The final day of the NHL regular season is Thursday and the Minnesota Wild will be able to rest key players if they so choose against the St. Louis Blues because their fate is in the hands of the Colorado Avalanche.
Minnesota lost 4-0 to the Blues Wednesday night, though that result didn't matter as the Vegas Golden Knights rocked San Jose 6-0 and Colorado crushed Los Angeles 6-0, setting the stage for a huge Thursday night with the West Division title on the line.
Vegas finished the regular season 40-14-2 and 82 points. Colorado is 38-13-4 with 80 points, meaning a win over the Kings in the season finale Thursday night would give them 82 points. Colorado owns the tiebreaker over Vegas, so a win would give them the West Division championship.
Here's what it means for Minnesota:
If Colorado wins Thursday, the Wild face Vegas in the first round of the playoffs. If the Avalanche lose, the Wild will face Colorado in the first round. It's as simple as that, and it does not matter what the result of the Wild-Blues season finale Thursday night is.
Colorado and L.A. drop the puck at 8 p.m. Central Time Thursday, so all eyes on thtat result as it will determine Minnesota's playoff fate.
Note: Not matter what, the Wild are locked in as the No. 3 seed, so they will not have home-ice advantage against Vegas or Colorado in the playoffs.