Wild anxious to get back on ice, secure playoff spot

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This week is not really fun in the sun. It’s more like work on the ice.

The Wild though are still on a “spring break” of sorts with five days between games, but that can get a little mundane in March for Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau.

“Let’s get playing again,” Boudreau said when asked about his team’s week-long layoff. “Especially when you’re watching games that don’t go the way you want them to go, you want to play.” 

The end of the season will be anything but a bore for the Wild, playing their final nine games of the year in only 15 days. 

Minnesota still needs more points to secure a spot in the postseason. A much different feeling compared to this time a year ago. 

“Last March we were playing pretty awful hockey, but at the same time we were so far ahead of everybody we weren’t worried about anything,” Boudreau said. “This March we seem to be playing really good hockey, but at the same time the race is so tight you have to worry about it every day.”

Boudreau’s message is loud and clear in the dressing room, too. Players echoed the importance the next two weeks that will decide their postseason fate.

“Every game means so much more and I think that it’s good that way,” Wild forward Nino Niederreiter said. “We’ve been on the right track and it’s getting better and better.”

This weekend could dictate some success down the stretch of the season. The Wild host both Nashville and Boston, two teams with playoff spots already secured.

“Those are two teams that if we win both of those games we will have a lot of confidence moving forward and it will also give us some more breathing room,” Wild forward Marcus Foligno said. “We have to buckle down and make sure we bring our A-game this weekend.”

But with games coming up against some of the best teams in the NHL, the Wild are hoping their best hockey is still yet to come.

“I think we’re the type of team that plays better when we have our backs against the wall or when we have a little more pressure on us,” Foligno said.