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Wild Week: Back In The Saddle Again

The Minnesota Wild have been making a bit of a charge as of late, and are now just one point out of the playoffs in the NHL's Western Conference. Heck, they're only five points away from the number four seed in the West at this point in time. Of course, they're only four points ahead of the conference's second-to-last team, which shows just how tightly bunched the West has become. But the Wild have three more opportunities to make up some ground this week, and all of the games will be against Western Conference foes.

The fun gets underway in St. Paul on Tuesday night as the Wild play host to the Los Angeles Kings. Both of these teams are currently sitting with 55 points, with the Kings sporting a 27-22-1 record, and the Wild with a record of 25-19-5. These two teams have played each other twice this season, with each one winning on the other team's home ice. Back on October 25, the Kings got a 3-2 shootout victory in St. Paul, and the Wild returned the favor in Los Angeles on December 11 with a 3-2 overtime victory of their own. The puck drops at 7 PM Central time, and you can view the game in glorious HD on Fox Sports North.

The Wild will then take it on the road for a couple of games, starting on Thursday night in Denver when they take on the Colorado Avalanche. Colorado is just one point ahead of the Wild at this point, though still on the outside looking in at the post-season, with their 56 points coming from a 25-19-6 record. This will be the fourth meeting of the season between these two teams, with Colorado having taken two of the first three. The Avalanche whipped Minnesota 7-4 in Denver back on November 27, the Wild got a measure of revenge in their second trip to Denver with a 3-1 win back on December 23, and in St. Paul on January 14, the Avalanche left town with a 4-1 victory in their pockets. The opening face-off in this one comes a little bit later, 8:00 PM Central time, and can also be seen on Fox Sports North.

The Wild will wrap up the week on Saturday night with a matchup in the desert against the Phoenix Coyotes. The Coyotes' 59 points puts them in the sixth spot in the West at the moment, with those points coming on the strength of a 25-17-9 record. This will be the fourth and final meeting between the Wild and the Coyotes this season, and the Wild are hoping to take their third win from Phoenix. The Coyotes defeated the Wild in Minnesota on December 1 by a score of 4-2, and the Wild took a 3-2 victory in Phoenix eight days after that. Then, in their first game of 2011, the Wild knocked off the Coyotes in St. Paul, 6-5 in overtime. This one is set to get underway at 7:00 PM Central time, and the television coverage for this one will swing over to KSTC.

All of these games can also be followed on the radio with WCCO-AM 830.

There's your Minnesota Wild action for the week, ladies and gentlemen. If you can support the team in some way as they begin their second-half push to the playoffs, please do so!

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.