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Minnesota Wild: Great December Helps Them Climb Out of the Cellar

Eric LaForgeCorrespondent IDecember 28, 2009

MONTREAL- DECEMBER 17:  Robbie Earl #38 of the Minnesota Wild celebrates his first period goal with team mates during the NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens on December 17, 2009 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

At the beginning of the month, the Minnesota Wild were slowly falling out of the playoff picture. They weren't being looked at as a contending team, and they definitely weren't winning the games that they wanted to.

After entering the month with a record of 10-12-3, the Wild proved everybody wrong. They started to turn their season around.

They entered the month with back-to-back wins over the Avs, and were able to stretch that winning streak to an incredible five games.

They would defeat the Predators twice, and the Ducks once.

However, that would only be the beginning of the winning that they would do. Right now, they are 9-4-0 in the month of December with three games left to play.

What this team has done this month could have saved the rest of their season. They are 11th in the conference and a measly three points out of the sought-after eighth place.

Really, the Wild have improved both offensively and defensively. For the most part, the defense has done a great job of keeping the puck out of the net, and the offense has been able to score.

There were a few times this month where this wasn't true. They were shut out by the Coyotes 2-0, and then shut out the Avs the next game 1-0.

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However, the season is far from over. Over the next few months, we'll start to see whether or not these wins were a fluke, or if there's going to be more to come.

One thing is for certain: If the Wild want to make the playoffs, they have to continue to work hard and win games. They can't afford to let their guard down and let other teams get ahead of them. If they do, then there's no hope for the club.

You can see more of my NHL opinions at Tips for Hockey