PITTSBURGH PA - JANUARY 8: Nick Schultz #55 of the Minnesota Wild and Brent Burns #8 of the Minnesota Wild congratulate goaltender Jose Theodore #60 of the Minnesota Wild after Theodore posted a shutout in a 4-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on January 8 2011 at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Just a few weeks ago the Minnesota Wild had the best record in the NHL. Now they currently hold the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. That illustrates how tight the playoff chase is and how costly Minnesota's losing streak has been.
Only 10 points separate first place Vancouver from 11th place Phoenix in the west, and Minnesota is only seven points behind the Canucks in both the division and the overall Western Conference lead. tonight the Wild hosts the San Jose Sharks, who are one of those teams fighting for the Western Conference playoffs. San Jose is currently third in the west with 50 points, and they lead the Pacific Division.
Minnesota has lost 11 of its past 12 games to fall off the pace in the West. Five of those losses have come either by one goal or via shootout loss, meaning Minnesota is not that far off of getting back into their winning ways.