Minnesota Wild vs Phoenix Coyotes: Game 32

Christian Petersen

The Coyotes come to town with their tail between their legs. Can the Wild capitalize?

Let's face it folks, the Wild are red hot right now. It is likely that nerd numbers tell us that it is unsustainable, or they will regress, or they're just riding luck, or some other stupid thing that no one really cares about. All that matters is that they are playing an exciting brand of hockey, even if it is completely insane and, at times, heart attack inducing.

Seriously. 7-4? When did the Wild learn how to put up 42 shots and 7 goals?

They will need to stay in their current state of prosper in order to stay where they are in the standings. The Canucks don't look to be fading any time soon, and are currently ahead of the Wild by two points, but the Wild have tonight's game, and one other, in hand. Games in hand mean nothing if you don't win them, though. Otherwise, the are just wasted time.

If, somehow, the Wild can maintain their current level of play, the "we lost to who?" comments will dry up quickly. There is no reason to believe they can't keep the level of play up, unless you just want to dig up numbers and manipulate them to say they can't. The team has gelled, they are developing chemistry through the lines, and the defense is playing well in front of Niklas Backstrom, who has been stellar.

The Wild are shooting the puck, and limiting shots in their own end. They are creating chances, and capitalizing on those chances. It almost looks like hockey, believe it or not.

Tonight, they face the Phoenix Coyotes, who are not exactly playing lights out right now. Bottom of their division, four points out of the playoffs, and hanging around the standings with teams like the Flames and Oilers. That can't be what Yotes fans want to see, and can't make things better with the constant barrage of ownership stories.

It all comes down to execution. If the Wild keep their foot on the gas, tonight should be winnable. This is the kind of game they need to dominate to be taken seriously, and they likely know it. Game time is 8PM to avoid the NBC exclusive window. Enjoy the game.

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