The Wild's results in their last 3 games, along with results elsewhere, have helped out the team's slim hopes of making the play-offs. The home point against Winnipeg and the win against Boston mean that they are just 4 points behind Calgary, who currently occupy the 8th play-off spot.
So i've updated my analysis of our upcoming schedule, games we need to keep an eye on this week and what we need to do to make the play-offs.
I've added the LA Kings to the mix-up seeing as they've dropped to 9th. I've left Phoenix out for this week because they've broken away from the pack. As for the Ducks, I'll leave them out until they over-take the Wild.
Current Standings (via GerDevine)
- Okay, it's nothing to shout about, but it's certainly an improvement. Our goal-difference is a lot worse than the other team's, so that could prove to be a big hindrance in this tight play-off race.
Here's the Wild's schedule this week:
WILD (via GerDevine)
- The Wild's stretch definitely isn't easy. Where we end up next week comes down to which version of the team shows up. The road games against Florida and Dallas are tough, but winnable. Both teams have been out-of-sorts lately. I'm sure Mike Yeo will be targeting the game in Dallas as a chance to put the team right back into this play-off race.
- Then we're back at the X for home games against San Jose and LA. Both teams are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games. The Wild beat San Jose at home earlier in the season during a big slump. LA have slipped down the standings dramatically over the last few weeks and are definitely beatable if the Wild players just play the system.
- Koivu's injury is, of course, going to make things tougher than usual this week, so it's up to the rest of the team to pick up the slack.
Here's Colorado's schedule this week:
LANCHE (via GerDevine)
- Colorado have a potentially-damaging 4 games coming up. Home games against LA and the red-hot Ducks, and road games against Columbus, who have improved lately and are dangerous at home, and against Detroit. I predict that the Avs could slip down below the Ducks into 13th by next week.
Here's Dallas' schedule this week:
STARS (via GerDevine)
- Dallas have a tough stretch: A trip to Montreal, then down to Chicago, followed by home games against the Wild and the Canucks. I think they will be happy with 2 wins out of 4 here to keep them in-touch with 9th place LA.
Here's LA's schedule this week:
LA (via GerDevine)
- The Kings are also gonna have their work cut out. They play 4 road games, against the hot Coyotes and Preds, and against Colorado and Minnesota. Their home game is against the back-in-form Blackhawks. The Kings could find themselves in 10th place if they have a bad week.
Here's the Flames's schedule this week:
FLAMES (via GerDevine)
- Looking at those games, Calgary have the easiest run in: 4 home games, 1 weak team, another who are terrible on the road. They will need to be at their best to beat the Flyers and the Coyotes. I predict that they will have tightened their grip on 8th place by next week.
Anyway, that's what's coming up this week. With fewer and fewer games to go this season, the race for 8th place will come down to the wire.
Feel free to use the comment section to disagree with anything I've said, or to give your own spin on the upcoming schedule.