The Class of 2000 is still waiting on its first Stanley Cup, but nearly 20 years after the Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets joined the NHL, one team has enjoyed a big-picture advantage over the other.
Columbus leads the all-time series at 29-22-1-3, but the Wild have outpaced the Blue Jackets in point percentage, .500 seasons and playoff success since the NHL expanded to 30 teams in 2000.
Playoff series wins
They share at least one major trait in 2018: Both rely on goals from the blue line.
The Blue Jackets have gotten 22.4 percent of their goals from defensemen this season — second in the league — while the Wild have gotten 20.4 percent.
Matt Dumba leads all Wild defenseman with nine goals, followed by Ryan Suter and Jared Spurgeon with six.
The Wild might need the help.
Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky isn’t getting much Vezina Trophy buzz heading into the stretch run, but he remains one of the league’s best.
Bobrovsky ranks 13th in the NHL with a .934 save percentage at 5-on-5, but has excelled against high-danger scoring chances. He has a .854 save percentage on such shots, third in the league amongst goalies with at least 1,000 minutes of action.