ST. PAUL, Minn. The popular refrain from the Minnesota Wild the past two weeks is that the intensity in this pressure-packed, lockout-shortened season has increased to where Minnesota believes it's in playoff mode already.
Tuesday's home game, after a three-game road trip, was a tight contest between the Wild entering the game in sixth place in the Western Conference and the conference-leading Chicago Blackhawks. With Chicago already in the playoffs and Minnesota fighting to solidify its positioning, Tuesday's game had the feel of a postseason game in which one mistake was likely to decide the game.
Unfortunately for the Wild, they made the crucial error in Chicago's 1-0 victory.
"Certainly had that feel," Minnesota coach Mike Yeo said of one mistake deciding the game. "Both teams were playing pretty tight. They had some pretty good rush chances in the first. In the end, I really think the story of the game was we played very hard. I thought we defended really hard tonight, bu...