Wild-Stars playoffs: 3 things to watch as Wild battles its ancestors


It certainly has been an up-and-down season for the Wild but Minnesota still finds themselves in the playoffs for the fourth straight season.

The Wild clinched the last spot in the Western Conference and will face off in the opening round with the Central Division champion Dallas Stars.

Here are three things to watch for in the upcoming series.

Scoring, and lots of it

Dallas can put the puck in the net. In fact, no other team has scored more than Dallas this season. Jamie Benn leads the team in points and only Patrick Kane (46 goals, 60 assists) has more points than Benn (41 goals, 48 assists) in the NHL this season.

Dallas has been without center Tyler Seguin for almost a month, but Seguin (33 goals, 40 assists) is still second the team in points – and he might be healthy enough to play in the series, according to the Dallas Morning News.

And don't forget about Jason Spezza (30 goals, 30 assists) and Patrick Sharp (20 goals, 34 assists). Even if the Wild can stop Dallas' top line, there's still another one that can come with firepower.

Shaky Goaltending

Dallas has used a two-headed approach all season in net. Anti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen have started 47 and 43 games this season. Both of their numbers this season are below league average.

They rank 20th in the league in goals allowed this season. Not all of that is on the goalies, Josh Cooper of yahoo sports reports that if Dallas does want to make a stretch run, they'll need depth from their defense.

Norm Green

That's probably the last name Minnesota hockey fans want to remember but this is the first time these two teams will meet in the playoffs since Green sold the team to Dallas. Minnesota hockey fans remember him very well.

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Despite the Wild having some troubles at home this year, the Xcel Energy Center still provides a home ice advantage that is second to none.

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