Wild Enters April Atop Northwest; Hosts St. Louis

No fooling, the Minnesota Wild is in first place in the Northwest Division on the first day of April, the final month of the NHL regular season.

The club has 14 games in the next 27 days, with the St. Louis Blues coming to town tonight. The Blues have had three days off and will come to Xcel Energy Center desperate, as the team has lost three-straight games and is a point out of playoff picture.

Minnesota has been the hottest team in the Western Conference, winning eight of its last nine games. Even with the team playing well, Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo told the media after the club’s morning skate that it is important to remain focused on each game. WildTV captured Yeo’s media availability as he talked about tonight’s challenge against St. Louis and the team’s recent play.

After missing Saturday’s win against the Los Angeles Kings with an illness, Torrey Mitchell will be back in the lineup tonight. He’ll rejoin the wing with Zenon Konopka and Mike Rupp. Mitchell spoke to the PONDcast about how he kept track of Saturday’s game while he was sick.

Defenseman Brett Clark will be on the blue line again tonight. The veteran grew more comfortable as the game against the Kings went on. That means the Nate Prosser, who skated at forward for the ailing Torrey Mitchell will be out, along with defenseman Justin Falk.

Niklas Backstrom will be back in net against the Blues. The netminder looks to continue his hot play in the new month, as he went 11-2-0 with 2.47 goals against average and .915 save percentage in 13 March starts.

WildTV spoke with Wild Captain Mikko Koivu about his line and the way that the team has been playing. His linemate, Zach Parise, also spoke to the media about his line and tonight’s game. Finally, Kyle Brodziak shared his thoughts about the team’s recent success and what he expects to see from the Blues.

April is also poetry month, so we’ll leave you with a Hockey Haiku:

A view from the top

Of the Northwest Division

Wild still rising

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