What a difference a week can make.
Also, a new coach.
Oh, and three games against three of the worst teams in the NHL. That probably helped, too.
Whatever the reason for the turnaround, the Minnesota Wild are back home for Sunday’s outdoor game against the Blackhawks after sweeping a three-game trip to Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton in which they outscored their opponents 15-8.
And, boy, are they feeling good about it.
“It’s a world of difference, it feels like,” forward Charlie Coyle told reporters last night. “All of a sudden we feel good about ourselves, our confidence is growing each game and it’s a huge road trip for us.”
The challenge will be to keep it going against superior competition, because the Wild still need to make up ground to get back into a playoff spot, and five of their next six opponents are currently in just that — a playoff spot:
That game against the Avs could be a big one, given the standings…
…but first things first, the defending champs on Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium.
Minnesota has already beaten Chicago twice this season, most recently on Dec. 1, before the Wild’s tailspin that cost Mike Yeo his job.