Every hockey fan on the planet considered Wednesday's showdown between Minnesota and Chicago a big game.
Well ... everyone but Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Rosenbloom.
Less than 24 hours after the Blackhawks topped the Wild 4-3 in overtime, Rosenbloom roasted Chicago for thinking it was anything more than a regular season contest. Shame on the rested Hawks for thinking they had a chance to make a statement against the tired, West-leading Wild.
Rosenbloom's column is bulletin board material at its finest.
Yeah, the Wild are having a good regular season, but notice the key phrase: regular season.
Yeah, the Wild have a terrific defense and a great goal differential. Again, that’s in the regular season.
The Wild still haven’t beaten the Hawks in a playoff series, losing three straight, so no regular-season glory convinces me they can do it until they actually do it, same as when the Hawks won their first of three Cups in the last decade.
News flash: This isn't 2012, 2013 or 2014. And these aren't Mike Yeo's Wild. Bruce Boudreau is the man on the bench now.
Enter Rosenbloom with another bash: "Now Boudreau is coaching the Wild to a great regular season. Where have we heard that before?"
Sick burn, Mr. Chicago Tribune.
To be fair, Boudreau does have a track record of leading teams to fantastic regular seasons only to collapse in highly intense playoff games.
But this isn't Washington or Anaheim. This is a Minnesota team that's reaching as high as one ever has.
Rosenbloom can rip the Wild's history against Chicago until he runs out of ink, but even he can't deny that this year's Wild is a different beast.
"There’s a lot of hockey to be played this year, we know that. But we’re on a mission," captain Mikko Koivu wrote in The Players' Tribune.
He sure as hell can't deny that Minnesota rested its No. 1 goalie against his beloved Blackhawks. Devan Dunbyk has won five straight against Chicago, allowing a whopping five goals. Think the All-Star goalie might've made a difference Wednesday night?
Chicago did whip Dubnyk and the Wild in the 2014-15 playoffs. But it's 2017. Until Chicago jumps the Wild in the standings, they're playing second fiddle to the State of Hockey.
Chicago led the NHL with 35 points way back on Dec. 3, nine more than the Wild at the time. Since then, the Wild has out-pointed the Blackhawks 50-36.
These deadly, playoff-tested Blackhawks ... they were bounced in the first round last season.
Rosenbloom can keep living in the past, but the State of Hockey is just fine living in the now.