Buffalo embarking on a season-long winning streak of three comes amidst considerable off-ice uncertainty and personnel changes, and it's hard to see a young team with next to nothing to play for continuing to be unaffected by the dysfunction.
Interim head coach Ted Nolan was expected to follow club President for a matter of weeks Pat LaFontaine, franchise goalie Ryan Miller and captain Steve Ott in departing but for now he appears content to keep working.
Coming the other way in the Miller/Ott trade as well as picks were power forward Chris Stewart and Jaroslav Halak. The latter has already said he won't be playing tonight and with his contract situation it makes sense for both parties for him to be traded again before Wednesday's deadline.
Proceedings are much quieter in Texas considering the Stars are right in the middle of the West's wildcard melee, going 1-1 post-Olympics is a record that needs to be improved upon. Captain Jamie Benn had a great tournament with Canada and has brought that strong play back alongside a refreshed Tyler Seguin so take those two to get Dallas through over the handicap.
I'm resisting the temptation to go back to outsiders Buffalo as 15 of their 18 wins for the season came with Miller in net.
A four-game winning run of their own has created some separation for the Wild in their postseason push and a victory tonight makes it six in a row at home. In fact five of their next six outings will be inside Xcel Energy Center which is a great opportunity for them to build that gap further.
No longer their division rivals, Calgary would have to go an almighty run to qualify although they are continuing to push admirably, but the two clashes between them this campaign have gone to the hosting team.
Road successes against solid defences have been rare for the Flames and seven goals in the last five suggests they will struggle to create against a team that gives up as little as Minnesota.
I'm confident of a victory for the Wild at 1.85 but steer clear of backing them by a multiple goal margin.
Best Bet: Dallas Stars to overcome -1.5 goal handicap at 2.30