Scouting the Playoff Race: Minnesota Wild

The Vegas Golden Knights are in a race to make the playoffs. One team that's a thorn in their side is the Minnesota Wild.
Minnesota Wild v Arizona Coyotes
Minnesota Wild v Arizona Coyotes / Zac BonDurant/GettyImages
3 of 5

2. The Case Against the Minnesota Wild

Joel Eriksson Ek, Nicolas Roy
Minnesota Wild v Vegas Golden Knights / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

The Minnesota Wild aren't exactly known for playing clean hockey, with the fourth-highest penalty minutes in the NHL (764). That coincides with a disastrous penalty kill (28th in the NHL at 74.4%), which has haunted them this season. Not staying out of the penalty box can derail a season for a group like Minnesota, specifically in crunch time.

As mentioned, the Wild have an unforgiving gauntlet of games after March 30. The Golden Knights matchup at the end of March will start a stretch where Minnesota faces playoff teams in six of their last ten games. That includes a road trip starting April 7, where the Wild faces Colorado, Vegas, and Los Angeles. If Minnesota doesn't capitalize on their winnable games, they're toast.