The final weeks of February were not kind to the Minnesota Wild.
Minnesota closed out the month having lost three straight games and five of the last six overall. It’s the team’s roughest patch since dropping five straight games between Dec. 11 and Jan. 1.
The Wild will look to break the skid on Tuesday night at home at the Xcel Energy Center against the Calgary Flames. It’s Minnesota’s first game in St. Paul since Feb. 18, and the Wild have a 16-4-1 home record this season.
It’s is the second of a home-and-home matchup with Calgary and comes tnree days after the Flames rolled to a 7-3 win in the final game of the Wild’s four-game trip through Canada.
“We were embarrassed tonight,” Wild coach Dean Evason said in his postgame media availability session. “Everybody, all of us. We were embarrassed tonight. There wasn’t one area of our game that was good.”
“We had no fight to our game right from the start and as much as we attempted to challenge (the players) it never materialized at all.”
Evason expanded on those comments after a team practice on Monday.
“It’s the first time this year we did not compete in a hockey game,” Evason said during a media availability session. “We got out-competed and that’s not who we are. The group knows that, we all know that. We got out-competed in all areas, not just players. We all did. We shouldn’t be a very happy hockey club and we weren’t in practice.”
Evason said the Wild did not match the Flames physical play.
“It felt like they were finishing their checks and we were not,” Evason said. “Last time we checked being physical, checking is legal in hockey.” Evason said. “They did a lot of legal checking and we did not. We got away from the physicality in our game and that needs to come back to the Minnesota Wild because that’s our identity and that’s who we are.”
Monday is the first of a stretch 17 games the Wild have scheduled over the next 32 days. Eleven of those matchups will be in St. Paul, including nine straight to end March.
The Wild vs. Flames odds on .WynnBET has Calgary favored by 1.5 goals as was the case in the first game of the home-and-home matchup on Saturday. Calgary is also a slight favorite on the moneyline as well at -115. The Wild are the underdog at -105. The over/under is set at six total goals.
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Upcoming Wild schedule
Thursday, March 3: @Philadelphia, 6 p.m. CST
Feb, March 4: @Buffalo, 6 p.m., CST
Sunday, March 6: Dallas, 3 p.m.