The Wild Beat
Sarah McLellan is an Edmonton native. She graduated from the Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State, and covered the Coyotes for five years at the Arizona Republic before arriving at the Star Tribune in November 2017.
A 6-2-2 run moved the Wild into the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference, but the team feels the mandatory five-day break it begins Monday is coming at the right time.
With plenty of rest on the horizon, the Wild is tabbing goalie Devan Dubnyk to finish out the team's back-to-back Sunday against the Canucks before the team pauses for its bye week.
The opportunity to improve to 3-0-1 on the brink of its bye week is very much on the team's radar.
The Wild thrived against the Jets last season, but the opposite has happened in 2017-18.
The Wild will pause its season next week for a five-day break in the schedule and the team could make the timeout a little easier to take with four more points in its own stash.
Although the Wild was overwhelmed by the Blackhawks in the first period en route to a one-goal deficit, the team cleaned up its play the rest of the way to rally for a critical 2-1 win over its division rival at United Center.
Possession of the second wild-card berth in the Western Conference is up for grabs during Wednesday's tilt between the Wild and Blackhawks in Chicago, the second half of a back-to-back for both teams.
Nino Niederreiter will be out for the next week, but coach Bruce Boudreau still expects production from across his lineup.
The captain did not practice on Monday at the X. "I guess you'd have to call him questionable at this moment for tomorrow," coach Bruce Boudreau said.
The Avalanche set a physical tone early in Saturday's meeting with the Wild, even before it began to pump the net with pucks en route to a 7-2 rout of the Wild at Pepsi Center.
To try to maintain its rhythm in the offensive zone, the Wild's objective is clear Saturday against the Avalanche: keep getting shots on goal.
Wild winger Nino Niederreiter's parents were able watch him play only once before returning to Switzerland after their visit, but Niederreiter sure put on a memorable performance when he finally got on the ice.
Inconsistency and injury headlined the first half of the Wild's season, a chapter that will end Thursday when it hosts Buffalo with the team at full health for the first time.
The Wild will complete the first half of its season Thursday after hosting the Sabres, and the midway mark holds extra significance because it'll be the first time this campaign the team will have every player on its roster available.
On the brink of having a complete roster at his disposal, it looks like Boudreau could have plenty to ponder after a solid 5-1 win over the Panthers Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center that appeared to flatter most.
Winger Zach Parise will make his long-awaited return to the Wild lineup Tuesday against the Panthers.
It took until Game No.40, but winger Zach Parise will finally make his season debut Tuesday when the Wild plays host to the Panthers to begin an abbreviated two-game homestand.
Another string of shorthanded play in a 3-0 loss to the Predators Saturday seems to drain the Wild's offensive talent.
After dispatching the Predators 4-2 Friday and shrugging off the Stars by the same score Wednesday, the Wild hustled to Nashville to complete a back-to-back Saturday against the Predators.
Devan Dubnyk's performance helped the Wild beat Nashville 4-2 on Friday.