After shutout loss to Nashville, Wild in 'helpless' position with 5 games to go

Minnesota will be scoreboard watching until they play again on Friday.
Author:
Publish date:

The way the Minnesota Wild has performed on home ice this season, it's a miracle they're not already eliminated from playoff contention. 

Monday's 1-0 loss to the Nashville Predators at Xcel Energy Center was a punch to the gut for a Wild team trying to MacGyver its way into the postseason for a seventh consecutive season. 

No matter how many pipes the Wild rang in the shutout loss, the fact of the matter remains that the Wild is now 5-13-5 in its last 23 games at Xcel Energy Center and they've scored two or fewer goals in eight of the last nine games. 

"That sort of epitomizes the way it was going and the season," said Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. "Getting chances to score and not burying them, it's not for a lack of effort I think. The guys tried really hard and we didn't give Nashville anything I don't think. What can you do? It's very frustrating."

Entering play Tuesday, Minnesota has 79 points, tied with Arizona for ninth in the West, two points behind eighth-place Colorado. 

Wild-card race: 

  1. Stars: 84 points
  2. Avalanche: 81 points
  3. Coyotes: 79 points
  4. Wild: 79 points
  5. Blackhawks: 76 points

But now the Wild sits idle until playing in Vegas on Friday. Meanwhile, Colorado, Arizona and Chicago are all in action with chances to make the Wild's playoff gap bigger. 

Colorado hosts Vegas on Wednesday, Arizona has a huge game against Chicago on Tuesday, and the Blackhawks follow up Tuesday's game at San Jose on Thursday. 

If Colorado beats Vegas they'll have a four-point lead on the Wild entering play Friday, and if Minnesota loses at Vegas and the Avs beat Arizona on Friday, Minnesota could enter the weekend six points out of a playoff spot with just four games to go. That's all hypothetical, but it's an example of how dire the situation is right now. 

"As long as we're in a position to be able to make the playoffs, we'll draw on that," Boudreau said. "It is a helpless position [to not play until Friday]. There's not much we can do about it. Again, the dominoes have got to fall in the right area. As long as there's a breath in our body and we have an opportunity, we're going to go out and try to play like we did today."

Next Up

Kyle Rudolph

Rudolph sends farewell to Vikings fans in Players Tribune piece

"Every season I played here, every game I played here — you all believed."

Megan Ryan

Star Tribune's Megan Ryan named new Twins beat reporter

Ryan replaces LaVelle E. Neal who is now in a columnist role.

minnetonka MME

Minnetonka in spotlight after teacher threatened for discussing Black trans woman

Parents and community members are calling on the district to do better and will hold a march prior to the school board meeting on Thursday.

Richard Pitino

Talk grows that this season will be Pitino's last at Gophers

A report says Pitino's tenure could be "down to his final games."

Screen Shot 2021-03-02 at 1.40.17 PM

Two gas trucks collide in Stearns County, neither explodes

The unlikely collision happened Monday afternoon.

unnamed (1)

MSP Airport expecting spring break to be busiest period since pandemic began

Passenger numbers will still be about a third lower than a year ago, though.

Target store

After bumper earnings, Target will accelerate new store openings

The retailer has revealed its plans for the next few years, which includes an investment in Minneapolis.

starbucks wayzata

100% plant-based restaurant coming to Wayzata this spring

The restaurant has plans to add additional locations in Minnesota this summer and franchise nationwide.

Patric Richardson

'Laundry Evangelist' from St. Paul gets his own Discovery+ show

Patric Richardson has built a career around the appreciation and care of clothing.

Related

Playoff probabilities don't favor Wild in wild-card race

With six games to go, the pressure is mounting.

Boudreau needs miracle to make good on playoff guarantee

Sunday's loss to Arizona was a backbreaker for the Wild.

4 games to go, 4 points back: Wild need help in wild-card race

Friday's win over Vegas was big, but Minnesota will need help.

Xcel Energy Center

Wild faces playoff elimination Tuesday night

Minnesota hosts Winnipeg in a must-win game.

Minnesota Wild, Devan Dubnyk

Playoff hopes crushed: Wild need luck in NHL draft lottery

The NHL draft lottery will be held next Tuesday.

Wild, Zach Parise

Wild reclaim playoff position with huge road win over Capitals

Arizona and Colorado are both in action Saturday afternoon.