The Minnesota Wild have played only 3 games in the last 9 days, but now prepare to head out to California for a stretch that will amount to 4 road games over the next 6 days.
So far on this record-breaking 7 game road trip, the Minnesota Wild have had it relatively easy. They played back to back games on two-thirds of a Western Canada trip, before getting 2 days off to go home.
Then a quick trip to St. Louis, before another 2 games off to go home and rest. With a schedule like that, it’s not hard to understand how they were able to absolutely dominate the Blues in a 5-1 victory.
The Minnesota Wild will now embark on one of the most difficult road trips in hockey, heading down to play 3 games in 4 days against all 3 California-based hockey teams.
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The San Jose Sharks are finishing up their own 4 game home stand, and have been playing down to their expectations thus far. The addition of Erik Karlsson in the offseason left high hopes for the Sharks, but San Jose is currently sitting in fifth place among Pacific division teams.
Minnesota have won 6 straight games against the San Jose Sharks and former Minnesota Wild star defenseman Brent Burns. This streak includes 3 games in San Jose and 3 games in St. Paul, dating back to the 2016-17 NHL season.
The Los Angeles Kings are in the midst of a coaching change, after relieving John Stevens of his duties on November 4th. Somewhat unusual timing following a win against Columbus the night before.
The Minnesota Wild hold one win over the Kings already this season, a 4-1 victory that included a pair of empty net goals late to seal what had been a tightly fought game until the final minutes.
They finish their time in California against Anaheim, who are recovering from a recent 7 game losing streak to finish out October. The Ducks aren’t who teams have come to expect anymore, and look to finally be losing the battle to age.
Minnesota has lost 2 straight against Anaheim, and will be heading to the Duck Pond on the second half of a back-to-back. This could be the most difficult matchup on the trip, and a dreaded ‘trap game’. Despite Anaheim playing poorly this season, the Minnesota Wild need to be prepared for a tough fight to finish the trip through the West Coast.
Things don’t get any easier after that, either. Minnesota will head out to St.Louis for the second time on this road trip, and will likely be in for a challenge against a Blues team looking to avenge the embarrassment of their 5-1 defeat from last week.
Once the road trip is done, Minnesota will come back home, but face a busy schedule to make up for all of these extended layoffs and rest periods early in the season.
All in all, they have 8 games in the next 13 days, with no more than 1 day off in between. This stretch will cover the majority of the month of November, and should give a solid idea of if this team can maintain its hot start to the season.