March 23, 2012: Sunrise, FL, USA; Edmonton Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk (40) skates behind the net during the second period against the Florida Panthers at the BankAtlantic Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
The Chicago Blackhawks are doing a good job of avoiding a tough 4-5 matchup and slotting into the No. 6 seed. Elsewhere, the Oilers are still bad, but Devan Dubnyk is not.
The Chicago Blackhawks are trying to pull off that slick move where they finish in sixth place on purpose to make themselves favorites in their playoff series. Not to disrespect the Los Angeles Kings or the other teams that still have a chance to win the Pacific, but Chicago would rather meet them than Detroit or Nashville. The Blackhawks probably shouldn't lose on purpose, though. That's generally a bad idea.
Minnesota Wild 5-4 Chicago Blackhawks
Goaltending and defense is so overrated. Patrick Kane netted a game-tying goal late in the third period to force overtime for the Blackhawks, but they lost in the shootout and only picked up one point as a result. They're sixth in the Western Conference, but they could still jump up to fourth. Here's Minnesota Wild blog Hockey Wilderness, on tanking and how this win hurts their draft position.
So the #diveforfive is perilous. After a win in Chicago, the Wild find themselves in draft position #7, which set off a bit of a Twitter battle between the fans who want to see wins and those who want to see a high draft choice. Comments about recruiting free agents by showing heart and dedication versus a rebuilding process with a top pick instead of a mid-rounder as has been the norm in St. Paul. Frankly, neither side is right or wrong.
The Oilers are a bad team and a lot of their young players have not yet reached their potential. It's tough to envision them as a playoff team next season without some serious offseason moves. But hey, their 25-year-old goalie is really good. Edmonton Oilers blog Copper And Blue was happy with yet another fantastic performance by Devan Dubnyk.
Aside from the two early goals, the Oilers never tested Hiller on this night. Four shots in the first period followed by six in the second and five more in the third period for the total of 15. At the other end of the rink Devan Dubnyk had another excellent night turning away 32 of the 33 shots that came his way including a number from point blank range and 15 in the final period as the Ducks tried desperately to tie the score.