Wild hope to escape Avalanche

Last year, the Wild came back from a 3-1 deficit to stun the Avs en route to the Western Conference finals.

Updated: October 16, 2003, 12:30 PM ET
By By Jim Wilkie | NHL Insider
It's David vs. Goliath and good vs. evil, only with the Wild putting a new twist on David.

Minnesota's David is the evil, neutral-zone trapping defensive minded team that some say is speeding up the demise of the sport. Goliath is the high-powered Avalanche with two exciting, offensively gifted lines that have raised hope of a rebirth of free-flowing, creative hockey.

Marian Gaborik
The Avalanche won't have to deal with Marian Gaborik.
Back in April, the Wild were the cute, cuddly third-year expansion franchise just happy to be in the playoffs for the first time in the Western Conference quarterfinals against Colorado. Minnesota head coach Jacques Lemaire played up his team's underdog status to the hilt, at times suggesting his team was overmatched against the two-time Stanley Cup champions. Minnesota's no-name lineup had the lowest payroll in the league while Colorado's star-studded lineup was one of the most expensive.