The Minnesota Wild's New Year's resolution should be to start playing like a team that has any hope of reaching the playoffs.
Starting early on that resolution tonight against the St. Louis Blues would be a good idea. A win would snap a five-game losing streak and provide the Wild with confidence knowing they can play with one of the best teams in the NHL.
Michael Russo called it a "must-win" game.
"We all understand there’s a desperation level that has to be there [Tuesday night], but it’s not going to help us by fretting over last night," Wild forward Matt Cooke said, via the Star Tribune. "You can learn from it, but you can't hang onto it until tomorrow night."
The Blues have 57 points, just four points behind Chicago for the best record in the West.
But as the Wild's losing streak grows, so does the temperature of head coach Mike Yeo's seat.
Check out this ominous note from the Pioneer Press.
The Wild have three games remaining on a four-game homestand, which continues Tuesday night against the St. Louis Blues at the Xcel Energy Center. If they don't find a way to end the losing, Yeo may not make it to the next road trip.
Yeo wants the team to work a little harder to try and get out of the funk they're in.
"I want our guys to look at me and say, 'You know what, that's how we're going to deal with this,' " Yeo said. "It's adversity, that's fine. But you come to the rink the next day and you work a little bit harder."
The task of turning the slide into a glide is even more difficult with a report that Zach Parise could miss significant time with a broken foot.
Minnesota's slump hit a new low when they blew a three-goal lead to the lowly New York Islanders on Sunday. It was a loss that Yeo admitted he had a hard time finding an explanation for, according to Pro Hockey Talk.
Hockey Wilderness did the math, and a trip to the playoffs usually required teams in the West to finish with 90-96 points. To reach 95 points, the Wild will have to earn 51 points in the final 41 games.
The puck drops between the Wild and Blues in St. Paul at 5 p.m.
Note: The Wild called up Jonathan Blum to serve as the team's seventh defenseman. It was a necessary move with Clayton Stoner out with an injury.