Minnesota Wild Stumbling As Playoffs Draw Closer

By Randy Holt
Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

We are closing in on the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, with the end of the regular season just about a week away. Though a playoff spot is still no guarantee for the Minnesota Wild, it’s very likely that they’ll be in the top eight in the Western Conference when it’s all said and done.

Regardless of the fact that they’ll likely be in very easily when the postseason actually does begin, the fact shouldn’t be overlooked that the Wild have struggled quite a bit of late. Whether that’s the result of injury or chemistry due to a bit of a roster shakeup is really irrelevant. They haven’t been too good lately.

The Wild have won just three of their last 10 games since the month of April. They continue to struggle on the road, where they’re just .500 this year, and haven’t gotten much out of their big names of late. While the newly acquired Jason Pominville has performed very well, that hasn’t been the case for the rest of the top six.

Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu have combined for just two goals since the month started. Neither are putting points up on the stat sheet, whether it’s goals or assists.

Worse yet, the Wild haven’t proven that they can consistently beat contending teams. Of their three wins this month, two are against teams that are not currently in playoff contention and the other came against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Their success against teams that are playoff-bound has been streaky this season.

Whether or not their recent struggles will carry into the postseason is something that will be a worry for fans of the Minnesota Wild. They’ll need their big names to step up quite a bit here in the home stretch if they want to avoid backpedaling into the postseason.

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