The Minnesota Wild no doubt want to have April done and over with. This month the team has gone from a prime spot in the Western Conference standings to barely clinging to a playoff spot, thanks to a lack of scoring and multiple losing streaks. After a 4-1 loss to the Calgary Flames on Sunday, the Wild have now lost eight of their 13 April games, and are only in seventh place in the standings at the moment by virtue of a tiebreaker.
While Zach Parise has been steady, he can’t carry the offense by himself. In their last six games the Wild have scored only four total goals, with Parise, Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Jason Pominville accounting for all of the team’s offense. Goaltender Niklas Backstrom has been steady for the most part, and dating back to Mar. 30 if he gets three goals or more of offensive support, the Wild win.
Scoring troubles and goaltending aside, the most glaring hole in Minnesota’s game right now is their penalty kill. The Wild have allowed goals on the last five power plays they have surrendered to opponents, spanning three games. That includes an 0-for-3 performance against the Flames, which had a huge hand in the loss. They had not allowed a power play goal in the previous six games, and have now dropped to 21st in the league in penalty kill percentage.