Alexander Shun | @alexpshun
Digital Content Manager | KFAN.com
The Minnesota Wild have their last two games, the most recent of which was a 5-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night clinching them the No. 2 spot in the Western Conference as well as home-ice advantage for the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
With two, rather easy games remaining on the schedule, it appears as though the Wild could be headed into the Playoffs as winners of four-straight and one of the hottest teams in the league. Wild Head Coach Bruce Boudreau believes that regardless of how the regular season concludes, the postseason is a much different monster to tame.
"I think it's a whole new world," Boudreau said Wednesday after his team's practice. "You can have confidence going in but it is a whole new world. I've seen teams that have lost - I think Chicago, the last time they won the [Stanley] Cup, they lost the last four games of the regular season and nine out of their last 12 and then they won the Cup. I've seen teams go in on a six-game winning streak and then just keep going so I don't know. It's good for statistics and stuff like that but I think every team, individually, it's different for them."
While Minnesota's seed in the upcoming Playoffs won't change, their opponent might.
The Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues are in a battle for the third spot in the Central Division with the winner taking on the Wild. Boudreau said Wednesday that he is well aware of where those two teams are currently at and which opponent is more likely but noted that there are still two games left to play and that they could not get caught looking ahead.
"We get paid a lot of money to win hockey games so we'd like to go in there and win. We'd like to play as well as we can," Boudreau said, speaking about his team's somewhat meaningless last two regular season games. "I understand that it's the 81st and 82nd game and players will be looking forward to playoffs but I think it's important to keep the structure up and make sure we maintain what we've gained in the last 10 days."