The Wild will pause its season next week for a five-day break in the schedule and while idle, it could be tough to watch other clubs bank points.
But the team could make the timeout a little easier to take with four more points in its own stash.
That’s the opportunity that awaits the Wild with a rare back-to-back at home this weekend starting Saturday against the Jets before the team hosts the Canucks Sunday.
“We gotta take care of business ourselves,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “We can’t rely on other teams. I’ve pretty well got the schedule down pat for everybody, so they’re going to play and teams are playing against each other. So somebody’s going to pick up points. You can’t avoid it. There’s 12 teams that every given night are going to gain on you."
Special-teams play could headline the Wild’s matchup against its Central Division rival, the Jets.
After the power play went 0-for-3 in Wednesday’s 2-1 win over the Blackhawks, the unit has scored just twice in the past six games – a 2-for-19 skid.
Winnipeg, meanwhile, ranks second in the league with the man advantage amid a 25.6 percent efficiency – even after losing center Mark Scheifele to an upper-body injury last month that will sideline him for six-to-eight weeks.
The Wild worked on its power play during Friday’s practice at Xcel Energy Center, with the two improvements Boudreau would like to see a more consistent net-front presence and quicker puck movement.
“We move pucks, they can’t get to the areas and good things happen,” Boudreau explained. “When you’re slow and people are allowed to box up, it’s easy to kill.”
During the session, defenseman Mike Reilly was clipped with a puck in the mouth. Boudreau said Reilly didn’t lose any teeth but left to get stitches.
Here’s how the Wild skated:
Jason Zucker-Mikko Koivu-Mikael Granlund
Zach Parise-Eric Staal-Charlie Coyle
Tyler Ennis-Joel Eriksson Ek-Chris Stewart
Marcus Foligno-Matt Cullen-Daniel Winnik
Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin-Matt Dumba
Gustav Olofsson-Nate Prosser