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If the Wild wants to survive potential injuries and fatigue during the stretch run and chore through what it hopes is four playoff rounds, improving the forward depth may be the team's biggest need.
Few players — especially lately, it seems — get mugged as frequently as Zach Parise does around the opposing net.
Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, 13 days after scoring twice against the Wild, lit Minnesota up with three goals and two assists in the Wild's last game before a bye week.
It's not often that a team is so secure with its position in the standings that it can enter into a few weeks' worth of experimentation two months before the playoffs.
The Wild won its 39th game, topping last season's 82-game total 24 games sooner.
First-year coach Derek Lalonde took over an Iowa team that had the fewest points in the AHL the past two seasons and now has them over .500
The Wild's Gustav Olofsson went from struggling prospect to steady NHL pro.
With the Wild having not lost two in a row in 2½ months and having lost two in a row in regulation only once, Darcy Kuemper was "by far" the Wild's best player, according to coach Bruce Boudreau.
Dave Strader, battling a rare form of bile duct cancer for 8½ months, will return to the TV booth in Dallas on Saturday to call the first of five straight Dallas Stars games. "I've missed it a ton," he said.
The NHL said the Detroit forward's actions were not accidental or inadvertent.
Despite dominating the contest, the Wild was shut out for the first time in 41 games and suffered its third 1-0 loss of the season, second at home.
Alex Tuch may have played his worst of four NHL games during Tuesday's 1-0 loss to Anaheim.
Last year at this time, the Wild lost for the 13th time in 14 games, held ninth place in the Western Conference, fired coach Mike Yeo and was in danger of missing the playoffs. Now it is one of the glamour teams in the NHL.
Tyler Graovac paid the price for the Wild being unhappy with the play of the fourth line of late. The Wild center was placed on waivers Monday. If Graovac clears at 11 a.m. Tuesday, he'll be assigned to AHL Iowa.
The incident was reminiscent of last April when Chicago's Duncan Keith was suspended five regular-season games and a playoff game for swinging his blade wildly at Charlie Coyle's face
Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter and Zach Parise scored for the Wild with the man advantage on Sunday. But three times Minnesota allowed the Red Wings to answer after taking a two-goal lead.
'It's a team that can win the Stanley Cup,' the former Gophers star says.
When Jason Zucker was growing up in Las Vegas, his entire life was roller hockey. His dad, a general contractor at the time, built what's now the Las Vegas Ice Center — but the facility then was only roller rinks.
Jonathan Toews scored the winning goal with 3:09 into overtime on a 4-on-3 after a Ryan Suter holding penalty.
For the second consecutive second half of a season, Jason Pominville is heating up.
Charlie Coyle's move to center -- and then to wing when the game tightened up -- paid off in the 4-2 victory at Winnipeg.
If all goes according to plan, Charlie Coyle will break the Wild's ironman record of 283 games, set from 2000-03, Wednesday against the Blackhawks.
In addition to excellent goaltending, the Wild has benefited from improvements over its past success -- most notably improved depth and playing the same way at home and on the road.
Wild coach Bruce Boudreau loves the line because he can use it against any opposing top line and fully expect it will get the job done.
The Wild rebounded from its most lopsided loss of the season to top Vancouver
In the first 41 games, Staal led the Wild with 15 goals and 39 points. In nine games leading into Saturday's game at Vancouver, Staal had one goal and one assist.
If Friday's practice was any indication, the Wild's Alex Tuch, 20, will make his NHL debut Saturday in Vancouver as first-line right wing.
The arrival of young star Alex Tuch to the Wild's roster coincides with Charlie Coyle's slump.
The Wild on Wednesday gave up two power-play goals for the first time since Nov. 29 in a 5-1 stinker at Calgary.
Tyler Graovac, who had no points in 17 consecutive games and one in the previous 30, scored three goals in two games before Wednesday.
The Wild's win, coupled with Washington's loss, puts Minnesota at a league-best .724 points percentage and provided the Western Conference leaders with 71 points in 49 games
The Wild arguably has four scoring lines. "I feel that's what makes us really strong," Erik Haula said.
Coach Bruce Boudreau's team lost his All-Star debut badly, but the weekend in Los Angeles gave him a chance to call attention to the Wild's play.
The weekend task of Chris Guertin, a Wild fan and Minneapolis resident who does business with the NHL, was to find things to cheer up his son, Owen, who has been diagnosed with an arteriovenous malformation (AVM), a tangle of abnormal blood vessels connecting arteries and veins in the brain.
He gave up a lot to come to the Wild but gained so much more, with his son following Dad's every move during his latest All-Star season.
Ilya Bryzgalov, the lovable former Wild goalie and quote machine, was a correspondent for Players' Tribune during Saturday's media day during All-Star Weekend.
Devan Dubnyk's parents and siblings rode out the lows of his long pro career, and are in Los Angeles this weekend to join him at NHL All-Star weekend.
Scott Stevens was recognized with 99 others Friday night, including everybody from Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier to Eric Lindros and Mike Bossy.
