By Ren Clayton

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — The Minnesota Wild start the playoffs Monday with home ice advantage.

When the Wild drop the puck on game one of the playoffs, the Xcel Energy Center will be packed with fans. The bars and restaurants in downtown St. Paul will be full, too. Like Cossetta’s, which is just a block from the X.

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“It does a lot for all the businesses down here, which is very good. It keeps us going,” said Jesse Aanenson, a floor manager at the popular Italian restaurant and market.

Tom Reid’s Hockey City Pub will also be crowded — before, after and during the games.

“We’re all event-driven here,” said general manager Kathy Gosiger. “The month of March we had, what, all but three days with something at the Xcel. It was crazy busy.”

A crowded Cossetta’s on game night (credit: CBS)

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Businesses here around the Xcel Energy Center have felt the positive effects of the Wild’s postseason push. Now that the playoffs are here, it can only go up.

“To some of the guests it might be overwhelming because they see these lines in here. You got a pizza line, you got an entrée line,” said Aanenson. “But we get through it, we get ‘em through and they make it to the games on time.”

Wild fan Jason Dupaul won’t attend game one of the first round series with the Blues, but he’ll still feel the playoff buzz, likely at Tom Reid’s.

“I mean you’re standing back there in the corner,” he said of the crowd that fills the bar during Wild games. “It’s crazy, especially playoffs.”

The length of booming business, partially dependent on the on-ice performance of the team.

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The Wild are scheduled to host games one and two at Xcel Energy Center — and if the series goes that far — games five and seven.

Ren Clayton