SEATTLE – Have the Wild really won five of their past seven games for one of the best records in the NHL over the past two weeks?
The standings haven't treated them that way.
They are still multiple wins behind the last playoff spot in the Western Conference, and they'll need to leap a handful of teams to get there.
But watch how the team is on the ice or listen to the sound bites coming out of the locker room, and the Wild are doing what it takes to eventually close the gap.
"For sure," defenseman Zach Bogosian said. "Standings aren't really something that we pay attention to on a day-to-day basis. We just know that we're playing some good hockey. We keep playing this way, we're going to win more times than not, and that's kind of our attitude right now."
Climbing back into contention wasn't going to happen overnight.
After all, the Wild did plummet to third-to-last in the league and trailed the final wild-card seed in the West by seven points.
Since replacing coach Dean Evason with John Hynes and ending a seven-game losing streak, they have picked up 10 points but have elevated only four slots to 26th place.
(Edmonton is in the same boat, sinking to 31st before firing its coach. Since then, the Oilers have lost only three times and are currently on a seven-game win streak. But they are only one point ahead of the Wild.)
"Yeah, it's tough watching the standings because since it's a two-point league, it's always hard to catch up," goalie Filip Gustavsson said. "When we lost seven in a row and had such a bad start to the year, it's going to be a long way back. But it feels like you keep playing like this, we're going to have a good opportunity to get back there."
Take their most recent performance.
Wrapping up a nearly weeklong road trip after dropping a challenging back-to-back at Vancouver and Edmonton and missing one of their best defenders in Jonas Brodin, the Wild recalibrated for a no-nonsense 3-0 shutout vs. Seattle on Sunday night.
All that has improved with Hynes in charge was on display, from sharper special-teams execution, timely offense led by Matt Boldy and tiptop goaltending from Gustavsson.
After stopping all 24 shots from the Kraken, Gustavsson owns a .951 save percentage and 1.21 goals-against average over his past five starts (4-1).
"When you have a breakdown, he's able to make those saves," Hynes said. "But he looks confident. He looks big. I think he's reading the play well."
Boldy's first-period tally stood up as the game-winner, and he's on a six-goal, seven-game tear while not being negligent when he doesn't have the puck. Actually, his defensive effort is helping the Wild force turnovers, which is how Boldy created his goal vs. the Kraken.
"He's feeling confident for sure, which is nice to see," Hynes said. "But his overall game is real strong."
Then there's the penalty kill, which went 3-for-3 for their fifth perfect game through the past seven.
Overall, the defense was locked in, an impressive showing in its first game without Brodin, who's sidelined week to week because of an upper-body injury.
Bogosian, who returned after sitting out four games because of his own upper-body injury, was a solid addition, logging almost 19 minutes. And Jake Middleton, who took Brodin's spot next to rookie Brock Faber, had a game-high seven blocked shots while skating a career-high 26:30.
"Our net-front boxouts were really strong," Hynes said. "Gus made some big saves, but I thought we were good where we didn't give a lot of second chances or screen shots. We were pretty detailed in that area."
This is progress, and the Wild know they have changed.
If they don't backslide, the standings should reward them in time.
"We're a veteran group," Bogosian said. "We know what to do. A lot of guys have been around for a while. We just take it day by day [and] find that happy medium."