The Minnesota Wild have placed themselves right in the middle of the Western Conference playoff chase. . .of course, the same can be said for just about every team in the Western Conference that isn't the Edmonton Oilers. The Wild currently have 59 points on the season on the strength of a 27-20-5 record. That puts them just four points behind the Nashville Predators, who currently occupy the No. 4 seed in the conference. It also only puts them five points ahead of the St. Louis Blues, who are currently 14th out of the Western Conference's 15 teams. With three games this week, the Wild have a chance to improve their stock.
The week for the Wild won't get underway until Wednesday, as they play host to the Colorado Avalanche at the XCel Energy Center. Colorado sits just three points behind the Wild at this point in time, with their 56 points coming on the strength of a 25-21-6 record. This will be the fifth meeting of the year between the Avalanche and the Wild, and the teams have split the first four games. Colorado got a 7-4 victory in Denver back on Nov. 27, and the Wild bounced back with a 3-1 win in Denver on Dec. 23. The Avalanche won in their only trip to the XCel Energy Center this season so far with a 4-1 victory on Jan. 14, and the Wild fought back again with a 4-3 win at the Pepsi Center this past Thursday, Feb. 3.
Prior to the opening face-off for this one, the Wild will also honor winger Andrew Brunette, who played his 1000th NHL game last week when the Wild defeated the Kings at home in a shootout. The puck drops on this one at 7:00 p.m. Central time, and you'll be able to see this game in glorious HD on Fox Sports North.
The Wild will then play a home-and-home series against the aforementioned St. Louis Blues. As mentioned earlier, the Blues have only five fewer points than the Wild, yet sit in 14th place out of the 15 Western Conference teams, with their 54 points being the result of a 23-20-8 mark. The Blues and the Wild have not faced off against each other this season.
The first game of the home-and-home will take place in St. Louis on Friday night, with the puck dropping at 7:00 p.m. Central time. The action will then shift back to St. Paul on Saturday night, with a slightly later start time of 8:00 p.m. Central. Friday night's game will be televised on KSTC, while coverage will bounce back to Fox Sports North for Saturday night's action.
And, as always, you can follow all the action on the radio on WCCO-AM, 830 on your AM radio dial.
That's a look at the week in Minnesota Wild hockey, ladies and gentlemen. Hopefully the Wild can make their trip to the post season a little less. . .er, wild.