Saturday afternoon update: Greetings from Vancouver. Chuck Kobasew and Marty Havlat are on the flight, which leaves in five minutes. Wade Dubielewicz is on his way up and Anton Khudobin down.

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Good morning. I've got an early flight to Vancouver today. I won't be at this morning's very optional practice, so I'll update the blog this afternoon with any news. The only thing I anticipate right now is a potential flip of backup goalies and Wade Dubielewicz coming on the road. That wasÂ the indication given to the scribes down in Houston last night.

I'm assuming Martin Havlat (ill) will be on the trip, but I'll confirm to you after I land.

Since I wrote the other day that all the Wild will getÂ for finishing 13th in the WestÂ isÂ the 10th pick in June's Entry Draft becauseÂ Nos. 9-15 inÂ the East hadÂ fewer points in the standings, I've gotten a lot ofÂ emails asking to explain howÂ it's possible for such a disparity between the two conferences.Â

Incidentally,Â if the season ended today, the Wild would have the 9th pick now.

I threw your question at WildÂ director of hockey operations Chris Snow, who's good at analyzing such puzzles. Snow helped out a great deal, and here's the reason:

1. West v. East

West is 155-85-28 vs East. This means the West has taken 338 points in meetings between East and West, the East just 263. So, the West essentially 'took' 75 points (338-263) in those common games out of the East standings and put them into the West standings.

2. OT games in conference

There have been 109 OT games in East v. East games compared to 98 in West v. West games. That means 11 additional points in East vs. East games that go into the East standings.

3. Combine these factors.

75 "more points gained in the West in interconference games" - 11 "more points gained in East v. East games than West v. West" = 64 more points residing in West.

If you add up all points gained West teams the total is 1332. If you add up all point totals for East teams the number is 1266. Difference is 66 more points in the West.

Now, this is two points off for some reason,Â so maybe the NHL needs to do an audit of its standings (ha).Â But this definitely explainsÂ why it's so much harder for a team like the Wild to make the playoffs in the West as compared to if it was in the East --Â so thank you Chris Snow.

ByÂ the way, the Wild went 10-4-4 against the East this year, so Minnesota didn't "help" itself with its East success.

Talk to you from Vancouver.Â

Take a bow