The Minnesota Wild are 5-2-1 so far this season at the XCel Energy Center, which puts them among the best home teams in the NHL. However, their four games this week will all be played on the road against Western Conference foes. The Wild are currently sitting in second place in the Northwest Division with 17 points, coming on the strength of a 7-3-3 record. That puts them just one point behind the surprising Edmonton Oilers in the division race. Can the Wild continue the momentum they've built this season so far?
They'll start out north of the border on Tuesday night with a game against the Calgary Flames. The Wild and Flames have not met yet in 2011, but Minnesota won four of the six meetings they had with the Flames in 2010-11. Calgary currently resides in the cellar of the Northwest division with just 11 points on the season, coming from a record of 5-6-1. Things will get underway in Calgary at 8:30 PM Central time on Tuesday night.
After that, the team hits the West Coast on Thursday night to battle the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks and Wild have not seen each other yet this season, meaning that this will be the first game for both Devin Setoguchi and Dany Heatley against their former teammates. The Sharks are currently in a tie for third place in the Pacific Division, with 15 points coming from a 7-4-1 record. The Wild split four meetings with the Sharks last season, but lost both of their trips to the Shark tank. The puck drops for this one at 9:30 PM Central time.
After another day off, the Wild will find themselves just a short drive down the coast, as they will go to Los Angeles to battle the Kings on Saturday night. The Kings are the other part of the aforementioned tie in the Pacific Division, as they also have 15 points stemming from a 6-4-3 mark. This will be the first meeting of the year between the Wild and Kings this season, but going back to last season, the Wild split their four meetings against Los Angeles, including both of their games in Tinseltown. Start time for this one will also be at 9:30 PM Central time.
The Wild will conclude their California trifecta on Sunday night, as they will head to Anaheim to take on the Ducks. Anaheim is currently bringing up the rear in the Pacific Division, standing at 13 points with a record of 5-6-3. Minnesota won three out of four against Anaheim last season, including splitting the two meetings between the two teams in Anaheim. This one will start a little earlier than you'd expect for a West Coast game, as the puck will drop in Anaheim at 7:00 PM Central time.
All of those games can be viewed in glorious high definition on Fox Sports North. If you can't get the game on television, you can find your local Minnesota Wild Radio Network affiliate and hear the radio call.