MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If you haven’t jumped on the Wild bandwagon yet, here’s your open invitation, and now’s the perfect time to hop on board.
How about Thursday night’s game in Nashville? This team just keeps finding ways to win, especially on the road. They came into Nashville with their ticket to the playoffs already punched, which means there wasn’t a lot of pressure to win. Coach Mike Yeo had the luxury of giving some of his top players an extra day to rest and he took advantage.
Zach Parise, Devan Dubnyk, Nino Niederreiter and Thomas Vanek all got the night off. That meant goalie Darcy Keumper got a chance to play in a game for the first time since early January. Others on the ice that we haven’t seen in a while: Sean Bergenheim and Matt Cooke, who’s been out since having surgery for a sports hernia.
Even without stars like Parise and Dubnyk the Wild rallied down 2 goals to win 4-2 with Jason Zucker scoring twice, one was an empty netter. Jason Pominville also got on the board in the 3rd period with the game winner, but there’s no doubt the goal everyone is talking about is that spin-o-rama move to the top shelf by Marco Scandella. If you haven’t had a chance to see this goal, go watch it.
It’s nice to see what the Wild are capable of without the likes of Parise, Dubnyk, Nino and Vanek, but just think about how great it’s going to be on Saturday in St. Louis when they all get back in!!
3rd Place Still Possible
And think about this: with a win on Saturday and a little help from Chicago, the Wild could be sitting in 3rd place in the central division. When you look back at early January there is nobody that could predict this big of a turn around. It has been nothing short of amazing and this fan can’t wait to see what this team can do in the Playoffs!
So here’s the deal: If the Wild beat St. Louis and Chicago loses to Colorado, We move up the line and end the season 3rd in our division. If Chicago wins they take that 3rd spot and we sit in that first wildcard slot.
So what does that mean for our playoff matchups? Well there is still a lot that can happen, but I think there are really 3 teams we are likely to see in the first round: St. Louis, Chicago or Nashville and I LOVE our chances versus all three.
The official playoff schedule will come out sometime Sunday. Right now, it’s looking like games will start Wednesday April 15th. It’s likely the Wild won’t play that first day, probably Thursday April 16th.
Whenever they play, I’m excited and I hope you are too — I’ve got a great feeling about this team and I think the state of hockey is ready for a deep run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Oh, and I should also mention with a win in St. Louis on Saturday the Wild will break the NHL record for most consecutive road wins at 13! Go Wild.