game is scheduled for another 8:30 PM Central time start, and you can also view this one in glorious high definition, but it will be on KSTC rather than Fox Sports North.
The Wild will then be off until Saturday, when they head to southern California to do battle with the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks are one of the three teams currently tied for ninth in the West with Minnesota, with their 49 points coming on the strength of a 22-19-5 record. Minnesota has only seen the Sharks once this year, and they emerged victorious by a score of 5-3 in St. Paul back on December 29. Slightly later start for this one, with the puck set to drop at 9:30 PM Central time, with the glorious high definition going back to Fox Sports North for this contest.
All of these games will also be available on your radio dial at WCCO-AM 830.
The Wild have a real chance to make up some ground this week. Here's hoping they come out hot and get the job done.