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Wild Warmup: Minnesota at Vancouver

Minnesota heads west as Dads' Trip commences

by Tyler Savitsky /
The essentials

Who: Minnesota Wild (27-24-7) at Vancouver Canucks (32-22-5)

Puck drop: 9:38 p.m. CT

Watch: FOX Sports North, FOX Sports App

Listen: KFAN FM 100.3, Wild Radio NetworkWild NHL App

Follow: @mnwild, @mnwildscribe; GameCenter

The Wild Warmup is presented by Bryant Heating and Cooling

As the Wild head out west to face the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night, there may be a different feeling than the team has had all year on a road trip.

Not only will it be the first road game under Interim Head Coach Dean Evason, but the players dad's will be in stands. 

The Wild are hosting its Dads' Trip for its two-game road trip against Vancouver and Edmonton.

Video: Dad's trip starts with a morning at Tria Rink

With the Dads in attendance, there could be a little more pep in the Wild's step when the players get on the ice on Wednesday.

"Whenever you have parents in the crowd watching, you play a little bit better," Wild forward Marcus Foligno said. "You work a little bit harder. It's just extra motivation. Obviously, they don't make it to many games, when they do, you always seem to get up a little bit more for those games and hopefully that's what we have here this week."

The Wild head into this game after a 2-0 defeat against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday. Despite recording 39 shots, the Wild were shut out for the first time since Dec. 21.

The team now sits seven points behind the Coyotes for the second Wild Card spot in the Western Conference and as the pressure builds every game, the Wild will face two teams that would be in the playoffs if the season ended today.

Vancouver is currently in third place in the Pacific Division with 69 points.

The Canucks and Wild met less than two weeks ago, with the Wild winning 4-2 at Xcel Energy Center on Feb. 6.

Its game with the Wild will be its fifth game of a six-game homestretch. It is 2-2-0 in the four games, most recently losing 5-1 to Anaheim on Sunday.

Elias Pettersson leads the club with 24 goals and 58 points on the season. J.T. Miller is right behind him, with 57 points, while recording a team-high 35 assists. Four other players have recorded 40 or more points for the Canucks this year, forwards Bo Horvat, Brock Boeser and Tanner Pearson, and rookie defenseman Quinn Hughes. Hughes leads all NHL rookies with 45 points this season.

Goalie Jacob Markstrom is 22-16-3 in 41 starts this season, recording a 2.74 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.

Not only is this a trip that the players look have been looking forward to, but it also really special to all the fathers.

"This is my first dads trip. It's incredible," said Mark Kunin, Luke's Dad. "It kind of [takes] you back because I'm here on the boards at the glass watching him practice the same way I did when he was a kid."

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