No team has been hotter this month than the St. Louis Blues, and that could be bad news for the slumping Minnesota Wild.
If the playoffs started today the Wild would host the Blues in the first round. St. Louis beat the Wild in three of five meetings this season, including once earlier this month in Mike Yeo's first game against his former team as head coach of the Blues.
Yeo has turned the blues around. They were 24-21-5 when Yeo replaced Ken Hitchcock and they've gone 16-7 since.
Minnesota would much rather see Nashville – a team they've beaten in three of four games – in the first round. The Predators are tied with the Blues at 85 points, but the Blues own the head-to-head tiebreaker.
St. Louis lost four in a row to close February but have gone 9-2 in March. The Wild took a 8-3-1 February and have coughed up a 3-9 March, including losses in six of their last seven.
“You’ve got to find it from your inner self. The competitive juices got to come from inside. … You’ve got to will it, I guess, when you’re in this situation," head coach Bruce Boudreau said after the Wild's 3-1 home loss to Philadelphia on Thursday.
A big reason for the Blues' success is goaltender Jake Allen. He's allowed just 10 goals in March. A hot goalie in a playoff series could make Minnesota's dream season end sooner than anyone would of thought a month ago.
And wouldn't it just be icing on the cake to watch the Wild get knocked out of the playoffs by their former coach?
Alas, it's still way too early to panic. The Wild are struggling but they have nine more regular season games to get back on track.