There aren't many silver linings when examining the Wild's tough playoff matchup vs. Winnipeg.
Only one team in the NHL had more points than the Jets, and that was the Predators — the team that finished ahead of the Jets and Wild in the Central Division standings. The Jets scored the most goals in the Western Conference (277) and beat the Wild three of the four times they played this year.
But here are your two pieces of hope:
•At least in the playoffs, there is no more 3-on-3 overtime. The Wild lost six of its past seven games this regular season decided in overtime, and many were over in the blink of an eye. Winnipeg wasn't great overall in overtime this season, but the Jets were 4-1 in their past five. That edge is negated.
•The Wild had only six regulation losses at home this year — fewest in the NHL. If it can steal a game in Winnipeg, maybe that home-ice edge comes into play.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.