Wild Needs to Find Offense, and Fast

By Matt Farland


       Finding itself five points out of eighth place in the Western Conference standings with 26 games left, the Minnesota Wild is now in a spot where it has little room for error.  It desperately needs to end its five game losing streak tonight as it welcomes the Winnipeg Jets for the first time.

       The Jets are in a similar spot in the Eastern Conference, currently finding themselves six points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in their first year since being relocated from Atlanta.  They have lost two straight, and have not been great over the course of their last 10 games.  The only other time they have played the Wild this year, Winnipeg earned a 2-1 win and arguably started Minnesota’s downfall.

       If it wants to win tonight and get a crucial two points, the Wild will have to find its offense again somehow.  Minnesota has scored just seven goals in its last six games, and has not scored more than two goals since January 31st.  Hopefully, the unit will get a bit of a boost tonight, as it seems likely that forward Cal Clutterbuck will play tonight.  Clutterbuck missed Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks with a charley horse.  He would also help out in the physicality department, as tonight’s game will probably be another bruiser.

       Niklas Backstrom will get the start in net tonight, his first since stopping 18 shots in a 3-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.

       As brutal of a game as it is likely to be, Minnesota really needs two points out of this one.  The schedule doesn’t get any easier in the near future, as the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins come to town on Sunday.

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