If you think only the Chicago Blackhawks and their fans were rooting for the Wild to beat the Dallas Stars in the 1,230th and final game of the NHL's regular season Sunday, you'd be wrong.
You can bet the Vancouver Canucks wanted another postseason crack at the Blackhawks, too.
The Canucks' logo may be an orca, but the Blackhawks have proven to be the Canucks' White Whale. The Canucks' Stanley Cup dreams were destroyed in each of the past two playoffs by those meanies from Chicago.
Now the two match up again, and all in the NHL will get to see if the powerhouse Canucks are for real.
"We feel as a group that we still have a lot to prove," Vancouver forward Alex Burrows said before playing the Wild recently. "We lost to Chicago the last two years in the playoffs in two disappointing series. We've gotten older and more mature as a group, and we want to accomplish big things.
"I think the guys really worked hard this summer to have that chip on our shoulder that we wanted to come back, play strong and prove ourselves to everybody. Our depth at forward and on defense and in the nets has never been this good.
"Now the goal is to make it pay off in the playoffs."
The Canucks rolled through the 82-game regular season with 117 points and were rewarded with the first President's Trophy in franchise history.
They are arguably deeper than any team in the NHL.
Goalie Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider shared the Jennings Trophy for lowest goals against, with Luongo tied with Montreal's Carey Price for the NHL lead with 38 victories and near the top in save percentage and goals-against average. Their blue line is overstuffed with depth. Here's proof: They were decimated by injuries on the back end this year but still reeled off 54 victories.
One year after Henrik Sedin led the NHL in scoring, Daniel Sedin did the same, making them the first brothers to follow one another as scoring champs. The Sedin twins and Ryan Kesler finished first, fourth and tied for 15th, respectively, in scoring, and Daniel Sedin and Kesler tied for fourth with 41 goals apiece.
Excluding shootout goals, the Canucks led the league with 258 goals and gave up the fewest (180), making them the first team since the legendary Montreal Canadiens squads of the late 1970s to lead the league in both categories.
The Canucks barely missed becoming the first team since the 1984-85 Islanders to lead the league in power play and penalty killing percentages.
"You look around the room and you see the players we have in here. It gives you a certain kind of confidence," defenseman Dan Hamhuis said. "We have a real deep team."
Still, even though this version of the Blackhawks -- one that had to sneak into the playoffs thanks to the Wild -- is a far cry from last year's Stanley Cup-winning Blackhawks that was dismantled because of salary-cap issues, these are still the Blackhawks.
There's just something about them.
They have shellacked Luongo (.888 save percentage), especially in the two clinching Games 6s the past two years. Third periods have belonged to the Blackhawks, who have outscored Vancouver 24-8. They walked into Rogers Arena this past November and pummeled the Canucks 7-1.
"They'll be excited to knock us off after the last two years," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said.
Still, even hockey-mad Canucks fans craving a Stanley Cup won't believe it until they see it. And Luongo will always have his naysayers until he delivers in the postseason.
"Nothing matters until we carry this into the playoffs," Luongo said.
After such an incredible regular season, the only way the playoffs will equal success is if there's a parade up Granville Street in two months.
"The focus in here is so apparent every day when you show up to the rink, whether it's practice, whether it's for a workout, whether it's for a morning skate, game time," defenseman Keith Ballard said. "Guys have one thing on their mind."