The stage is set for Minnesota’s game on Friday against the Oilers — get a win, get into the playoffs.
“It’s an important time for us as a team and, I think, as an organization,” Zach Parise told the Minnesota Star-Tribune. “We really need to play our best hockey right now. ’’
The Wild head into Friday’s action sitting eighth in the West with 53 points, one back of seventh-place Detroit and tied with Columbus, though ahead of the Blue Jackets in the standings thanks to games played.
(Minnesota has two games left, including Saturday’s season finale against Colorado; Columbus plays Nashville in its season finale, also on Saturday.)
If they’re going to get to the postseason for the first time since 2008, the Wild will need to break out of a month-long slump. Minnesota is just 4-7-1 in the month of April and has had a difficult time scoring goals, getting shut out three times while scoring two goals or fewer nine times.
Of course, one of those nine times was a 2-1 win over Los Angeles on Tuesday, a huge momentum builder as the Wild now look to take maximum points from the Oilers an Avs in the final two games of the year.
A pair of wins would get the Wild 57 points, giving them a slim hope of moving all the way up to sixth in the West.
For now, though, all the club is focused on is getting into the dance.
“[Friday’s game] is just as big as the last game,” said forward Kyle Brodziak. “We’ve got to get back on the horse and go back at it.”