By David McCoy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Bruce Boudreau has called this the tightest playoff race he’s ever seen. So many Western Conference teams winning so often, it’s been tough to make any headway in the standings no matter how well you do.

But in the last week and a half, the Wild have done exactly that. Somehow. Finally.

“It’s nice. It’s the battle of playing in the central and definitely in the West,” defenseman Matt Dumba said. “Things are pretty tight here, but we’ve beared down over these last couple games, and to come out with those victories is huge for us.”

“It’s a marathon. You’ve just got to keep with it every day. And we’ve been lucky the last four games, we’ve made some headway,” Boudreau said.

So what’s fueled the surge, besides other teams finally losing a little?

“Their stick-to-it-iveness,” Boudreau said. “Like on the road we got behind, and there was times for a few months there that every time we got behind it was aw, here we go again and we didn’t come back. And the last couple weeks here, we’ve had that fight to believe that you can come back.”

Just 11 days ago, the Wild were slotted into the 8th seed in the West, and just barely — by one point, with three other teams nipping at their heels behind them. Eleven days later, they’re now comfortably in the 4th seed, with a two-point cushion. Of course, comfort is a relative term in this league. Especially in this conference, this season.

“It’s a good sign for us, but it’s still gonna be tight. We all know there’s not a lot of points separating the teams,” Zach Parise said.

In fact just five, from where the Wild are right now to being out of the playoffs completely.


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