About a week ago, the consensus was the Wild needed to win ten of their last 17 to make the playoffs. They then proceeded to lose three of four games, including two shutouts against the Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars. They followed those losses up with a loss in Vancouver. Doing the very quick math, that means five games passed, with just one win.
Now they need nine wins in twelve games. A .750 win percentage. In Minnesota, we know that as: something they haven't done all year. The hope is quickly fading, the frustration rising, and the depression of another long summer looming.
It certainly appears the Wild will simply be playing out the final twelve. For this weeks, that means finishing up a road trip, and then coming home for some fun games for the fans.
To finish the road trip, the Wild head to San Jose on Thursday, where the third place Sharks are waiting for what look to be a fairly easy two points to pad their lead in the Pacific Division. With the way the Wild have played as of late, it is difficult to imagine they can stack up against a relatively hot Sharks team.
Mercifully, after that, the Wild get to come home for a game against one of the only teams left in the West that is worse than the Wild. A Saturday afternoon matinée against the Columbus Blue Jackets is shaping up to be a battle to not be in 12th place.
The Wild then close out the week with a rare home game against the Montreal Canadiens, one of the Original Six teams, and one of the most storied franchises in league history. That match-up comes Sunday at 5PM CDT, and Montreal needs the points, so they will come out swinging for the fences.
All in all it is a good week of hockey, although it looks less and less like is going to mean much at all. To quote Mike Tice, "Enjoy the season."