Wild players, coaches know they need to step up play

9:12 PM, Apr 22, 2013   |    comments
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ST. PAUL, Minn. - Fans that go to Wild.com, the official Minnesota Wild team website, are promptly asked to buy playoff tickets.

While the sales pitch is strong, the push to make the postseason will require better play on the ice.

"We can sit here and say we were doing a lot of good things, but this time of year, we have to be better," Wild coach Mike Yeo said.

With just three games left, the Wild currently hold the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference with 51 points. They are tied with the Columbus Blue Jackets, one point ahead of the Detroit Red Wings and three points ahead of the Dallas Stars.

"This time of year, every play is the difference in the game. That's the mentality that you have to have," Yeo said.

Players and coaches know exactly why the race is as tight as it is in the final week of the season. The Wild are 3-7-1 in April.

"I think along the way, we've been trying so hard to win, somehow it looks like we're forgetting how to make sure we don't lose," Yeo said.

"Obviously, we aren't happy with our play, but we have no choice but to put it behind us and get back to work," center Matt Cullen said.

The most recent struggles came on Sunday against Calgary in a 4-1 loss at the Xcel Energy Center. In the month of April, the Wild have managed only one point at home in five games.

"We just need a better effort from everybody," Cullen said. "We control our own destiny, and we have three games left and we have to have our best three games."

The Wild finish the regular season with Los Angeles at home on Tuesday, Edmonton at home on Friday and on the road against Colorado on Saturday.

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