Wild fall to Avs amid tight playoff race, trade deadline pressure

The trade deadline is in two weeks and the pressure to win is mounting.
Publish date:
Jordan Greenway

It was a stinging 3-2 loss to the Avalanche Sunday night as the Wild narrowly missed a perfect week at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. 

Every loss is painful in a jam-packed tail end of the Western Conference playoff race as the Wild face the pressure to win or possibly see the roster torn apart before the Feb. 24 trade deadline. 

After coming out of the All-Star break and laying a massive egg in a 6-1 loss to the Bruins, the Wild responded with wins over the Blackhawks, Canucks and Stars before faltering at home Sunday.  

Winnipeg (63 points) and Calgary (62 points) control the wild-card spots in the Western Conference entering play Monday. Minnesota (58 points) has played two fewer games than Winnipeg and one fewer than Calgary, but they also have to leap Arizona (61 points) and Nashville (59 points) while also contending with Chicago (58 points). 

"It's crazy how tight it is and how close each game was as well. That's just the way it's going to be," said Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk, via Wild.com. "Every single time we play we have to understand how big the points are. And I think we're doing a good job with that and playing with good urgency. It's challenging but I think we'd all agree that this is the kind of hockey we want to be playing."

Will this be the week that gives General Manager Bill Guerin the confidence to push hard and make a run at the playoffs, or the week that convinces him it's time to restructure the roster and start pulling strings on the trade market?

"I told the group and they all know they're getting a fair shake," Guerin said in a Feb. 5 interview with NHL.com. "They're getting a great opportunity and I want to see them succeed. But we need results."

Minnesota provided positive results this past week and now they'll be at home all of this week looking to show more. They face Vegas Tuesday, the New York Rangers Thursday and San Jose on Saturday. 

"We got 3 games next week. We gotta keep pushing forward, winning two out of three or three out of four for the rest of the year," said coach Bruce Boudreau. "Our break was October when we went 1-6. We don't get a break anymore, so we just gotta keep going."

Next Up

Willmar Police Department

'Errant bullet' goes through garage wall, kills Willmar man

The man was working in his garage when he was shot, witnesses said.

Screen Shot 2021-01-16 at 10.59.00 PM

Wild tie Kings with 2 seconds left, win in overtime

Another incredible finish for the Wild.

Screen Shot 2021-01-16 at 6.53.17 PM

Mike Lindell's MyPillow offering discounts using the code 'Qanon'

The Shakopee-based company is under the microscope because of the recent actions of its owner.

Surly Brewing

Facing aluminum can shortage, Surly unveils solution: 'Cantyhose'

The brewery came up with a creative way to repurpose unused cans.

Liam Robbins

Gophers stay perfect at home by crushing 7th-ranked Michigan

Liam Robbins and Marcus Carr were too much for the previously undefeated Wolverines.

police lights

Four teens arrested over robberies in Minneapolis

They teens were found in a vehicle that was taken during an earlier carjacking.

Boundary Waters/BWCA

All BWCA visitors will now have to watch three 'Leave No Trace' videos

Visitors left an "unacceptably high amount" of damage last year.


Ten fatal overdoses in past 6 weeks reported in region of northern MN

Law enforcement agencies have issued a plea to the general public.

u.s. district court minnesota - federal court minneapolis

Bracing for security threats, federal courthouses closing in Minnesota

Security is also being ramped up at the state capitol.

N95 mask

3M sues Florida company that sold 10K counterfeit N95 masks to HCMC

The Maplewood company has obtained a temporary injunction against the firm.


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

With six games to go, the pressure is mounting.

Mikko Koivu

Wild bounce back from trade deadline with huge win in playoff race

Minnesota is actually in a fairly good position with 20 games to go.

Avs, Blues, Kings pushing Wild in uneasy playoff race

Making matters worse is Minnesota's very busy schedule.

Chicago's surge, ill-timed bye puts tons of pressure on the Wild

An ill-timed bye week is putting a ton of pressure on the Wild.

Mikko Koivu

Wild win behind Spurgeon hat trick; trade deadline lurks

Michael Russo reports on Mikko Koivu entering the rumor mill.

Xcel Energy Center

Wild faces playoff elimination Tuesday night

Minnesota hosts Winnipeg in a must-win game.