Skip to main content
Publish date:

Wild's home-ice advantage has vanished, and it might cost them the playoffs

Minnesota has a losing record at home this season.
Author:
Xcel Energy Center

Back in October, anyone with a playoff-focused mind would've looked at the Minnesota Wild's schedule and grimaced to see five of the final eight regular season games were on the road. 

Now? Hip-hip-hurrah! 

The Wild flat out stink on home ice, so five road games feels like a gift from the hockey gods as Minnesota continues its fight to sneak into the postseason as the second wild card in the Western Conference. 

Tuesday night's 3-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche stings because a win would've pushed the Wild one point ahead of Arizona for the last wild card spot. Instead, the Wild (77 points) remain a point behind Arizona (78 points) while Colorado (76 points) is right behind the Wild. 

More deflating is that Arizona and Colorado have a game in hand on Minnesota, so the Wild basically have eight games to out-point whatever the Coyotes and Avalanche do in nine games. 

Xcel Energy Center has opened its doors to the Wild 22 times since Dec. 15. Minnesota has won just five times with 17 losses (five of them in overtime). The last two homestands have been particularly painful, with the team going 1-6-2 and gaining three of a possible 18 points. 

"We've said this on maybe the last three homestands that we've had," said Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. "It's very unfortunate that we haven't had the success at home this year that this team has had every year almost in its existence."

Fun fact: Minnesota, dating back to its inaugural season in 2000-01, has never had a losing record at home. They went 15-12-4-10 at home (back when they had ties and OT losses) in their first year and went 14-14-6-8 in year two, but ever since they've been above .500 each season. 

All but two of the eight teams in the Western Conference playoff picture are at least 10 games over .500 on home ice. The exceptions are St. Louis (18-5-2) and Arizona (18-5-4). 

Fortunately, Minnesota owns the fifth-best road record in the West, and they'll need that reputation more than ever when they play back-to-back Friday and Saturday against the defending champion Washington Capitals and the surging Carolina Hurricanes, who are 17-5-1 since Jan. 22. 

Next Up

Karl-Anthony Towns

KAT sets a franchise record, leaves early in loss to Wizards

Towns fell on his back in the final minutes of a loss in Washington.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Man shot by police in Forest Lake dies from injuries

It was one of two police shootings in the Twin Cities on the same day, both of which proved fatal.

Dylan Bundy

Report: Twins agree to deal with Dylan Bundy

The Twins signed the right-hander with a lockout imminent.

Flickr - face masks covid pole - Ivan Radic

'Everyone should really be masking up' in public, Malcolm says

The health commissioner said residents have gotten "a little bit lax" with some protective measures.

Byron Buxton

Byron Buxton believes he's the best player in baseball

"Nobody [does] the things that I do. I know that."

unsplash medical marijuana

Edibles coming to Minnesota's medical marijuana program

MDH also announced it will not add anxiety as qualifying condition.

plow, snowplow, snow

Plowable snow possible this weekend in Minnesota

Up to half a foot of snow could fall within the heaviest band.

Best Buy - jjbers, Flickr

Police reveal new details about 'coordinated' Best Buy thefts

A large group stole thousands of dollars in merchandise from three Twin Cities Best Buy stores.

Seven Points exterior - 2

New tenant revealed for former Libertine spot in Uptown

The space will combine playful art offerings with a restaurant.

white Christmas

What are Minnesota's chances of a white Christmas this year?

The Twin Cities averages a white Christmas about 3 out of every 4 years.

ilhan omar press conference voicemail screengrab 11.30.21

'You will not live much longer b***': Rep. Omar shares threatening voicemail

Omar's office received the call hours after Rep. Boebert posted her video about the MN congresswoman.

Screen Shot 2021-12-01 at 11.24.09 AM

ESPN's 'Booger' makes fun of Wild fans' record cup snake

He's the same guy who thought the "Minneapolis Miracle" was bad for the Vikings.

Related

Xcel Energy Center

Wild faces playoff elimination Tuesday night

Minnesota hosts Winnipeg in a must-win game.

Xcel Energy Center

Wild has a history of faltering during longer homestands

Fresh off a 0-3-1 homestand, the Wild are under the microscope.

Xcel Energy Center

NHL schedule: Wild starts, ends season with difficult road trips

Minnesota plays 12 of 18 games to start the season on the road.

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

With six games to go, the pressure is mounting.

10 things to know about the Wild vs. Jets playoff series

MN has a ton more playoff experience than the Jets.

Kevin Fiala, Jordan Greenway

Red-hot Wild win 7th straight, clinch playoff berth

Kirill Kaprizov has scored in five straight games.