So guess what? The Anaheim Ducks beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 also on Thursday, meaning they're now just one point back from the Wild for the last Wild Card slot in the West. And would you believe, the Ducks come to Xcel for a 1 p.m. tilt Saturday.
Wild winger Tyler Ennis said it was tough to see points slip away Thursday when they're at such a premium this time of year. But the team doesn't really have time to dwell on missed opportunities with such an imperative game in two days.
"We need to bounce back. We need to win. Just, it’s so tight, it’s important, and we know it," Ennis said. "It seems like we’ve been playing for a playoff spot since November. It’s so tight. It’s a huge game, there’s nothing else to say to that. Basically every game from here on out is huge."
Well, one thing the Wild will need to improve upon for this playoff push is turnovers, which were again costly against Washington.
"That's going to become more important as we go forward here," goaltender Devan Dubnyk said. "We can't get frustrated if pucks aren't going in. We got a lot of chances tonight. You don't want to turn those chances when they're not going into the net into turnovers or plays the other way. It's something we've been stressing all year about getting pucks deep and not turning it over. Those things tend to cost you when you do that."
Coach Bruce Boudreau was a little more insistent on the issue, threatening to nag his players until they finally get the message.
"Obviously, turnovers are not what you want. I think it was our No. 1 key of the game: putting pucks behind their D without turning it over because they have a great transition game," Boudreau said. "That was what was on the board. We’ve got to keep trying and pushing them and pushing them and harping at them about turnovers. And hopefully before it’s too late, it’ll sink in."
That's it for me, fam. Sarah is back on for the foreseeable future. But I'll be around again. Lingering in the background. Waiting for my next shot like I'm Ovechkin in the left circle during a power play.