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Wild Vs. Sharks: Minnesota Tries To Hang On In Playoff Race

For more on the Minnesota Wild, check out Hockey Wilderness. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NHL hub at SBNation.com/NHL.

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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.

For more on the Minnesota Wild, check out Hockey Wilderness. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NHL hub at SBNation.com/NHL.

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