Big week for the Wild, but more about that in a coming post. For now, please enjoy this guide to the first round of the playoffs from a Wild fan's perspective:
1. Boston v. Montreal ~ not much to like or dislike here, although it'd be nice to see Mikko's older brother succeed. For Gopher hockey rubes there's the Phil Kessel / Blake Wheeler connection. I don't expect Manny Fernandez to see the light of day unless there's a blowout.
2. Washington v. New York ~ Wild fans like me always hate New York based teams, so I'm pulling for the Caps here, and besides, they've got a Nicklas Backstrom.
3. New Jersey v. Carolina ~ I'm big on the Devils, and not just because I've become a trap-lover over the last nine seasons. New Jersey has several Minnesotans on the roster including Zach Parise, Paul Martin and Jamie Langenbrunner. Brian Rolston helps too, go Devils!
4. Pittsburgh v. Philadelphia ~ I'm leaning Penguins here with the Pascal Dupuis connection, although Matt Cooke doesn't help their cause any.
5. San Jose v. Anaheim ~ come on, does anyone really like the Ducks?
6. Detroit v. Columbus ~ I'm always hoping the Red Wings go belly-up, and besides, Columbus is sort of like our sister franchise, coming into the league at the same time.
7. Vancouver v. St. Louis ~ Blues in a landslide. Spring Lake Park's David Backes is the real thing, not to mention T.J. Oshie. Have I mentioned that I hate the Canucks?
8. Chicago v. Calgary ~ Number 2 on my hate list is the Flames. Dion Phaneuf is Satan, enough said.
There you have it. Tomorrow I've got a great post in mind about the public's tendency to overrate Roberto Luongo just because they like saying his name.