The Wild has been buried and praised enough already this season for a work of Shakespeare, and we're just now arriving Wednesday at Game 50 of 82.

That game is at Colorado, yet another team milling round in the Western Conference playoff race.

After that, there's a long layoff for the All-Star break — and perhaps a chance for everyone to hit pause and stop treating every game like it will be the one to define the season.

Would it surprise you to know that the Wild, with 53 points, is just four off its pace from last season at this time?

Given how the NHL's balance of power — at least in terms of quantity of above-average teams — has swung to the East, something less than Minnesota's best might still be good enough for a seventh consecutive trip to the playoffs.

Wednesday will be a nudge in one direction, but there are still 32 more games — twice the length of an NFL season — left after it.

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