Wild at the Sharks (10:30 pm ET, NHL Network, FSN, FSWI, CSN)
A Wild win: gives them 53 points, would jump over San Jose for 5th.
A WIld loss: and a St. Louis win means the Wild would fall into 7th, as the Blues would pass them
Can't end up higher than 5th or lower than 7th at the end of tonight's games, could end up right where we are in 6th.
Other important games
Phoenix @ St. Louis
Vancouver @ Dallas
Columbus @ LA
Best possible outcome for the Wild is 2 points (in regulation), and then it gets kind of murky. St. Louis, Phoenix, Dallas and Columbus can all still catch us. We can still catch LA and Vancouver. So do you pull for the teams that are ahead of us to beat the teams that are behind us, the thinking being that you first have to punch your ticket to the dance and then worry about seeding? That seems to make the most sense, so you'd want St. Louis, Vancouver and LA to win tonight. I'm going to pull for Vancouver for that reason. But I think Phoenix is far enough behind us that they're not a threat, so I'm going to pull for them to beat St. Louis. And I just don't want to see Todd and Groins to pass us, so I'm going to pull for LA to beat the BJs. Whatever the outcome, please God let them be in regulation.
With a day's "rest" you have to think we'll see Bax tonight in the cage, all else equal. This will be a big test.
ITPST (If The Playoffs Started Today) the Wild would play the Canucks. Even with Kesler back, I think that's one of the more favorable of the likely matchups available to the Wild in the first round. Even starting on the road.
Finally, amazing moment from the Bruins/Sabres game last night. It must have been incredible to be in the stands, singing along. Boston strong, indeed.