A big win last night puts the Minnesota Wild right in the think of the playoff race. The Anaheim Ducks? Well, they pretty much own the playoff race. While the Wild are battling a poor playing Ryan Suter and a cap problem that just won't go away, not to mention the fact that Zach Parise is a waste of money and Dany Heatley should be bought out, they continue to win games when they need to. It certainly would be nice if they would win more often, but for a team in so much cap trouble, it is easy to see how they would struggle.
Along the way, the Ducks are the new target for number crunchers, although most admit there likely isn't enough time for the dreaded regression to kick in. Which is good, because I'm sure Bruce Boudreau spends any number of night tossing and turning, wondering how he can get the RELCORSI of Correy Perry up so he can win games.
Likely not, actually.
To be truthful, the Ducks have been a good team for a number of years. When they found the right coach in Boudreau, everything came together. Some red hot goaltending, some scoring from all over the lineup card, and you have the mix of a playoff squad that could be unstoppable by any team not named the Blackhawks.
The Wild, on the other hand, still have tons of questions to answer. They need to know if scoring four goals a game was a fluke, or if they might actually have it in them to do it again. Niklas Backstrom is playing well, but is Darcy Kuemper a long term solution? Is Josh Harding coming back anytime soon? If not, what is the plan? Is the resurgence of Ryan Suter a mirage, or is he here to stay? Is Jonas Brodin really this good?
We know the answer to a few of those, but the question is, do the Wild?
They played lights out hockey for about 50 minutes last night. They still need to take the last step and complete a full game. Tonight against the Ducks would be a great time to do that.
Need Tickets in Anaheim?
Check out the supply of Minnesota Wild Tickets from our partner, TiqIQ.