Wild Vs Jets. There’s plenty at stake for the Wild in tonight’s Jets Vs Wild game. The Wild can clinch a spot in the playoffs if they can skate away with a W over the Winnipeg in regulation or overtime. The Jets have already been eliminated from any hope of appearing in the playoffs, but don’t look for that to stop them as they play for pride and try to play the spoiler role against their Central Division rivals.
Minnesota has been on a tear as it seeks to obtain the franchise’s second-ever playoff berth (their first was last year). The Wild are 3-0-1 in their last four games. The Jets, for their part, are showing the start of a too-little-too-late streak of their own, going 2-1-0 in their last three games, including wins over wildcard contenders Toronto Maple Leafs and Phoenix Coyotes. According to a Yahoo! Sports report, Coach Paul Maurice of the Jets had this to say about his team’s approach to the final games as they head into tonight’s Wild Vs Jets matchup:
“They sat down and decided what was important for them in the final four games. They brought a tremendous amount of effort. I’m really proud of them, and I’m hopeful. Those are the things I like most about this team since I got here. They’ve got a lot of competitiveness, and they really do care. I think that’s the best sign that we have.”
Barring a complete meltdown, the Minnesota Wild should finish the season with the first wildcard in the Western Conference. Under the new NHL playoff format, this sets them up for a first round against the lower-seeded of the two divisional champs in the Western Conference. Barring a late-season skid by the St. Louis Blues, this will be the Pacific Division champion – either the the Anaheim Ducks or San Jose Sharks.
The Wild have been playing well in front of the stellar goaltending of Ilya Bryzgalov, who is 5-0-3 with a 1.87 GAA and a.920 SV% since joining the Wild. Meanwhile, according to a CBS Sports report, inured star goalie Josh Harding (18-7-3, 1.86 GAA,.933 SV%) skated with the team for the first time since January this Wednesday, offering some hope that he might be ready to mind the net for the Wild in the playoffs. Harding is not expected to play in today’s Jets Vs Wild game.
You can watch tonight’s Wild Vs Jets game streaming online for free here or here.