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Wild Weekly Preview: April 18th-24th "Win or Bust" Edition

If this is the last Wild Weekly Preview of the season, it's been a blast, folks.

Erik Haula - Minnesota's Suomi Savior?
Erik Haula - Minnesota's Suomi Savior?
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Game One was certainly a game we'd all like to forget. The Minnesota Wild dropped a bad one 4-0, promising a much better effort in Game Two. They delivered, but it wasn't enough, and the club again dropped the game, this time by a score of 2-1. We can spend all day talking about how Antoine Roussel's goal shouldn't have counted until the cows come home, but, the fact remains that, if you're banking on fair and accurate officiating to win the game, you probably don't deserve to win it in the first place. Le sigh.

This Week's Schedule

Monday, April 18th - Minnesota Wild vs Dallas Stars 7:30 PM CT (FS-N, FS-WI, CNBC, SN, TVAS2)

Wednesday, April 20th - Minnesota Wild vs Dallas Stars 8:30 PM CT (FS-N, FS-WI, NBCSN, SN360, TVAS3)

Friday, April 22nd - Minnesota Wild @ Dallas Stars TBD (FS-N, FS-WI, TBD)

Sunday, April 24th - Minnesota Wild vs Dallas Stars TBD (TBD)

Game of the Week

If Minnesota doesn't pull out a win in Game Three, we all might as well call it a season. Very rarely does a team come back from the brink of elimination with four straight victories. As much as it hurts to say it, we should expect no less of the Wild. With that in mind, the players, coaching staff and brass are hoping a return to home ice with (hopefully) an energized and electric building will sway the odds in their favor.

Key Player of the Week

Now with the benefit of home ice advantage, the return of Erik Haula gives head coach John Torchetti the ideal defensive match-up for the high octane Jamie Benn-Tyler Seguin line. The Finnesotan hasn't played this good since his rookie season, and will be counted on to play spoiler much like he did against the Nathan MacKinnon line in Minnesota's first round series against Colorado in 2014. If he succeeds in his role, along with Nino Niederreiter and Jason Pominville, it'll go a long way towards evening up the series at home.

Key Opponent of the Week

Move over, Cody McLeod, there's a new goon for Wild fans to hate. Antoine Roussel serves a "valuable" role as Dallas' agitator, and has played the role quite well this series. Hitting everything in sight, getting under Wild players' skin and scoring a league-wide controversial goal (when Chicago's beat writer complains about it, you know it's bad) that helped lead his team to a Game Two win - he can apparently do it all. It'll be up to Minnesota to maintain its cool, let Roussel lose his and, instead, make stupid mistakes. One thing is for sure, he's going to do whatever he can to be the biggest pain in the butt this team has ever seen.