Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Minnesota Wild

From the Rink: Wild turns page on red-hot February

Minnesota begins the month of March on the road against Arizona

by Dan Myers @DanMyers / Wild.com

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- After a red-hot month of February that saw the Wild climb several spots in the standings, Minnesota opens the month of March on the road, looking to carry over its momentum.

The Wild went 9-2-2 in February, finishing the month on a five-game winning streak and adding an exclamation point with an 8-3 win against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center.

"Foot on the gas," said Wild forward Charlie Coyle. "I think we're playing pretty confident as a team right now and we want to make sure we keep building our game, whether it's a practice day and having a good practice, or a game and making sure we're playing the right way."

Minnesota is playing some of its best hockey of the season, which is saying something; the Wild has at least one point in 22 of its past 27 games dating back to Dec. 27, posting an 18-5-4 mark during that stretch. That's tied for tops in the Western Conference.

But the Wild was outstanding over the final two periods against the San Jose Sharks on Sunday, winning in overtime, then dominant almost all night against the Blues.

Keeping that momentum on the road is paramount. The Wild has had its struggles away from home this season, but has won five of its past six away from St. Paul since the All-Star break, including all three in the New York area last week.

Video: Wild pregame at Arizona Coyotes

"I think playing fast, speed. We were doing the right things. When you win 8-3, you look at all the positives but when you dissect the video, we saw a lot of negatives we have to clean up," said Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. "But I liked the pace that we played at, and we played most of the game in their end. That's pretty important."

The Coyotes have the fewest points in the NHL this season, but their recent record doesn't reflect that. Arizona is 6-3-1 over its past 10 games, including a 4-3 overtime win against the Wild in mid-February, where the Coyotes dug out from a three-goal deficit by scoring four unanswered.

It's a result that Boudreau hopes will keep his players focused on the task at hand, and not look ahead to the second game of back-to-backs tomorrow against Central Division-rival Colorado.

"They've been above .500 the last two months. They've played really good hockey recently. And if they didn't start at 1-11, they'd be right in the mix. We've seen it two weeks ago," Boudreau said. "They had 25 shots in the last half of the game against us. Quite frankly, I think they've got a pretty good hockey club and I hope our players think the same thing because they outplayed us pretty well that night."

Here are the projected lineups:

WILD

Jason Zucker - Eric Staal - Mikael Granlund

Zach Parise - Mikko Koivu - Charlie Coyle

Tyler Ennis - Joel Eriksson Ek - Nino Niederreiter

Marcus Foligno - Matt Cullen - Daniel Winnik

Ryan Suter - Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin - Matt Dumba

Nick Seeler - Nate Prosser

Alex Stalock

Devan Dubnyk

COYOTES

Brendan Perlini - Derek Stepan - Clayton Keller

Max Domi - Christian Dvorak - Christian Fischer

Richard Panik - Freddie Hamilton - Josh Archibald

Jordan Martinook - Brad Richardson - Nick Cousins

Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Jason Demers

Jakob Chychrun - Niklas Hjalmarsson

Kevin Connauton - Alex Goligoski

Antti Raanta

Darcy Kuemper


Related:

View More