• The Wolves are into a tougher stretch of their schedule, which started Saturday against Houston and continues this week with two games against Utah (away Monday, home Wednesday) and one Saturday at home against the surprising Suns. It feels like an important week after two home losses over the weekend derailed early momentum.

• Colorado entered Sunday with the most goals scored (73) in the NHL’s Western Conference, while the Wild has allowed the third most (69). There’s your clear story line to follow Thursday when the Wild hosts the Avalanche.

• The Gophers football game Saturday at Northwestern probably won’t matter in the grand scheme of winning the Big Ten West, but it has plenty of implications for the season overall. A win over the struggling Wildcats would also help regain momentum heading into the big showdown with Wisconsin in two weeks.

• After an impressive 80-66 victory over No. 19-ranked Arizona State on Sunday, the Gophers women’s basketball team has its next game at 2 p.m. Saturday at home against Montana State. Lindsay Whalen’s team has won three games in a row after a season-opening loss and could be carving out its identity.

• The Vikings have a bye next week, but all eyes should be on the Sunday Night game between the Packers and 49ers. A Green Bay loss would pull the Vikings into a tie for the division lead at 8-3 apiece, while a San Francisco loss could have wild card implications down the road for Minnesota.