Wild recipe: Beat L.A., breathe easier

Author:
Updated:
Original:

With the Western Conference playoff race getting tighter than ever, the Wild can take a big step toward the postseason with a win over Los Angeles tonight.

As it stands, ninth-place Detroit is just one point behind seventh-place Minnesota. Each team has three games left. Also in the mix: 10th-place Dallas, who are three points behind the Wild -- with three games to go.

Just a few weeks ago, the Wild were battling Vancouver for the Northwest Division title. But Minnesota's 3-7-1 stretch in April basically handed the Canucks the division for a fifth consecutive season.

Minnesota (24-18-3), which hasn't qualified for the playoffs since 2007-08, has lost five straight home games, tying a club record. The team hasn't dropped six straight home games since joining the NHL in 2000-01.

Why are the Wild in this position, especially with high-priced free agents Zach Parise and Ryan Suter in the fold?

Star Tribune writer Chip Scoggins says it's a matter of other players stepping up: "Cal Clutterbuck has three goals in 39 games. Devin Setoguchi has not scored a goal since March 29. Kyle Brodziak ranks near the bottom of the NHL in plus-minus rating at minus-15."

Yesterday, the Wild made a few moves to beef up the lineup for the playoff push. Veteran forwards Stephane Veillieux and Jake Dowell were called up from Houston, with rookies Mikael Granlund and Jazon Zucker sent down.

Niklas Backstrom starts in goal tonight, and he’ll have a familiar backup. Josh Harding is up from Houston after a two-game rehab stint. Harding -- who is fighting MS -- says he’s “just happy to be back.”

Next Up

police lights

5-year-old dies 3 weeks after assault, mother's charges upped to murder

The girl died three weeks after the assault took place.

hospital, emergency room

2 teens, Texas man suffer life-threatening injuries in MN crash

One of the drivers crossed the center line and hit the other vehicle.

WIkimedia Commons - Frey April 20, 2021

Frey under fire for $359K Agape contract awarded via COVID order

Some council members called it a "misuse" of his powers, but the mayor pushed back.

minneapolis mayor - Sheila Nezhad and Jacob Frey

Minneapolis DFL fails to endorse a candidate for mayor

Sheila Nezhad and Jacob Frey finished first and second, respectively, in the endorsement process.

pontoon

Maplewood man charged with DWI after 'guys weekend' ends in tragedy

The 32-year-old was drunk-driving a pontoon, with one of his friends falling off and dying.

hail

Storm reports: Hail the size of tennis balls, baseballs hammered MN

Big-time hailstones slammed Lonsdale and Cannon Falls.

duluth police department

Man arrested for violent assault, robbery of 78-year-old in Duluth

The victim suffered stab wounds and broken bones in the attack.

Minneapolis police

More body parts found in 2nd area of Northeast Minneapolis

Police are looking for additional body parts.

ambulance

2 killed in head-on crash involving trucks on Highway 23

The crash was reported just before 6 a.m. Thursday.

Related