Normally a Wild playoff appearance would electrify the state of hockey. Pit the former North Stars-turned-Dallas Stars as the opposition and you have a Minnesota made-for-TV seven game struggle.
But there is only one problem. The Wild are in the clutches of a five game losing streak as they back into the NHL post season.
The losses are unsettling. Players shake their heads in frustration. Interim Coach John Torchetti sternly demands that his players figure it out.
So, if you are a fan who lives by the numbers, the math won't add up for the Wild. Hockey insider and the Star Tribune’s Michael Russo sees a mismatch on the ice.
In Dallas, Stars watchers see a team that won the Central Division title and one playing well heading into round one. While confident, the Dallas Morning News writes that they also know what a Wild upset would mean.
Hockey is no different from any other professional sport. Anything can happen when the second season starts. Seeing both sides of the ice, NHL.com points to Dallas’ top players, including top scorer Jamie Benn and No. 1 defenseman John Klingberg “have little to no playoff experience.”
And while the Wild is in the playoffs for a fourth straight spring season, "The Wild likely won't win a series if they're forced to play run-and-gun with other high-end lines," the publication adds.
Hockey's big dance begins Thursday in St. Paul.