The Minnesota Wild will attempt to begin the trek out of the depths of the Western Conference and towards respectability this week and try to garner some momentum going into 2011 with three games, two at home and one on the road.
The first of the three will see the Wild return to the XCel Energy Center for a rematch against the Calgary Flames, a team that the Wild defeated on Saturday night in Calgary by a score of 3-1. Minnesota and Calgary have gone head-to-head four times already this season, with each team winning twice. The Flames are currently one of only two teams in the Western Conference that are looking up at the Wild. . .and by only one point at that, as Minnesota's 14-13-4 record is good for 32 points for them on the season, while Calgary has amassed 31 points by going 14-16-3. The puck drops in St. Paul at 7:00 PM Central time.
The Wild will then take to the road to do battle with the Colorado Avalanche, the leaders of the Northwest Division. The Wild and the Avalanche have played only one time this year, with Colorado getting a 7-4 victory in Denver on November 27. Colorado's 19-10-4 record has given them 42 points thus far on the year, which puts them third in the Western Conference behind the Detroit Red Wings (44 points) and the Dallas Stars (43 points). Things will get underway at the Pepsi Center at 8:00 PM Central time.
Finally, after Christmas is over with, the Wild will host the aforementioned Red Wings, the leaders of both the Central Division and the Western Conference with 44 points. Those 44 points come as a result of a record of 20-8-4. The Wild and Red Wings have only locked horns once to this point in the season. . .the game was in Detroit, and the Wild managed to escape the Motor City with a 4-3 overtime victory over the Red Wings. Start time for this one will be a little earlier, with the opening face-off slated for 6:00 PM Central time.
You'll be able to see all three of these games on Fox Sports North in, as the kids like to refer to it, bold and glorious high-definition.
There's a look at your Minnesota Wild schedule for this Christmas week. Enjoy the hockey, ladies and gentlemen!