The Minnesota Wild stand on the very edge of the playoff picture in the Western Conference. Their recent slide has caused them to stand on the edge, just one point out of ninth in the conference. A month ago, it seemed impossible that this team would miss the playoffs. Now it’s a very real possibility.
Throughout the season, the Wild have proven incapable of beating good teams consistently. Their offense has slide well into the bottom half of the league in goals per game, and they’re right in the middle of the road as far as keeping the puck out of their own net.
Which has helped to make their tilt with the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night all the more crucial. The Kings are sitting pretty in terms of a postseason berth. This game doesn’t mean nearly as much to them as it means to the Minnesota Wild.
Tuesday marks the third meeting between the two sides this season. The Wild won the first in a shootout before they were shutout against the Kings in the following game. They’ll need two big points on Tuesday. Luckily, they’re in a position where it doesn’t matter where those two points come from. Even a shootout win would benefit them.
If the Wild are unable to snap out of their recent funk, which has led them to lose seven of their last 10 games, six of them coming in regulation, it could have major playoff implications. They could very well drop from seventh to ninth within the next couple of days, if they’re unable to piece together some wins in this final stretch.