And just like that, the Wild are in the playoffs…

San Jose Sharks defenseman Mario Ferraro (38) and Minnesota Wild left wing Kevin Fiala (22) battle for the puck behind the net during the first period at SAP Center at San Jose. Neville E. Guard / USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Wild won again tonight… or last night… or whatever. It’s dark out but the clock says “AM”. The Wild are in San Jose to start a road trip against below-average competition. We are hoping the trip will yield W’s and not the corona virus. So far, so good…

They defeated the Sharks out in San Jose, despite health officials recommending the game be cancelled until the corona virus is under control.

The game itself, was mostly Wild early. It got pretty hairy late but the Wild were able to hold on.

Now, they will reap the benefits…. which include jumping two teams in the Western Conference playoff standings, and planting themselves as the #1 wildcard for that side of the playoff bracket.

That’s a far cry from the tank I was calling for a month or two ago. If the season ended this morning, not only would the Wild make the playoffs, but they’d avoid a first round bye vs St. Louis….

The Wild still have to win double the games they lose, if they are going to end up in the final bracket, come season’s end. However, if Kevin Fiala continues to look like a future NHL superstar and Parise can continue to pile up points, who knows what could happen.

Seriously, if you haven’t sat down and watched a Wild game in awhile, it’s time to change that. Kevin Fiala just looks to be operating on a different level than everyone else and even my stupid hockey eyes can see it.

His play over the last month or so, makes me feel a lot better about (and a little worse for) Paul Fenton.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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