For the Chicago Blackhawks, it's that time of year again. Where every game matters. Where it doesn't matter how well you played in the regular season.
Winning the Presidents' Trophy doesn't guarantee a Stanley Cup for the Blackhawks—or an easy first-round series for that matter. Let's not forget that the No. 8-seeded Los Angeles Kings won the Cup last year.
Facing the Minnesota Wild in the first round will be a challenge, especially when the Blackhawks go to play in the state of hockey.
Sure, the Wild lost two of the three meetings against the Hawks, but they were only outscored 8-6 in the series. The Hawks shouldn't underestimate the power of Minnesota.
Here are the five most important players for the Blackhawks against the Wild.