Private planes on Friday will carry Devan Dubnyk, Ryan Suter and Bruce Boudreau to the NHL All-Star game in Southern California.
With 69 points in 48 games, the Wild has the second-most points in the NHL and sits atop of Chicago in the Western Conference and Central Division standings by four points with three games in hand.
Tyler Graovac entered Tuesday's game against the Stars with three goals and no assists in 37 games and one point in the previous 28 games.
For the fifth time in seven games, the Wild gave up at least a two-goal lead. But in the end, the Wild was able to snag two points anyway after Chris Stewart scored to cap a five-round shootout
Coach Bruce Boudreau said he met with Charlie Coyle before Saturday's game and it's clear the coach is frustrated. "He's not looking to shoot … ever."
If you're a Wild fanatic who doubles as a worrywart, there was a laundry list of things to be concerned about Sunday night.
The Wild goaltender doesn't like changing equipment as it is, let alone in the middle of the hockey season.
Erik Haula, Ryan Suter and Jason Zucker scored three goals in a span of 1 minute, 59 seconds late in the third period to boost the Wild over the Ducks.
Chris Stewart entered Saturday's game against his previous team tied for sixth on the Wild with 10 goals despite ranking 16th in total ice time (454 minutes, 56 seconds) and 19th in ice time per game (10:20).
Eric Staal's sons have taken a quick liking to their new surroundings after moving from North Carolina.
The former Gopher didn't play Thursday against the Arizona Coyotes, but he will surely draw into the Wild lineup this weekend.
Moving to wing has given Mikael Granlund the ability to show off his offensive creativity. In 43 games this season, he already has 10 goals and 36 points and is plus-23.
"I give them a ton of credit," the well-traveled analyst said. "They've put themselves in a great position to win a Cup. This is the best team they've had in Minnesota ever."
Devan Dubnyk slammed a door. Bruce Boudreau's face was as red as his tie. The coach his team did 'uncharacteristically dumb things' on each New Jersey goal in the 4-3 loss.
The Chris Stewart-Jordan Schroeder duo is making things happen on the fourth line, and glib coach Bruce Boudreau will leave it at that.
The backup goaltender, who surrendered a 4-0 lead Saturday in Dallas before Jason Zucker's late winning goal bailed him out, has allowed four or more goals five times and three goals two other times in his nine starts.
Jason Pominville snapped a 19-game goal drought with the third-period game-winner to help the conference- and division-leading Wild take a two-point lead on Chicago while playing four fewer games than the Blackhawks.
The addition of Eric Staal has, in Wild coach Bruce Boudreau's words, "taken a little bit of pressure" off team captain Mikko Koivu.
The Wild tied its most lopsided home victory in team history during a 7-1 dismantling of Montreal and its star goalie Carey Price.
Guests can study the body in motion and see what it takes to hit a basket, swing a racket or score a goal. The exhibit opened Jan. 6.
Leipold is thrilled the Wild pounced on Bruce Boudreau the instant the coach was sacked last spring by the Ducks.
Nearing the halfway point of the season, the Wild continues to show it's a very different team that it has been in recent years.
Because the Wild is assured of the best points percentage in the Central Division through Tuesday's NHL action, Bruce Boudreau will return to Los Angeles to coach the Central during All-Star Weekend from Jan. 27-29.
The Wild marked the end of a successful California trip with a comeback victory on the eve of the coach's 62nd birthday.
Wild coach Bruce Boudreau saw plenty to correct after Saturday's matinee, even after his team forced overtime with the Kings.
Ray Ferraro says Wild fans have good reason to be excited about prospects Jordan Greenway, Luke Kunin, Karill Kaprizov and Joel Eriksson Ek.
In the first half of the season, Zach Parise hasn't produced the way he's accustomed, so Bruce Boudreau reminded Parise of his strengths. In the next game, Parise had three points.
Mikko Koivo tied the score and then added the game-winner while Eric Staal also scored twice to beat the Sharks, who twice held two-goal leads.
Bruce Boudreau met with Wild winger Zach Parise on Tuesday to discuss his game of late. It seemed to work as Parise looked like the Zach Parise of old against the Sharks.
Dubnyk leads the NHL in goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts, but he's all about being a dad to his two young sons when he's off the ice.
The Wild coach indicated it's more to find the right mix on the Zach Parise-Eric Staal line rather than to downgrade Pominville, whose 14-game goal drought is the fourth longest of his career.
Recent scoring sprees mark a departure from coach Bruce Boudreau's team-first, disciplined system.
Wild prospects Kirill Kaprizov, Jordan Greenway, Luke Kunin and Joel Eriksson Ek have played big roles in this year's world junior championships.
Seven things that happened to the Wild over the calendar year.
The Wild doesn't want to risk losing Devan Dubnyk to the Las Vegas expansion draft.
The Wild's winning streak reached its end, while the Blue Jackets' run is at 15 and counting.
Some key players and key moments from the franchise-best win streak.
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