I hate to put this to print because there are still several games remaining, but for all practical purposes the Wild are in the playoffs. Barring a substantial collapse, the team will qualify for the playoffs and finish in one of three slots: 3rd (by winning the NW division), 7th or 8th. Looking at the rest of the teams from the Western Conference, I have come up with my list of the teams I'd like to face in the first round:
1. Anaheim -- I wouldn't have any problem with playing the Ducks in the first round. They're playing poorly now (and have been for a long time) and it would give us a chance to settle the score from 2003. Knocking Pronger out would be worth the price of admission.
2. San Jose -- This is another team that started the year out red-hot, but has cooled. I'd feel confident playing them also.
3. Nashville -- You know what, I wouldn't be too upset if we drew the Preds in the first round. The Wild seem to play them well and I think they're prime for a first round collapse. Plus I'd really like to see them get jack-frickin-squat from the Forsberg trade.
Those are the 3 teams I'd want to face. The other teams scare me for a variety of reasons, the biggest of which is goaltending. I wouldn't want to face Luongo, Kipprosoff or Hasek in the playoffs. What about Dallas you ask? I wouldn't want to play them for selfish reasons...they are no fun to watch and play the most boring style of game in the conference.