Oilers Tame Wild; Now a Landslide Can Bring Them Down
The Minnesota Wild haven't negotiated the slippery slope of April's schedule well at all.
And now they're facing an Avalanche.
After laying a frozen egg in their last regular-season home game against the Oil, the team that's fallen the farthest in the NHL's standings must travel to Denver and vanquish the team that's last in the Western Conference standings in order to be assured a stake in the chase for Lord Stanley's silverware.
Here's their scenario in brief: The Wild need to get one more point than the Columbus Blue Jackets because they own the ROW tiebreaker. That's Regulation/Overtime Wins, and it's called ROW because baseball made acronym stats sexier than vanilla words like Most Wins.
Here are the specifics:
- Detroit just needs a point at Dallas and they're good. A regulation loss combined with Minnesota and Columbus victories, and their 21 consecutive years of making the playoffs will be snapped.
- Columbus needs more points than the Wild, but a Red Wing loss paired with a Blue Jacket win would do the trick for them, too.
- Minnesota just needs to get more points than the Blue Jackets.
|(*Note: Home games; Road games)|
The Wild have beaten Colorado three of the four times they've met in this abbreviated season, with one of those wins coming in Denver. In fact, that came with a 6-4 decision on 16 March, right before the über-tumble. The early line gives a slight edge to the Avalanche, while the Bovada data tool Smart Chart gives the Wild a stat match-up advantage, 5-3.
This one might come down to how tightly Minnesota grips their sticks, as the saying goes in hockey.
Too tight, and they'll be gripping their throats.