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Continued: Winning a must for Wild to stay afloat in Western Conference

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Last update: November 16, 2013 - 11:55 PM

So instead of that unneeded stress, Koivu is trying to impart to his teammates that the only thing the Wild can control is doing its best to seize two points nightly. If that happens, the standings will take care of itself.

“We just have to keep on pace with all the other teams to make sure that you’re in the thick of things at the end of the year,” defenseman Jared Spurgeon said.

Plus, the Wild still has it better than other Central Division foes such as the Stars and Jets. Dallas is 6-2-2 in its past 10, Winnipeg has won four in a row and five of six.

Yet, they are tied with 22 points.

“I think the standings will tighten up more once there starts to be more West-vs.-West games,” General Manager Chuck Fletcher said. “Long-term, I think this is great. I think it’s great when we’re forced to compete with very good teams, forced to raise the level of our play. That’s what you want. You want that high level of competition to make you better.

“There’s no easy games in our division and our conference, so it’s going to be a grind right through to the end.”

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  • Jason Pominville, left, of the Minnesota Wild celebrates his goal with teammates Mikael Granlund (64) and Nino Niederreiter (22) while Jay Harrison of the Carolina Hurricanes looks on in the first period at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C., on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. Minnesota won, 3-2, in a shootout. (Chris Seward/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT)

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